Siddhartha for the December Book Group

All members of the Core community, especially alumni, are invited to attend the next session of the EnCore Book Group, on December 1, 2010. The group will be meeting at 6 PM in the Alumni Lounge at 595 Commonwealth Avenue, West Entrance, 7th floor. For this gathering, participants will be discussing Hermann Hesse’s Nobel Prize-winning novel, Siddhartha. Feel free to read any translation you prefer.

Of the book, Prof. Eckel — whose scholarly work focuses on ancient Buddhist philosophy — writes: “Hermann Hesse’s classic retelling of the life story of the Buddha is an important milestone in the modern appropriation of Buddhism, while it also offers a meditation on the icy solitude of modern consciousness.”

The phrase, “icy solitude,”  is an allusion to the ending of Part I in the book, where young Siddhartha experiences a moment of awakening:

At that moment, when the world around him melted away, when he stood alone like a star in the heavens, he was overwhelmed by a feeling of icy despair, but he was more firmly himself than ever. That was the last shudder of his awakening, the last pains of birth. Immediately he moved on again and began to walk quickly and impatiently, no longer homewards, no longer to his father, no longer looking backwards. [Excerpt from the 1971 Bantam edition, pp. 41-2, translated by Hilda Rosner]

The EnCore Book Group is a chance to re-experience the sense of intellectual and social engagement that characterizes the Core Curriculum at its best. We hope that you will join us for our next meeting in December. To RSVP, please visit the Facebook event page.

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