Sunday, September 29, 2013


by Hermann Hesse

 Siddhartha is a novel by Hermann Hesse that deals with the spiritual journey of self-discovery of a man named Siddhartha during the time of the Gautama Buddha. The book, Hesse's ninth novel (1922), was written in German, in a simple, lyrical style. It was published in the U.S. in 1951 and became influential during the 1960s. Hesse dedicated Siddhartha to his wife Ninon.

The word Siddhartha is made up of two words in the Sanskrit language, siddha (achieved) + artha (meaning or wealth), which together means "he who has found meaning (of existence)" or "he who has attained his goals". In fact, the Buddha's own name, before his renunciation, was Siddhartha Gautama, Prince of Kapilvastu, Nepal. In this book, the Buddha is referred to as "Gotama".

Monday, September 16, 2013

Daily Life of the Aztecs

Daily Life of the Aztecs on the Eve of the Spanish Conquest 
by Jacques Soustelle

Soustelle's great book about the Aztecs . . . takes us deep into the life of this great society. . . . Soustelle has the rare quality of entering into the minds of those he is studying and seeing things from their point of view. . . . [His] book is one of the best ever written about the Aztecs, his portrait of their society is a triumph of scholarship, understanding, and literary skill.