Why 100?

Last year I set out to read 100 books, but I ran out of time and only read 75. So this year, I will read one hundred books. And you're my witness :) The only thing stopping me this year is 9 seasons' worth of Seinfeld episodes- wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

47. a journey to the east

The Journey to the East by Herman Hesse
I sat down and read this book cover to cover in an hour and a half at the library.  It was fairly little, with big print, so I picked it up, recognizing the author's name and going for a quick classic.  It was one of those books that seems to have some kind of bigger meaning that you know you aren't picking up on because it is so basic. Instead of relating my boring anecdotes, I will just type out the (lengthy) but cool quotes:

"I agree with Siddhartha, our wise friend form the East, who once said: Words do not express thoughts very well; everything immediately becomes a little different, a little distorted, a little foolish.  And yet it also pleases me and seems right that what is of value and wisdom to one man seems nonsense to another."

"The whole of world history often seems to me nothing more than a picture book which portra7s humanity's most powerful and senseless desire- the desire to forget.  Does not each generation by means of suppression, concealment and ridicule, efface what the previous generation considered most important?"

"I imagine that  every historian is similarly affected when he begins to record the events of some period and wishes to portray them sincerely.  Where is the center of events, the common standpoint, around which they evolve and which gives them cohesion, something like causality, that some kind of meaning might ensue and that it can in some way be narrated, the historian must invent units, a hero, a nation, an idea, and he must allow to happen to this invented unit what has in reality, happened to the nameless."

"Brother H. was led to despair in his test, and despair is the result of each earnest attempt to understand and vindicate human life.  Depsair is the result of each earnest attempt to through life with virtue, justice and understanding and to fulfil their requirement.  Children live one one side of despair, the awakened on the other side."

So what am I missing?

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