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Hermann Hesse

Who He Was

Hermann Hesse was a Nobel prize-winning author who wrote books about the struggle to find morality and meaning in life through merging Western and Eastern ideas. Among his famous books are Siddhartha, a fictionalized account of the life of the Buddha, and Steppenwolf, a semi-autobiographical novel of a tormented intellectual loner in 1930s Germany.

His Works

Here is a page listing his works with a plot synopsis of each one.

The Glass Bead Game

Here is a page about The Glass Bead Game, which is a semi-religious game inspired by Hesse's book with the same title. In the book, a society of intellectuals play the game and lose contact with the real world. The idea of actually creating the game strikes me as totally misguided. Nonetheless, in an absurd manner, the people who actually went to the bother of creating the game demonstrate that Hesse's critique of modern life is correct: people are indeed anxious to do silly things without stopping to consider their worth.

I Ching

Here is an introduction to the I Ching, an ancient Chinese oracle used by Hesse in The Glass Bead Game. You can cast the I Ching using an online JavaScript page at this site, and also link to the most famous translation, the Wilhelm/Baynes one.

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Search Engines Used


Image Sources

Hesse drawing from http://www.alcorngallery.com/Hesse.html
Hexagram 5 image from http://www.junglibrary.org/images/I-Ching%202.jpg