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Gra szklanych paciorków de Hermann Hesse
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Gra szklanych paciorków (original: 1943; edição: 1992)

de Hermann Hesse

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5,911851,256 (4.13)212
Set in the 23rd century, "The glass bead game" is the story of Joseph Knecht, who has been raised in Castalia, the remote place his society has provided for the intellectual elite to grow and flourish. Since childhood, Knecht has been consumed with mastering the Glass Bead Game, which requires a synthesis of aesthetics and scientific arts, such as mathematics, music, logic, and philosophy, which he achieves in adulthood, becoming a Magister Ludi (Master of the Game).… (mais)
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Título:Gra szklanych paciorków
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The Glass Bead Game de Hermann Hesse (1943)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 85 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Set in the future, the 23rd century, I think, the setting is Castalia. The story is the last by Hermann Hesse and is called a work of Science Fiction. I don't see the SF part of it but it also can be described as fantasy and fictional biography. It also is full of Hesse's interest in Eastern philosophy and Western religion. The author received the Nobel probably because of this book in 1946. Joseph Knecht is the young initiate into the monastic secular life of Castalia. The men study various subjects and the Glass Bead game links them. The reader is never told how this game works but it involves all knowledge and especially music and mathematics. Knecht eventually leaves the society and the high position of Magister Ludi when he becomes disillusioned with a society that really is not helping society. He then takes on the role of teacher of his friends wild son. The biography section of the book soon ends. The rest of the book is some stories by Knecht which really are short stories. Over all this book did not engage me. I read it and perhaps will read it again some day but so far, I am not hippy enough to enjoy Hesse's writing. This being the second book by the author for me. ( )
  Kristelh | Feb 7, 2021 |
The Glass Bead Game is an intellectually stimulating book that changes form as you progress through it and contemplate it in retrospect. Here Hesse has created a timeless work of science fiction where the boundary of our existence is stretched not in a technological dimension but in spiritual and epistemological ones. In this well-illustrated landscape a profoundly personal telling is given of the story of the eternal soul-seeking man and his journey towards reconciliation with the higher power — be that reason, nature, God, or all three.

(spoilers below)

The story is set some hundreds of years in the future in the province of Castalia, an idyllic embodiment of Goethe’s Pedagogical Province. Castalians are raised to venerate scholarly pursuit above all else and hold no other end in mind. The province exists apart from the rest of the world in an academic haven where the seven liberal arts are studied and all “applied” arts such as science, history, and politics are eschewed. Castalia is a utopia of the mind straight out of Plato’s Republic. The men of this province form an ascetic Order of secular monks who devote their lives to this endeavor, forswearing romance, procreation, worldly pleasures, artistic creation, and any relationship with God.

One bastion of creativity remains: the eponymous Game. This Game, like most other novum in science fiction, is (artfully) hand-waved into existence as an academic exercise where the complete canon of man’s creation can be drawn upon and synthesized into some unified whole. Works from astronomy to architecture to abstract algebra to the Aeneid are distilled down to their essence, represented as symbols, and pieced together during Games to elucidate the unity of knowledge. Or something like that.

The story is presented as the biography of one Joseph Knecht. The book is composed of a rather dry and academic introduction, a faithful and unimaginative (the Castalian style) account of the life of Knecht from boyhood to death, selected poems from his student years, and Knecht’s three “Lives,” fictional vignettes of reincarnation in a different era written by Knecht as a young man.

Knecht’s biography starts out relatively straightforward. In this way it’s similar to other science fiction novels with particularly splendid worlds where some time is spent exploring that world before the story starts in earnest. Simply learning about the wonderful world of Castalia and the intriguing Game and being inspired by the intensely erudite environs provides enough stimulation and tension to allow this section to stand on its own. I found this part of the book a joy to read. A deep reverence for knowledge and love for music reverberates through its pages that infected me as a reader.

On the surface Knecht is an exemplary Castalian, excelling in each phase of life and reaching the summit of Castalian society when he is selected as the Magister Ludi (Master of the Game), the official in charge of representing and advancing the Game. Slowly, however, as we become acquainted with Knecht through his own writings and correspondences, we build an awareness that our narrator is as unreliable as Nabokov’s Humbert Humbert. As Humbert can only see the events of Lolita through his own infatuated and perverse eyes, Knecht’s biographer can only tell his story through the rigid intellectual framework of Castalia where speculation on the subject’s mental state is inimical to a faithful portrayal of his life. In fact, the story opens with an outright statement to that effect:


“Certainly, what nowadays we understand by personality is something quite different from what the biographers and historians of earlier times meant by it. For them, ... the essence of a personality seems to have been deviance, abnormality, uniqueness in fact all too often the pathological. We moderns, on the other hand, do not even speak of major personalities until we encounter men who have gone beyond all original and idiosyncratic qualities to achieve the greatest possible integration into the generality, the greatest possible service to the suprapersonal.” (pg. 12)


As we realize that our narrator cannot be trusted to provide a faithful and complete account of Knecht’s life we learn that the man we are explicitly introduced to, the ideal Castalian who effortlessly climbs the ranks of the province’s hierarchy, for whom love for province and love of Game supercede all else, is a creation of fiction.

