• March 2022

Du Magazine. Hundert Jahre Hermann Hesse

Author: Autori vari

Publisher: Du Kulturmedien

Translation languages: de > en

Translators: Il Nuovo Traduttore Letterario

Du Magazine is a prestigious German-language cultural magazine. Since 1941, it has been publishing monthly monographs on topics related to literature, art, society and customs. We collaborated on the translation of the monographic issue dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the publication of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha.

In Search of the Inner Eye

by Eva Zimmerman

In 1922 the first edition of Siddhartha – an Indian Poem was published. It became one of the most read works of Hermann Hesse, and to this day it plays a major role in his continued fame while it also has a certain cult status where self-awareness and worldly wisdom is concerned. The subject and focus of the book support this view, for Hesse’s aim was nothing less than to “get to the bottom of what all confessions and all human forms of piety have in common, what stands above all national differences, for what can be believed and venerated by every race and each individual”. The depiction of Siddhartha’s journey through life is clearly to be understood as an alternative life of a saint: driven by the desire for the greatest wisdom, his journey goes through a number of phases until he reaches his goal at the end and becomes an Enlightened One. Hesse himself repeatedly described it as an “Indian legend”. Yet, the book is not simply about religious and philosophical revelations. It is also about inner and external experiences and knowledge. Only together can they lead to what Hesse believed to be wisdom, even if it is a rather difficult idea to describe in words.