Hermann Hesse. Siddhartha. New Directions, 1951

“Siddhartha’s life in Herman Hesse’s novel flows like a river, its essence captured in Alvin Lustig’s book jacket design (…) Here, as in Lustig’s other book jacket designs, he responds abstractly to the text, not embracing literal depiction. Embodying a river’s essence, the image suggests alternate readings too, including an eye with contours of energy emanating along the curves of a face.  As a painter of transitory reflections in water and glass, and of faces too, I am transfixed by Lustig’s image, and lulled towards new insight into Hesse’s text.”

 

Pamela Lawton. River glimmered [online]. New York: Cooper Hewitt, 2003