Inside Cover Blurb
- Hermann Hesse’s novel The Glass Bead Game was published in 1946, and shortly afterwards the great German émigré-writer was awarded the Nobel Brize. This book, which is considered his magnum opus, has never, until now, been available in an English translation which conveyed its power, profundities, and wit.
- In the tradition of Steppenwolf, an earlier Hesse work which has become a widely read cult book among students in recent years, it is the story of a man who wants to attain a spiritual province. The title refers to an ultra-aesthetic game which is played by scholars in the kingdom of Castalia around the year 2400. This game involves all branches of knowledge, and spiritual values – especially those of the east. Its origins (based on the abacus) and method of play are outlined in the opening chapters. Then the emphasis shifts to the protagonist, Joseph Knecht, who is a Master of the Glass Bead Game - thus holder of the most exalted office in Castalia - who finally comes to face the dilemmas posed by this game’s development into a ritualistic form of intellectual worship.
- Hesse's longing to find a dynamic fusion of mind with nature is set forth more penetratingly in this book than in any other he wrote. Critics have seen in it a late, definitive stage in his thinking influenced by the tragedy of Europe in the Second World War. Thomas Mann called the novel ‘sublime’. It was admired by Andre Gide and T.S. Eliot.
- Richard and Clara Winston’s impeccable new translation secures its place among the important novels of the twentieth century.
Jonathan Cape, London, 1970. Translated by Richard & Clara Winston
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