Books That Have Shaped How I Think
Subject:   Herman Hesse's Masterpiece
Date:   2009-03-24 06:41:49
From:   LouisBClark
The book that reputedly earned Hesse his Nobel, "Magister Ludi" or "The Glass Bead Game" takes this discussion about culture (all that academia can offer) and how and whether it influences life to another fictional dimension. In the novel of the future, academia has become its own country, Castilia. People "of the world" go there to get an education and then return to the working (non-academic, non-cultural) countries in the rest of the world. It's a brilliant meditation and since its publication, the divorce between academia, especially philosophy and the history of ideas has certainly worsened. A sub-plot whose ramifications have infuenced me since I read it in the early 70s (while in grad school for (Anglo-American logico-linguistic) philosophy) is the banishment of the character based on Nietzsche to study and live under a German orientalist scholar. Brilliant! That's just the antidote to Nietzsche's "dark side" (maybe George Lucas read it?)