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The Journey to the East: A Novel

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  7,673 Ratings  ·  376 Reviews
In simple, mesmerizing prose, Hermann Hesse tells of a journey both geographic and spiritual. H.H., a German choirmaster, is invited on an expedition with the League, a secret society whose members include Paul Klee, Mozart, and Albertus Magnus. The participants traverse both space and time, encountering Noah’s Ark in Zurich and Don Quixote at Bremgarten. The pilgrims’ ult ...more
ebook, 128 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 1932)
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Ben Winch
This is an anomaly in Hesse’s oeuvre – a personal piece in which he risks alienating his wider audience, and yet in another sense his most universal work. It’s true, I say this having had few successes in recommending it, yet so far no-one I’ve given it to has disliked it, even if it has left them frustrated or puzzled or underwhelmed. The crux of it is, it’s the story of a failure. An inevitable failure, I would say, but as Hesse himself says early in the piece, “the seemingly impossible must c ...more
Jonathan Ashleigh
Oct 07, 2014 Jonathan Ashleigh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hermann Hesse writes as though his words are god's perspective, but I don't believe in god... And, for the most part, I think god is boring. Unlike Siddhartha, a book which everybody loves because they think they will look dumb if they don't, Journey to the East is a book that doesn't claim to have all the answers.

I feel this quote from within its text describes it best.
"The clearest relationships were distorted, the most obvious were forgotten, the trivial and unimportant pushed into the foreg
...more
Paul
Apr 21, 2013 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-novels
I have enjoyed the novels I have read by Hesse, but this wasn't really one that resonated with me. The narrator H.H joins a quasi-religious organisation called The League which has ancient roots and members from reality and fiction: Plato, Don Quixote, Mozart, Tristram Shandy, Baudelaire, Puss in Boots (I kid you not). There is a pilgrimage to the East, which falls apart when a servant called Leo seems to disappear. Of Course, Leo is much more than a servant as the rest of the novella reveals, w ...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
"Poet of the Interior Journey"

There was a time in my 20’s when I was obsessed with Hermann Hesse. I was a Hesse Obsessor. After all, he was regarded highly enough as an author to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946.

Something now lures me back to the novels I read then, "Siddhartha" and "Steppenwolf". However, I thought I would try this one as a "wedgie" or stopgap between more ambitious projects.

In truth, this is more a novella than a novel.

Even burdened by a 30 page introduction by Dr Ti
...more
Gypsy
اون قد نثرش فاخر بود که آدمو دنبال خودش می کشوند و البته حواسشو از داستان پرت میکرد. داستان سهل و راحتی نیس؛ خصوصاً که گریزها و تلمیح ها و اشارات زیادی داره که آدمو گیج می کنه. ولی رو هم رفته حال و هواش خوبه.
Zohreh Hanifeh
برای من کتابِ فوقالعادهای بود. با اینکه در ابتدا روایت داستانیِ قویای هم نداشت، و روایتهای پراکندهای از خاطرات سفری به سوی صبح بود، اما از نیمههای کتاب که با حقایق روبرو میشد و از گمگشتگی خودش آگاه، با دل آدم حرف میزد. برای کسی که راه سلوک را رفته باشد یا بخواهد برود، کلمات آشناست. راهروان، پیشروان، خطاها، حسرتها...
بخش آخر (خواب جزیره) هم با اینکه تمثیلی بود اشکهایم را جاری کرد. آنجا که شاهبانو به ه. میگفت «من روح درماندهٔ تو را خوب میشناسم. در راه زندگی بر فراز سرت بودهام...»
و آنجا که میپرسید «
...more
J.G. Keely
Why is Hesse's concept of enlightenment indistinguishable from mental illness? First, in The Glass Bead Game, we get the depiction of a 'secular saint', and the signs of his enlightenment are that he has stopped all his creative work, often sits lost in thought, making no sign he understands anyone speaking to him, and when he does respond, it is with a brief non-sequitur. He otherwise wanders the gardens day and night with a bland smile frozen to his face. Perhaps it's only me who looks at thos ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Die Morgenlandfahrt=The Journey to the East, Hermann Hesse
عنوانها: سفر به شرق؛ راهیان اقلیم رنگ و نور خاور؛ سفر به سوی شرق؛ سفر به سوی صبح؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان آلمانی قرن 20 م
عنوان: سفر به شرق؛ نویسنده: هرمان هسه؛ مترجم: سروش حبیبی؛ در 127 ص؛ چاپ دیگر با عنوان سفر به سوی صبح: تهران، انتشارات ماهی؛ 1390؛ شابک: 9789642090792؛ چاپ دوم 1392؛ شابک: 9789642091614؛
عنوان: سفر به شرق؛ نویسنده: هرمان هسه؛ مترجم: علی قائم مقامی؛ تهران، گام، 1362؛ در 120 ص
عنوان: سفر به شرق؛ نویسنده: هرمان هسه؛ مترجم
...more
Benjamin
May 27, 2016 Benjamin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Such a strange journey, such an elusive destination. This is equally horrible and mystical, and it is a somewhat difficult task to try and make sense of the ending. I found myself drawn to Leo immediately, while H.H. I could more easily identify with. This made it both confusing and slightly depressing.

