Friday, November 28, 2014

825, 824

What I wrote to some people about reading Herman Hesse' Siddhartha:


In one edition, Paulo Coelho has written the prologue of this book. He read this book when he was in an asylum, tackling his nervous disorder. When he finished, it was daybreak - literally and metaphorically. I read this book because a favourite boss recommended it. He said I'd 'get it'. What can I say? In my reading life, it's not my most impactful book (that’s Roots by Alex Haley),it's not the book my heart pulsates for(that’s Rushdie’s ‘Shame’),it doesn't leave me with the wild melancholy that doesn't leave (Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath). But Siddhartha...it broke my heart. In the way something simple like sunshine on dew will break your heart someday - with its true, delicate honesty. Did I 'get' Siddhartha? Not sure. But what happened was a strange, surreal kind of alchemy...the book read me. In an age of book proselytizing, I won’t go into a 'you gotta' read this book. But every heart needs the experience of being broken gently with the written word. You owe it that much.
 
Also, finished reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. Now picked up Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis. This was recommended by a friend. Looking forward to reading it.

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