In the remote Kingdom of Castalia, the scholars of the Twenty Third century play the Glass Bead Game. The elaborately coded game is a fusion of all human knowledge - of maths, music, philosophy, science, and art. Intrigued as a school boy, Joseph Knecht becomes consumed with mastering the game as an adult. As Knecht fulfils his life-long quest he ...
In the remote Kingdom of Castalia, the scholars of the Twenty Third century play the Glass Bead Game. The elaborately coded game is a fusion of all human knowledge - of maths, music, philosophy, science, and art. Intrigued as a school boy, Joseph Knecht becomes consumed with mastering the game as an adult. As Knecht fulfils his life-long quest he must contend with unexpected dilemmas and the longing for a life beyond the ivory tower.
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Hesse's Magister Ludi is the superlative capstone of a life's work permeated by a gentle wistfulness, a growing sense that the goal of the journey (of life) may be the journey itself,and a deeper, richer sense that such human contentment as may be found is to be found in a life integrating action and deepest thought.
Joseph Knecht, the central character, reflects both the immediacy of Hesse's inner journey from Goethe to Thomas Mann, and the universality of the quest of the search for the divine (spirituality, art, music, philosophy) which distinguishes man from beast. His resolve to return from the intellectual inner sanctum of Castalia to the maelstrom of daily life in the "outer world" marks his (and Hesse's) fulfilment in a life uniting both spirit and body, technical and intellectual, thought and deed, classic and romantic, Dionysian and Apollonian.
A must read for all who would seriously ponder the role fo the intellectual in the modern world.
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