Of all the great Western novelists of the twentieth century, the
German writer Hermann Hesse is arguably one of the most important
for educationists. Paying particular attention to Hesse's last
novel, The Glass Bead Game, and its immediate predecessor, The
Journey to the East, this book suggests that Hesse was a man of the
West who turned to the idea of 'the East' in seeking to understand
himself and his society. From these later texts a rich, complex
theory of educational transformation emerges. From West to East and
Back Again examines the role of dialogue and uncertainty in the
transformative process, considers utopian and ritualistic elements
in Hesse's work, and explores the notion of education serving as a
bridge between life and death. Hesse's novels address philosophical
themes and questions of enduring significance, and this book will
appeal to all who share an interest in human striving and growth.
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