Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Past, Present, Future or whatever else it’s called

A friend of mine recommended ‘The Glass Bead Game’ by Herman Hesse. I’ve tried reading Hesse’s ‘Siddhartha’ and it seemed like a sordid ordeal to me. Understandably, I was wary of picking up this book. So, googled the dope on Hesse’s work and, well, it will take some initiation before I take it up. It seems to be set in an unidentified period and involves a game that has specific rules, but these rules aren’t spelt out clearly, but only alluded to. The game involves an expert (Magister Ludi) and, as with other oeuvres of Hesse, there are plenty of philosophical mechanics to bring out essence of spiritual crises, travesties of soul-search in society, etc. etc. Suffice to say, I don’t think I can tackle the subject just yet.

Although it did get me thinking on the dimension of time. The future, it seems, arrives too quickly. It’s funny when I think that at one time ‘1984’ was ‘futuristic’, and now, it is more than two decades ago. If I try to imagine the future and think of what sort of gadgets there might be, it’s difficult. Because most of the gadgets have already been invented. Sometimes I think that whatever can be thought about has already been thought about. There is no new ground to cover.

But maybe if you really look waaay into the future, you’ll see the tip of a teeny nubble of something new. It’s the beginning of time’s circuitous cervix. So, when you look ahead, you don’t see the future; you see the past.

Maybe I should try to read ‘Siddhartha’ again. The ‘Glass Bead Game’ seems to be out of my league.

3 comments:

Neha said...

I read Siddhartha, and it came across as a difficult read. It felt similar to what would feel if I, having never visited Bombay, were telling you the ways around Bombay by looking at a map. It had a very subjective experience as the topic; and came across as if the author has never really experienced what he is talking about.

phish said...

if you are so keen to try your hand at herman hesse, there are others which are far more beautiful and evocative.

try peter camenzind for starters.

and no salman rushdie isn't that beautiful at all. can't say that about his choice of women though :)

Neville said...

Ahh. Phish to the rescue... Thank you.
Also where is that tag, lady?