Thursday, January 30, 2014

Assignment #1 – Blog #1 – Inspirational Fiction & Type of Quotation Punctuation Utilized in Such

       One of my favorite novels, Siddhartha, was written in the early 20th century by German poet, novelist, and painter Hermann Hesse. It speaks about a young man’s spiritual journey of self-discovery, inner strength, and the true meaning of life. The story inspires the reader to embrace self-learning (autodidacticism) and that the best lessons in life come from the simple and closest things to you. We don’t have to stray too far, live as ascetics (even the Buddha taught moderation, as does Islam), live by extremes, or try to mimic the lives of others. We can live our own beautiful lives and create our own life philosophy. For me, the metaphors, the prose poetry-like style, and fluid writing make it one of the easiest, pleasing, and yet, educational reads. On the beach with my feet dug in the hot sand, on a red and white striped blanket on long grass in a park, or curled up on my favorite side of the couch with a perfect cup of tea: I can read this story over and over again, and it just exudes more beauty and wisdom, every time:)

Here is a link so you can read it online. You’re sure to find at least a few lines of inspiration:
About Hermann Hesse & Other Related Links & Articles:   
A Summary & Analysis:

     This first paragraph shows off Hesse’s written style. He uses metaphors that compares biotic components and describes things in a poetic-like manner. This paragraph is an example of his strong, yet simple, descriptive style which leaves the reader in awe.  

Before the city, in a beautifully fenced grove, the raveler came
across a small group of servants, both male and female, carrying
baskets. In their midst, carried by four servants in an ornamental
sedan-chair, sat a woman, the mistress, on red pillows under a colourful
canopy. Siddhartha stopped at the entrance to the pleasure-garden and
watched the parade, saw the servants, the maids, the baskets, saw the
sedan-chair and saw the lady in it. Under black hair, which made to
tower high on her head, he saw a very fair, very delicate, very smart
face, a brightly red mouth, like a freshly cracked fig, eyebrows which
were well tended and painted in a high arch, smart and watchful dark
eyes, a clear, tall neck rising from a green and golden garment, resting
fair hands, long and thin, with wide golden bracelets over the wrists.

     These paragraphs stand as examples of Hesse’s commandment-like punctuation style and standard use of quotations (minus the continuous he said, she said). This makes the dialogue fluid and more easily read. After the first line or two it becomes obvious who the speaker is.

