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Wandering: Notes and Sketches Paperback – January, 1972

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux (January 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374509751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374509750
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #659,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 28, 2003
Format: Paperback
I 'wandered' upon the first edition of this book at a yard sale, and once having begun it, was thrilled with every word and every turn of phrase. Hesse, in this lesser-known work, writes with beautiful symplicity and grace. Each short prose piece is accompanied by charming sketches, and each ends with one of Hesse's poems. Here Hesse reveals his deepest fears, hopes, and insights; which once read, will bring any wandering soul closer to enlightenment. Highly recommended!
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By A Customer on April 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
I thought this book essentially epitomized Hesse's search for meaning, but the narrative was simply told in a series of sharp images, ones in which he himself found inspiration. In contrast to his many, more famous novels, I believe Hesse writes in absolute honesty, no longer confined to the restrictions of a classic novel, and the images and sensations he reproduces are stunning.
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Format: Hardcover
The most wonderful, beautiful book, it has been my absolute favourite for the past 30 years, always makes me feel like I'm home again, in the company of all feelings and emotions that make me feel warm and connected to the earth.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read Herman Hesse’s Wandering and wanted to highlight the whole thing. There are very few passages here with which I could not identify. If you have a wanderlust, if you are on a journey with no particular destination, or find no great satisfaction with staying or going – a certain anguish in either prospect, then you will love Wandering.

When your soul wants to settle, but your mind and body keep wandering, it can be upsetting for those who don’t consider themselves to be peripatetic. One preponderant theme here, though, is that “Home” is a place not to leave or return to; rather, “Home is within you or home is nowhere at all.” So if Home eludes you, then you are looking in the wrong place. Also, there exists a certain sentimentality that holds hands with the past, to that place that you used to call Home, to that life you used to live. Reality is obfuscated by the present vantage of long gone days. Perfection is an illusion.

Hesse also addresses the paradox that he lives – he wants to be a poet and a middle-class person simultaneously. “I want silence, peace, and a middle-class life…and old books.” Are these contradicting notions? Can one be seemingly opposing entities? Think of it as a road that takes you on your journey – the same road that leads you home. It’s really the same road, yet it serves two contrary functions. A person can be more than one thing.

“Trees are sanctuaries.” Ah, this is something I have known my whole life, and Hesse devotes an entire chapter to these beings. Do you love trees? If so, you’ll love this chapter even more than the others.

All life ends, that’s no revelation. Hesse opines that to worry about most of it is a waste of time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Extraordinary book. With heartfelt illustrations.... Keeps getting better.
As oppositions arise and would be contained.... Or will the dream fade?
That the biggest loss would be. Are you wandering with the author becoming ourself?
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Format: Paperback
"It would be wholly impossible for me to say whether this cloudy, silently disturbed, unraveled sky is mirrored in my soul or the reverse, whether or not I read the image of my own inner life in this sky. Sometimes everything is so completely uncertain! There are days when I am convinced that no man on earth can recognize certain moods of air and cloud, certain tones of color, certain fragrances and movements of moisture as finely, as exactly, and as truly as I can, with my old, nervous sense of poet and wanderer. And then again, as today, it can become doubtful to me whether I have seen, heard, and smelled anything after all, whether everything that I took to be true is not merely an image cast outward, the image of my inner life."

I only wish I could give this book 6 stars.
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Format: Paperback
This book holds a special place in my heart. I first read it as a teenager, and it served as my first book of nature writing. My older brothers were seasoned readers of Hesse, and felt this light volume would work as an introduction for me. I found it exciting to read about how the author connected to the places he went. I, too, wanted to "wander." It was as if a new world opened up to me, and I would go on to read Thoreau, Emerson, and so many more. Still enthralled with nature literature, still re-reading this book, and still doing my own wandering some forty years later.
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Format: Hardcover
I have just finished reading this book, and probably should not be attempting to write a review because words fail to describe how wonderful this book is. It is the most beautiful book I have ever read. It is written in Hesse's gentle, quiet style, and consists of metaphorical meditations on wandering. The imagery is graceful while the implications resound deep within one. Each sketch moved me deeply. This is Hesse at his best, a spiritual explorer, free of dogma, immersing himself and the reader in simple yet fascinating reflections. I plan on reading this book frequently, savoring each image and feeling the serenity created by Hesse's prose. I would urge everyone to read this book.
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