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"The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call 
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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
I continue to read Chapter 1, which is much more enjoyable when I read it for pleasure rather than analysis, BTW. A few ideas and observations:

A running theme seems to be one of music as the "voice" of the people. Knecht unquestionably heard his when he played with the Master and "...had experienced his vocation, which may surely be spoken of as a sacrament." (pg. 56) He was found to be a musician of a higher order, beyond someone who merely reads the score and strikes the corresponding keys. It is as though something resonnated to his core. His intellectual growth is marked by a similar internal locus of control: As he prepared for a path different from his classmates he began an internal separation. Likewise, his internal transition facilitated his adjustment to the elite school when some of his classmates withdrew. Knecht, it seems, was not distracted by sentiment or family or emotionalism. He seems very unaffected.

Another significant revelation was the experience Knecht himself describes: His sensory experiences--one olfactory, one auditory--affected him at his core. Perhaps he has begin to senthesize his experiences. Both were powerful for him. I couldn't help but recall that the sense of smell is the most powerful of all psychological triggers: Scents can trigger memories that are deeply buried in the subconscious, possibly evoking visceral responses long repressed. Knecht was said to have grown from within but "at the same tempo" as the outer world. Again, the musical theme characterizes the description of our character.



Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:14 pm
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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
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Another significant revelation was the experience Knecht himself describes: His sensory experiences--one olfactory, one auditory--affected him at his core.


Hesse wants you to know that not all experiences can be communicated....and thus the Music Master responds, "truth is lived, not taught"....

These last few pages of Chapter 1 are extremely important....


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Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:42 pm
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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
Murrill wrote:
hesse wrote:
Center is good, Murill.....Knecht also seeks the center......


I agree: I find I am at my best when I am centered.


We're still early in the book, but it seems that Hesse is beginning to make a point here of moderation. Perhaps he is pointing out that to be centrist is better than swinging to the opposite ends of the pendulum.



Does anyone know of a site that prints novels and poems to be read online for free?



Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:31 pm
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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
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Does anyone know of a site that prints novels and poems to be read online for free?


Not sure if you can use this, but I got a free copy of Siddhartha for my iPad/Kindle today....

Not sure which translation it is yet......

Quote:
We're still early in the book, but it seems that Hesse is beginning to make a point here of moderation. Perhaps he is pointing out that to be centrist is better than swinging to the opposite ends of the pendulum.


Think of moderation as balance, as in the balance of nature, which strives to extinguish extremes in favor of equilibrium ......


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Last edited by hesse on Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
I have a few pages to go in Chapter 1, but at this point Knecht is about to leave his school. This marks the first time he has experienced some regret and loss. In prior transitions he moves seamlessly from point to point. This time he questions his decisions (or lack thereof) and thinks of departed classmates. In what appears to be a foreshadowing, the author teases that his next phase will be less smooth. It occurs to me that this is because he has formed attachments. You may recall that Knecht began to separate internally as he anticipated earlier severances. Not so this time: He has come to value his experiences and relationships. It seems that he may be teetering a bit.



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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
Good point Murrill!

I trust you are finding the story to be far less tedious than the introduction was......


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Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:08 pm
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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
Hesse, I am enjoying the chapter, but that have something to do with my attitude: I find it easier to absorb if I don't try to analyze it to death. Ionce received some good advice from a teacher: Don't force it; just let your mind work.



Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:22 pm
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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
Excellent advice....

Back in the day there was a kids toy called "Chinese Handcuffs". It was a woven, hollow bamboo cylinder that you inserted your left and right forefingers into. If you tried to pull your fingers apart forcefully, the bamboo would only contract and seize your fingers more forcefully.....if you just eased the fingers out in a relaxed manner they emerged easily.....

Great toy!


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Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:53 pm
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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
I remember that toy!



Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:18 pm
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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
hesse wrote:
Quote:
Does anyone know of a site that prints novels and poems to be read online for free?


Not sure if you can use this, but I got a free copy of Siddhartha for my iPad/Kindle today....

Not sure which translation it is yet......

Quote:
We're still early in the book, but it seems that Hesse is beginning to make a point here of moderation. Perhaps he is pointing out that to be centrist is better than swinging to the opposite ends of the pendulum.


Think of moderation as balance, as in the balance of nature, which strives to extinguish extremes in favor of equilibrium ......


@Hesse.....I'm looking for Hesse's poem Hours in the Garden. I'd like to read it. The Ziolkowski Foreword mentions that Hesse gives somewhat of an explanation of the GBG in the poem and that Hesse means the game to be much more unorganized than the Introduction seems to lead the reader to believe.



Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:46 pm
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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
I'll try to find it for you....


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Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:07 pm
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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
Here's a link to some of Hesse's poems.....

http://www.poemhunter.com/hermann-hesse/

I would also suggest you fast forward to the back of the book, to Knecht's Posthumous Writings, which contain 2 or 3 poems directly related to TGBG.....


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Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:59 am
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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
@Hesse....thanks. I did read the poems at the back, but particularly want to read Hours in the Garden.

I'm on Ch.3 now. Would you suggest reading the Lives at the back of the book now or later, or, maybe it doesn't make any difference?



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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
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I'm on Ch.3 now. Would you suggest reading the Lives at the back of the book now or later, or, maybe it doesn't make any difference?


I would not suggest that, I think to get the full effect of those lives requires finishing the story.....


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Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:07 pm
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Post Re: "The Glass Bead Game", Chapter 1, The Call
Music remains a dominant theme. It seems that Knecht's time with the Master--the periods spent in the shared language of music--enlightens and enhances his spirit. He is introduced to the notion that things are not what they seem: The "free" courses are anything but; the passionate are actually at odds with their center. "What you call passion is not spiritual force, but friction between the soul and the outside world." (pg. 82) I like that: The ebullient and effusive are just loud and misdirected; they are not centered.

I call myself a spiritual atheist," which some might think is an oxymoron. I do not subscribe to an organized religion, to a diety, to dogma: The story is mine. I have often described spirituality as my relationship with the universe, one in which I am right-sized, neither too large or too small. But I think that the author puts it well when he says that "...every brick derives its meaning only from its place in the whole."



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