"Weren't you already standing out there yesterday, greeting me?" asked
"It's true that I've already seen and greeted you yesterday."
"But didn't you yesterday wear a beard, and long hair, and dust in your
"You have observed well, you have seen everything. You have seen
Siddhartha, the son of a Brahman, how has left his home to become a
Samana, and who has been a Samana for three years. But now, I have
left that path and came into this city, and the first one I met, even
before I had entered the city, was you. To say this, I have come to
you, oh Kamala! You are the first woman whom Siddhartha is not
addressing with his eyes turned to the ground. Never again I want to
turn my eyes to the ground, when I'm coming across a beautiful woman."
Kamala smiled and played with her fan of peacocks' feathers. And asked:
"And only to tell me this, Siddhartha has come to me?"
"To tell you this and to thank you for being so beautiful. And if it
doesn't displease you, Kamala, I would like to ask you to be my friend
and teacher, for I know nothing yet of that art which you have mastered
in the highest degree."
At this, Kamala laughed aloud.
"Never before this has happened to me, my friend, that a Samana from the
forest came to me and wanted to learn from me! Never before this has
happened to me, that a Samana came to me with long hair and an old, torn
loin-cloth! Many young men come to me, and there are also sons of
Brahmans among them, but they come in beautiful clothes, they come in
fine shoes, they have perfume in their hair and money in their pouches.
This is, oh Samana, how the young men are like who come to me."
Quoth Siddhartha: "Already I am starting to learn from you. Even
yesterday, I was already learning. I have already taken off my beard,
have combed the hair, have oil in my hair. There is little which is
still missing in me, oh excellent one: fine clothes, fine shoes, money
in my pouch. You shall know, Siddhartha has set harder goals for
himself than such trifles, and he has reached them. How shouldn't I
reach that goal, which I have set for myself yesterday: to be your
friend and to learn the joys of love from you! You'll see that I'll
learn quickly, Kamala, I have already learned harder things than what
you're supposed to teach me. And now let's get to it: You aren't
satisfied with Siddhartha as he is, with oil in his hair, but without
clothes, without shoes, without money?"
Laughing, Kamala exclaimed: "No, my dear, he doesn't satisfy me yet.
Clothes are what he must have, pretty clothes, and shoes, pretty shoes,
and lots of money in his pouch, and gifts for Kamala. Do you know it
now, Samana from the forest? Did you mark my words?"
"Yes, I have marked your words," Siddhartha exclaimed. "How should I
not mark words which are coming from such a mouth! Your mouth is like
a freshly cracked fig, Kamala. My mouth is red and fresh as well, it
will be a suitable match for yours, you'll see.--But tell me, beautiful
Kamala, aren't you at all afraid of the Samana from the forest, who has
come to learn how to make love?"
"Whatever for should I be afraid of a Samana, a stupid Samana from the
forest, who is coming from the jackals and doesn't even know yet what
women are?"
"Oh, he's strong, the Samana, and he isn't afraid of anything. He could
force you, beautiful girl. He could kidnap you. He could hurt you."
"No, Samana, I am not afraid of this. Did any Samana or Brahman ever
fear, someone might come and grab him and steal his learning, and his
religious devotion, and his depth of thought? No, for they are his very
own, and he would only give away from those whatever he is willing to
give and to whomever he is willing to give. Like this it is, precisely
like this it is also with Kamala and with the pleasures of love.
Beautiful and red is Kamala's mouth, but just try to kiss it against
Kamala's will, and you will not obtain a single drop of sweetness from
it, which knows how to give so many sweet things! You are learning
easily, Siddhartha, thus you should also learn this: love can be
obtained by begging, buying, receiving it as a gift, finding it in the
street, but it cannot be stolen. In this, you have come up with the
wrong path. No, it would be a pity, if a pretty young man like you
would want to tackle it in such a wrong manner."
Siddhartha bowed with a smile. "It would be a pity, Kamala, you are so
right! It would be such a great pity. No, I shall not lose a single
drop of sweetness from your mouth, nor you from mine! So it is settled:
Siddhartha will return, once he'll have have what he still lacks:
clothes, shoes, money. But speak, lovely Kamala, couldn't you still
give me one small advice?"
"An advice?" Why not? Who wouldn't like to give an advice to a poor,
ignorant Samana, who is coming from the jackals of the forest?"
"Dear Kamala, thus advise me where I should go to, that I'll find these
three things most quickly?"
"Friend, many would like to know this. You must do what you've learned
and ask for money, clothes, and shoes in return. There is no other way
for a poor man to obtain money. What might you be able to do?"
"I can think. I can wait. I can fast."
"Nothing else?"
"Nothing. But yes, I can also write poetry. Would you like to give me
a kiss for a poem?"
"I would like to, if I'll like your poem. What would be its title?"
Siddhartha spoke, after he had thought about it for a moment, these
Into her shady grove stepped the pretty Kamala,
At the grove's entrance stood the brown Samana.
Deeply, seeing the lotus's blossom,
Bowed that man, and smiling Kamala thanked.
More lovely, thought the young man, than offerings for gods,
More lovely is offering to pretty Kamala.
Kamala loudly clapped her hands, so that the golden bracelets clanged.
"Beautiful are your verses, oh brown Samana, and truly, I'm losing
nothing when I'm giving you a kiss for them."
She beckoned him with her eyes, he tilted his head so that his face
touched hers and placed his mouth on that mouth which was like a
freshly cracked fig. For a long time, Kamala kissed him, and with a
deep astonishment Siddhartha felt how she taught him, how wise she was,
how she controlled him, rejected him, lured him, and how after this first
one there was to be a long, a well ordered, well tested sequence of
kisses, everyone different from the others, he was still to receive.
Breathing deeply, he remained standing where he was, and was in this
moment astonished like a child about the cornucopia of knowledge and
things worth learning, which revealed itself before his eyes.
"Very beautiful are your verses," exclaimed Kamala, "if I was rich, I
would give you pieces of gold for them. But it will be difficult for
you to earn thus much money with verses as you need. For you need a lot
of money, if you want to be Kamala's friend."
"The way you're able to kiss, Kamala!" stammered Siddhartha.
"Yes, this I am able to do, therefore I do not lack clothes, shoes,
bracelets, and all beautiful things. But what will become of you?
Aren't you able to do anything else but thinking, fasting, making
"I also know the sacrificial songs," said Siddhartha, "but I do not want
to sing them any more. I also know magic spells, but I do not want to
speak them any more. I have read the scriptures--"
"Stop," Kamala interrupted him. "You're able to read? And write?"
"Certainly, I can do this. Many people can do this."
"Most people can't. I also can't do it. It is very good that you're
able to read and write, very good.

Hesse, Hermann. Siddhartha. New York: New Directions, 1951. Print.


  1. Wow--this was way over the requirement. Thanks. I love this line: "But what will become of you?
    Aren't you able to do anything else but thinking, fasting, making

  2. Wait--I'm not sure whose blog this is. See me for credit.