From West to East and Back Again

An Educational Reading of Hermann Hesse’s Later Work

  • Peter Roberts

Part of the Educational Futures Rethinking Theory and Practice book series (EDUFUT, volume 51)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-v
  2. Peter Roberts
    Pages 1-7
  3. Peter Roberts
    Pages 9-23
  4. Peter Roberts
    Pages 25-39
  5. Peter Roberts
    Pages 41-54
  6. Peter Roberts
    Pages 55-64
  7. Peter Roberts
    Pages 65-73
  8. Peter Roberts
    Pages 75-91
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 93-101

About this book


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.


philosophy of education educational theory

Editors and affiliations

  • Peter Roberts
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

Bibliographic information