It seems that life is much more magical and mystical in youth, and while I am still very young myself, I find that any excitement towards spirituality I once had, has been slowly replaced over th
...more
Lynne King
Mar 12, 2013 Lynne King rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How does one begin a review of Hermann Hesse’s work? My first experience of his books was with “The Glass Bead Game”, the content of which fascinated me at the time and I found it easy to read. However, this book has really got me thinking and much as I like it, I wonder if the author is playing with the reader?

This is a spiritual journey of a German choirmaster called H.H. (could this be the author himself?) who unsuccessfully attempts to write about the “great journey” he made when he joined t
...more
Luís C.
A disconcerting book because we lose all the landmarks of time and space. But this book also made me think of Kafka and his novel The Castle. The members of the order evoked for me the inhabitants of the village and HH in K.
Dhanaraj Rajan
I had read another book by Hesse prior to this - Knulp. The present book in review also shares the same quality that was found in the earlier book. That is, the book is relatively 'dull'. I mean the plot is not that riveting to keep the reader on the edge. Rather, the plot moves in its own pace and Hesse wants the reader to read between the lines.

As a result, a reader can come away from it carrying many messages. I came away with one and by sharing it I will end my review.

Hesse must have been ha
...more
Po Po
May 02, 2015 Po Po rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

An incredible writer makes a truly depressing not-much-actually-happens story-story into something inspirational.

If you've ever found yourself wallowing in despair, utterly disconsolate, and demoralized, then this book is for you.

League brother H looks back upon his life and questions the meaning of his every choice and action. He finds himself in the throes of an existential crisis.

Insightful little book. Warning: Inconclusive ending.

Several main points:

+ Despair is the constant state of human
...more
Erik Graff
Oct 26, 2008 Erik Graff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
Although the most difficult to comprehend of Hesse's novels, The Journey to the East was, upon reading, one of my favorites as it left me with some vague, yet powerful, apprehension of a vital truth--something like those essential words we find "at the tip of the tongue" but are unable to speak, those aspects of memory we know to be there but cannot recollect, those revelations conveyed in dreams, in deliria or under the influence of psychotropics.

Now, having substantially wasted my life and bei
...more
Sujeet
I have read many books by many great minds. Sartre, Camus, Dostoevsky, Nobakov, Ayn Rand et al. I find an inner struggle to find out the various aspects of truth in their writing. Their works disturb us. They inspire us. They confuse us about ourselves. They make us question. And they propel us towards a self-exploring journey.
But, reading Hesse is different. When I read him, I don't feel as if I am reading a literary expert or philosopher. I feel as I am with a saint. The man who has experience
...more
Tayebe
Nov 12, 2016 Tayebe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"he who travels far will often see things
Far removed from what he believed was Truth.
When he talks about it in the fields at home,
He is often accused of lying,
For obdurate people will not believe
What they do not see and distinctly feel.
Inexperience, I believe,
Will give little credence to my song."
Patrick Gibson
If ever the maxim ‘not the destination but the journey’ were true, this would be the perfect example. Not even considering the fact the ‘travelers’ on this journey never make it to the East, which is in fact a metaphor or our own individual passage from solitude to the enlightenment of the communal whole. The community for this particular journey is called The League. And as they transverse through time and space encountering Don Quixote and Noah’s Ark, members of the League such as Mozart and H ...more
Abu Hasan
(ذلك لأن هدفنا لم يكن الشرق وحده، أو أن الشرق لم يكن مجرد بلاد أو شيء جغرافي، بل كان وطن الروح وشبابها. كان الشرق في كل مكان ولم يكن في أي مكان)
من أكثر كتب هيسه، التي قرأتها، رمزية وغموضا
تحس بعد قراءته أنه ليس رواية مستقلة... بل هو أقرب ما يكون إلى فصل من رواية... أو جزء من سيرة ذاتية
النجوم الثلاث ليست للكتاب وإنما للدراسة الملحقة بالكتاب عن هيسه "شاعر الرحلة الداخلية" لـ"تيموني ليري" والتي أوضح فيها، على وجازتها، الكثير من سيرة هيسه الذاتية والفكرية وعرض لأبرز أفكاره في أهم كتبه، باٌلإضافة إلى
...more
Dylan Grant
Feb 06, 2014 Dylan Grant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, german
My favorite Herman Hesse books. Actually one of the few books by him that I like! I think he is a very overrated book but I really liked it. It's like a more mature Alice in Wonderland at times because it has that sense of unbounded whimsical-ness but the characters are older so they can really appreciate the wonder. It is very short though.
Hadrian
Jun 13, 2011 Hadrian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german, fiction
Hesse is usually one of my favored writers, but this one left me cold and unimpressed. I went through it quickly, having felt that the other books told his ideas better. It's not a bad book, though.
reem
Jun 07, 2014 reem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I once had a dream like this.
Aleksandar Šegrt
svaku tvoju riječ ja volim, mada ništa ne razumijeeeem.
Eirini D
Nov 25, 2016 Eirini D rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated-lit
Το Ταξίδι στην Ανατολή με απογοήτευσε από την άποψη ότι αυτό που τελικά διάβασα ήταν διαφορετικό από αυτό που περίμενα. Φαινομενικά αναφέρεται στην αγωνιώδη προσπάθεια κάποιου να ξαναβιώσει, μέσα από το γράψιμο, τα συναισθήματα που του προκάλεσε η εμπειρία ενός φανταστικού ταξιδιού ως μέλους ενός τάγματος, στο χώρο και στο χρόνο, και η θλιβερή διαπίστωση του ότι όλα σχεδόν όσα έζησε είχαν άδοξη κατάληξη, το τάγμα διαλύθηκε και ο σκοπός του ταξιδιού δεν έφθασε ποτέ στην πλήρη εκπλήρωσή του. Στις ...more
Atul Sabnis
Life-changing book, is something I would never write for any book. Books by themselves do not do that - it's the reader who understands something in a book and chooses to make it an experience.

