Books: Master of the Game

MAGISTER LUDI (502 pp.)—Hermann Hesse—Holt ($5).

When Hermann Hesse won the Nobel Prize in 1946, few U.S. readers had ever heard of him. Magister Ludi, his last and his greatest book, is not likely to make Hesse popular with them, but it will at least serve to give them an idea of what his dry, remote, ironic and highly individual writing amounts to. Hesse was born in Germany 72 years ago, wrote autobiographical novels and lyric poetry in his youth—he is considered one of the best German lyric poets since the age of Goethe...

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