Friday, July 9, 2010

1943: Magister Ludi.... to Two Serious Ladies

Chronology of World, British and American Literature

Hermann Hesse. German. 1943. Novel. Magister Ludi: The Glass-Bead Game. Bildungsroman. Utopian society in the 23rd century. Highest form of the game played without beads. Game represents fusion of active, contemplative disciplines, music, math, art, science. Becomes master of the game. Doubts the virtues of pure intellect. Renounces order. Dies, the result of a life dedicated entirely to the world of the spirit.

George Bernanos. French. 1943. Novel. Monsieur Ouine (The Open Mind). Hero comes to loathe his own flesh and feels tormented scorn for all mankind.

Eugene O’Neill. American. 1943. Play. A Moon for the Misbegotten. Unfulfilled love between an alcoholic and a farm woman. Autobiographical, his brother.

Betty Smith. American. 1943. Novel. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Life of a sensitive child growing up in a Brooklyn slum with her parents.

Jane Bowles. American. 1943. Novel. Two Serious Ladies. Two women seek opposite goals of sainthood and self-fulfillment. Each achieves the opposite of what she sought. 

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