This is Hesse's last and greatest work, a triumph of imagination which won for him the Nobel Prize for Literature. Described as "sublime" by Thomas Mann, admired by André Gide and T. S. Eliot, this prophetic novel is a chronicle of the future about Castalia, an elitist group formed after the chaos of the 20th-century's wars. It is the key to a full understanding of Hesse's thought.
Something like chess but far more intricate, the game of Magister Ludi known as the Glass Bead Game is thought in its purest form, a synthesis through which philosophy, art, music and scientific law are appreciated simultaneously. The scholar-players are isolated within Castalia, an autonomous elite institution devoted wholly to the mind and the imagination... (from the cover)