|Three of the four versions I have of this book. It’s a bit worrying that I have
that many copies of one book. Isn’t that the type of thing crazy people do?
When I first read Siddhartha it was assigned reading for an Asian Humanities class in high school. I really liked it, and I guess that proves that not everything that you have to read in school is awful. In fact, I counted it as one of my top 10 favorite novels, at least until recently, when I decided to give a few books a second read-through to see if they were as good as I remembered them to be. The book was still good, but maybe since it was actually one of the few books I’d read more than once (at least one additional time each in German and English), it didn’t jump out at me or seem as special as it once had. It may also have something to do with the fact that for the first half of the book I was alternating between the English, German, and Spanish versions. It’s kind of weird, but since I somehow had acquired all three (and a fourth free version on the Kindle, I later remembered), I wanted to take advantage of them. For the second half, though, I was more eager to take advantage of a long weekend to get ahead on my Sitzbook project, so I blazed through the English version so that I could check out the Hunger Games series.
Siddhartha still does have some nuggets of wisdom, though, so I mainly wanted to write this post to include a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
(p. 52) “Writing is good, thinking is better. Cleverness is good, patience is better.”
(p. 113) “’When someone is seeking,’ said Siddhartha, ‘it happens quite easily that he only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing he is seeking, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal.’”
(p. 115) “Wisdom is not communicable. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish […] Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, like it, be fortified by it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.”
Well, that’s it for today. If you’ve read or re-read this book, I’d love to hear your take on it. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!
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Errand-Running Monkey at Sitzblog
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