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From: Peter Stephenson <pws@ifh.de>
Subject: (urth) Chinese pillow
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 16:54:16 +0200

(I've been away, which is why I'm referring to something discussed
several megabytes ago.)

The Chinese pillow episode in Peace has a possible literary precursor
in `Das Glasperlenspiel (The Glass Bead Game)', by Herman Hesse. It's
slightly annoying that you never find out much about the game itself.
I found the book very readable, though, and it had to me the sense of
saying something deeper than appears in the narration.  The story is
actually in an appendix: one of the `Lebenslauefe' (which can mean
anything from `life history' to `resume') supposedly written by the
main character of the novel, Joseph Knecht --- the book is essentially
his biography.  I've forgotten what it's called, but I think it's the
third, and is set in India rather than China.  Maybe it's well-known
in Eastern mythology?  It's rather different from the the main story,
which has no obvious fantasy element except for being set in an
invented future.  Actually, my favourite of the three is the one
called `Der Beichtvater (The Confessor)'.  (BTW, I think the book
sometimes translated as `Magister Ludi', but I may have made that up.)

Peter Stephenson <pws@ifh.de>       Tel: +39 50 844536
WWW:  http://www.ifh.de/~pws/
Gruppo Teorico, Dipartimento di Fisica
Piazza Torricelli 2, 56100 Pisa, Italy

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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