© January 29, 1997

The Glass Bead Game

(Magister Ludi)

(Cover of Henry Holt edition of 1990)

translated from the German "Das Glasperlenspiel" by

Richard and Clara Winston

with a foreword by

Theodore Ziolkowski

Copyright © 1990 Henry Holt and Company, Inc.

115 West 18th Street
New York, New York 10011
First Owl Book Edition - 1990

Designed by Patricia de Groot

Cover design and illustration copyright © 1990

by Mirko Ilic and Nicky Lindeman

ISBN 0-8050-1246-x


The Glass Bead Game, for which Hesse won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946, was the author's last and crowning achievement, the most imaginative and prophetic of all his novels. It is the evolution - and resolution - of the terrors and dilemmas of Steppenwolf, Demian, and Siddhartha. Setting this story in some distant, post-World War III future, Hesse tells of an elite cult of intellectuals occupying themselves with an elaborate game that employs all of the cultural and scientific knowledge of the ages. Described by Thomas Mann as a "treasure of purest thought," admired by André Gide and T.S. Eliot, this prophetic novel has striking contemporary application and is the key to a full understanding of Hesse's thought.

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