This realization can be interpreted as the main story arc in The Glass Bead Game. Knecht’s biography ends two thirds of the way through the novel but his development as a character continues on past his death. The book is arranged such that we are presented with increasingly intimate pictures of Knecht, each new piece informing our understandings and interpretations of the prior ones.

Starting with the academic introduction, we meet the man as an abstract name fitted into the history of Castalia and of the Game. We learn of him in terms of his accomplishments and his lasting impacts on the province and its people and its favored pastime.

Then we get an arms-length account of his life. We see him in each successive stage and we come to know him as a man may know his colleagues; that is, as a black box of inputs and outputs that clearly define his interactions with his surroundings but leave his inner life a mystery.

Finally, from the poems of his student years and his three published Lives, we are granted visitation rights into the man’s head. We learn that Joseph Knecht is innately discontented with the neutered secular search for knowledge promoted within Castalia. For a while he is able to satiate his hunger for spiritual development through the Game itself. A masterfully played Glass Bead Game brushes up against the divine but remains abstract, esoteric, and mired in aesthetic concerns. The chasm between Knecht and the ideal Castalian is defined by this dissatisfaction with the Game, the most perfect culmination of knowledge and creation man has yet devised. The ideal Castalian is content with this ersatz representation of heaven on Earth and Knecht is not.

These heretical thoughts lead Knecht to renounce his post and exile himself from Castalia. In doing so he seeks not to renounce his belief in the Castalian system but to take measures to protect that system from its own decadence and the long decline of senescence that only he has the foresight to see on the horizon. Influenced by a Benedictine monk under whom he studied before becoming Magister Ludi, Knecht sees the impermanence of the Castalian system and its desperate need to stand not on the banks but in the full flow of the stream of history. Viewed against that 18-century-old Benedictine Order, Knecht understands the three-century-old Castalian society as a mere sapling that will wither and die if it does not fight vehemently for its continued existence and for the ability to continue the progression of the Glass Bead Game toward the sublime.

A prominent feature of Castalian society is meditation. The brand of meditation practiced appears to lie somewhere between the Buddhist style of the undisturbed pond and the ancient Greek practice of solitary reflection. Meditation is an integral part of the Game: players and observers are encouraged to meditate after each move is played to better internalize it.

Fitting, then, that The Glass Bead Game itself should benefit from such an approach. Under an interpretation of its separate sections as standalone pieces or as pieces that relate only in subject, the story is enjoyable enough, but it truly shines with constant recompilation of all preceding material.

Every so often I read a book after which it feels wrong to pick up a new one without sitting Shiva for it to let it diffuse into my being. The Glass Bead Game is one of those. ( )
1 vote gordonhart | Dec 13, 2020 |
Un viaggio quasi trascendentale, che conduce un potenziale lettore, avvezzo a una società materialista e dedita solo ad attività capaci di una qualche utilità concreta a spalancar lo sguardo (e l'intelletto) nel contemplare un'altra società possibile, di uomini dedito ad attività apparentemente prive di utilità reale, a studi particolari e specialistici. Una visione diversa del vivere associato e del percorso che la vita può prendere. Un inno alla libertà personale, alla scelta che, anche quando si discosta dalla forma mentis imperante, sempre esprime il senso più profondo dell'individualità, un percorso di vita teso a coltivare lo spirito anziché gli appetiti, perché il mondo intero possa fare un passo in avanti e, libero da sovrastrutture imposte, riscoprir se stesso. Un auspicio, forse... ( )
  Carlomascellani73 | Oct 30, 2020 |
This book was unbelievably boring: and I usually like classic literature. It is the fictional biography of a man in a future society where the predominant religion is "The Glass Bead Game"; which seems to be a form of board game based around finding connections between classic literature, music, and art. Christians exist in this world too, and the book spends a lot of time comparing The Glass Bead Game, Christianity, and "meditation" (Hinduism?). I would say the primary theme of the book is pedagogy; since the book spent pages and pages talking about how great teachers are, how teacher-student relationships should work, how teachers can help reluctant pupils, etc.

There are also three short stories at the end, which are fictional even within the context of the book, about the main character living in different time periods. I found this fact extremely annoying. I didn't care about the main character at all, and I was not interested in reading the author's fanfic of his own book. I did read them, for the sake of completeness, and they are all also about pedagogy and the effect religion has on people.