The Journey To The East is simply written book, the language almost plain of a journey, as you may have guessed across lands, , as you may first think it to be. Eventually, you get to know that this journey, fantastical at times, is nothing about the "travel". The journey is evenly punctuated by descriptio
...more
Ali Nazifpour
Feb 14, 2014 Ali Nazifpour rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I can't understand the appeal of Herman Hesse. I might be wrong, since he has won Nobel Prize and one person whose opinion I respect a lot has given this book five stars. However, no matter how hard I try not only I find Hesse a bad writer, I cringe at the idea of calling him a writer at all. To me he's no different from Paulo Coehlo. This book has all the things I hate in a "novel": disgusting, shallow, racist, and colonialist "eastern" "mysticism", no real plot, no real events, no real charact ...more
Perihan
Jul 26, 2016 Perihan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Kimi zaman insan eskiden sevdiği bir şeyden artık zevk alamaz oluyor. Bir müzisyen kemanını satabiliyor ya da duvara fırlatabiliyor! Gün geliyor bir ressam, yaptığı bütün resimleri yakabiliyor! "

" Sizi tanıyıp tanımadığımı soruyorsunuz? İnsanın bir başkasını, hatta sırf kendini bile tanıması mümkün mü? Ve biliyorsunuz ki ben insanlardan hiç anlamam. Beni ilgilendirmezler. Köpekleri, evet, onları gayet iyi tanırım, kuşları , kedileri de öyle!"

Bu kadar kısacık bir kitaba,bir koca dünya sığdırmış
...more
Bill
Oct 20, 2012 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always loved this book - I read it originally over 40 years ago and have just now read it again. It is full of meaning for those whose life is a 'journey'. It should be re-read periodically - like traveling the medicine wheel, you will understand it more and differently than when last read. Don't miss it!
Erika
Oct 01, 2014 Erika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finishing this book is like sleeping and dreaming and waking up and feeling like you're still dreaming. But in a sad way. I.e. I loved it so much.
Haman

همه ی آن چیز هایی که من تا کنون نیکو و دل انگیز می پنداشتم و در راه آن ها فداکاری می کرده ام
چیزی جز هوس های خود پسندانه ام نبوده است....
São
Jan 10, 2013 São rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este livro relata-nos uma viagem iniciática em que o narrador, identificando-se com o próprio autor HH, percorre entre os membros de uma determinada Ordem. Esta viagem traça um caminho de auto conhecimento que se acaba por revelar um teste à fé, ao amor fraternal e às crenças espirituais de cada um.
Um desfecho inesperado leva-o a querer escrever esta aventura simbólica de descobrimento do ser humano, tarefa que, no entanto, vê dificultada pela obrigatoriedade de manter secretas as cláusulas da O
...more
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Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. His best known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game (also known as Magister Ludi) which explore an individual's search for spirituality outside society.

In his time, Hesse was a popular and influential author in the German-speaking world; worldwide fame only ca
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“Despair is the result of each earnest attempt to go through life with virtue, justice and understanding, and to fulfill their requirements. Children live on one side of despair, the awakened on the other side.” 30 likes
“The whole of world history often seems to me nothing more than a picture book which portrays humanity's most powerful and a 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?” 11 likes
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