“A Game, for example, might start from a given astronomical configuration, or from the actual theme of a Bach fugue, or from a sentence out of Leibniz or the Upanishads, and from this theme, depending on the intentions and the talents of the player, it could either further explore and elaborate the initial motif or else enrich its expressiveness by allusions to kindred concepts”

I wish I had more time to talk about games. All I can really say is that Hesse never fully describes the Glass Bead Game, which has led many readers to invent their own versions, yet also makes the game much more believable in the book. The game unfolds into a philosophy as potent – and totalising – as Christianity. It seems that I like the sci-fi that gives object lessons in how high abstraction generates behaviour and personality, what with Hesse and the others I’ve mentioned so far.

Matt Webb, S&W, posted 2006-04-06 (talk on 2006-02-23)