I found this book insufferably dull. None of the characters have any humanizing moments that reveal their personalities. The world building is extremely one-dimensional and lacking in scope (there is only one female character in the book, a bad mother who makes her son weak with her indulgence, despite the fact that this book was written in a time when many women were going to college and making great strides in the arts and sciences). The main character has no flaws; and whenever it seems like he has a flaw, the narration goes to great pains to explain how its totally not a flaw and he is so good and wise nobody can understand him. The ending is abrupt, and unsatisfying. I found it irritating that the narrator skipped over major portions of the main character's life because supposedly "documentation is missing"; but relates verbatim conversations, and even what he thought as he was dying. How? There is no documentation of that!

I couldn't help comparing this book to Anna Karenina; which is also very moralistic, and also contains long essays crammed into the story, but has genuine characters with personalities and motives, not just puppets to sing the praises of the main character. I think I like Tolstoy better after reading this. ( )
1 vote Rachel_Hultz | Aug 15, 2020 |
haha I guess I wast intelligent enough for this... I just thought it was pretentious and semi-deep.

(also the numerous amount of 'we don't have an exact transcript but have recollected some of the conversation by blabla' - proceeds to give exact word-by-word transcript with character's feelings... ) ( )
1 vote stormnyk | Aug 6, 2020 |
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> LE JEU DES PERLES DE VERRE, de Hermann Hesse (Calmann-Lévy), n'est pas un roman d'anticipation, mais une exploration de la vie intérieure. Il n'est pas question de savoir si la possibilité, dans un avenir proche ou lointain, de l'établissement d'une province où tous les raffinements de la culture se seraient réfugiés en une sorte de monachisme laïc est purement utopique et si, en réaction contre l'effusion de bestialité et de sottise, le jeu sublime des "perles de verre" peut devenir le symbole du salut de l'esprit humain.
Une utopie contient toujours, même sur un fond de désenchantement, une bonne part d'optimisme ; il n'y en a aucun dans le roman de Hermann Hesse, et la tragédie de son héros, Joseph Valet (ce qui est la traduction du nom allemand du personnage : Knecht), ne nous laisse plus qu'un seul espoir : que toute chose soit illusion, maya, comme disent les hindous, et que l'action ait aussi peu d'importance que la non-action.
Il a paru durant les dix dernières années peu de livres aussi importants que celui-ci ; peu de livres capables de remuer aussi profondément l'inquiétude de tout homme d'aujourd'hui partagé entre la tentation de la sécurité intellectuelle, de la paix spirituelle qu'offre la province idéale de Castalie, à l'écart de tous les orages de la conscience et de la société, et la tentation de participer à la vie émouvante, impure, dangereuse, d'un monde où l'action n'est pas la soeur du rêve.
adicionado por Joop-le-philosophe | editarLe Monde, Marcel Brion (Dec 23, 2005)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (42 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Hermann Hesseautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Ausma, TineTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Bļodnieks, ĢirtsTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Houwink ten Cate, AnnemarieTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kaila, KaiTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Sinervo, ElviTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Winston, ClaraTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Winston, RichardTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ziolkowski, TheodorePrefácioautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Апт, Соломон Константин…Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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. . . For although in a certain sense and for light- minded persons non-existent things can be more easily and irresponsibly represented in words than existing things, for the serious and conscientious historian it is just the reverse. Nothing is harder, yet nothing is more necessary, than to speak of certain things whose existence is neither demonstrable nor probable. The very fact that serious and conscientious men treat them as existing things brings them a step closer to existence and to the possibility of being born. (From Joseph Knecht's holograph translation of Albertus Secundus tract. de cristall. spirit. ed. Clangor et Collof. lib. I, cap. 28).
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It is our intention to preserve in these pages what scant biographical material we have been able to collect concerning Joseph Knecht, or Ludi Magister Josephus III, as he is called in the Archives of the Glass Bead Game.
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But now for the first time I had heard the inner voice of the Game itself, its meaning. It had reached me and since that moment I have believed that our royal game is truly a lingua sacra, a sacred and divine language.
One who had experienced the ultimate meaning of the Game within himself would by that fact no longer be a player; he would no longer dwell in the delight in invention, construction and combination, since he would know altogether different joys and raptures. Because I think I have come close to the meaning of the Glass Bead Game, it will be better for me and for others if I do not make the Game my profession, but instead shift to music.
God sends us despair not to kill us; He sends it to us to awaken new life in us.
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Set in the 23rd century, "The glass bead game" is the story of Joseph Knecht, who has been raised in Castalia, the remote place his society has provided for the intellectual elite to grow and flourish. Since childhood, Knecht has been consumed with mastering the Glass Bead Game, which requires a synthesis of aesthetics and scientific arts, such as mathematics, music, logic, and philosophy, which he achieves in adulthood, becoming a Magister Ludi (Master of the Game).

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