Hesse, Hermann

Legendary and historical figures

In 1922, the Swiss-German author Hermann Hesse (1877–1962) published ‘Siddhartha’, a much read novel of spiritual self-exploration that used motifs from the life of the Buddha (Buddha legends). The Buddha, here called Gotamo, is the companion of the eponymous hero of the novel. Hesse did not write a biography of the Buddha, but rather produced a work of fiction that allowed him to examine Indian philosophy. The author was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1946.