The Glass Bean Game is an ultra-aesthetic game which is plated by the scholars, creamed off in childgood and nurtured in elite schools, in the province of Castalia.
The Master of the Glass Bead Game, Joseph Knecht, holds the most exalted office in Castalia. Ge personifies the detachment, serenity and aesthetic vision which reward a life dedicated to perfection of the intellect.
But can, indeed should, man live isolated from hunger, family, children, women, in a perfect world where passions are tamed by medication, where academic discipline and order are paramount?
This is Hermann Hesse's great novel. It is a major contribution to contemporary philosophic literature and has a powerful vision of university, the inner unity of man's cultural ideals and his search for personal perfection and social responsibility.