In the novel Siddhartha, a young man leaves his family for a contemplative life, then, restless, discards it for one of the flesh. He conceives a son, but bored and sickened by lust and greed, moves on again. Near despair, Siddhartha comes to a river where he hears a unique sound. This sound signals the true beginning of his life--the beginning of suffering, rejection, peace, and, finally, wisdom.
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Herman Hesse is the author of Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, and The Glass Bead Game. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946.