A New York Times review called The Glass Bead Game “very much the book of Hesse’s old age,” and explains that it “was to be the summa of his thought and of his cultural critique.” Hesse won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946, and the Swedish Academy noted at the time that The Glass Bead Game “occupied a special position” among Hesse’s novels.
The Glass Bead Game is a mind game that Hesse used to play when he was raking and burning leaves in his garden. It was a way to keep his mind busy while he was doing something physical. It was a form of intellectual pastime that the author played. The game is a way of mentally synthesizing spiritual values.
- Hermann Hesse's "The Glass Bead Game" - analysis part 1 - Ron Dartyoutube.com
- Hermann Hesse's "The Glass Bead Game" - analysis part 2 - Ron Dartyoutube.com
- Demian by Hermann Hesse - Book Chatyoutube.com
- Soap Bubbles - A Poem by Hermann Hesseyoutube.com
The Glass Bead Game is an allegory of the relationship between symbol and reality, between life and the magic lantern of the mind. Hesse's Castalia is a utopia of mind, which is born of and supported at great expense by a society recently ravaged by a terrible war. It is an enclosed place.
The Glass Bead Game, then, is about mastery of mystery. Brilliantly, Hesse never describes the complete working intricacies of a game end-to-end, preserving the concept of mystery about the game itself as its own fictional symbol.
The boys study a diversity of intellectual, philosophical, and artistic topics in the hope that they would one day master the glass bead game, a mysterious practice by which the players may demonstrate to the world a kind of transcendent truth at a traditional ceremony broadcast to all corners of the globe.
The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse was first published in Switzerland in 1943 and it was to be his last major work. It is Hesse's story of the life of Magister Ludi Joseph Knecht, and is written in novel form. The novel is basically a parody of biography as Hesse tells the story of Joseph Knecht. Knecht is a member of the intellectual elite and has been obsessed with mastering the...
Clifford Jordan's Glass Bead Games acknowledges but then turns away from Coltrane's heroic questing after elusive transcendental truths and commits itself to a game that's close at hand. Hesse's emphasis on a mastery of the rules, or "language," of the Game deserves careful consideration.
The same eternal idea, which for us has been embodied in the Glass Bead Game, has underlain every movement toward the goal of a universitas litterarum, every Platonic academy, every league of an intellectual elite, every rapprochement between the exact and the more liberal disciplines, every effort toward reconciliation between science and art or science and religion. 1
Meditation is a recurrent step in the search for self in all of Hesse's subsequent novels from Siddhartha to The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi). Shortly after this scene, Sinclair makes unsuccessful attempts at emulating Demian. Meditation remains an art which Sinclair will need to master on his journey to his own interior.