An even more specific comparison can be made to Herman Hesse's "Glass Bead Game," in which he presents an ideal of intellectual mastery of diverse cultural elements in his fictional vision of a future society. He calls the Glass Bead Game an eternal idea
This same eternal idea, which for us has been embodied in the Glass Bead Game, has underlain every movement of Mind toward the ideal goal of a universities litterarum, every Platonic academy, every league of an intellectual elite, every rapprochement between the exact and the more liberal disciplines, every effort toward reconciliation between science and art of science and religion.
In the Glass Bead Game, a book for which he won the Nobel Prize, Hesse formalizes an ideal of high civilization in his fictional, futuristic city of Castalia.
In a monastic setting, painstakingly trained and socially reclusive scholars uphold an age-old tradition of playing what is known as the "Glass Bead Game," the most prestigious demonstration of their ability to draw cultural and symbolic connections among various disciplines - music, art, philosophy, history, science, symbolism and all other forms of study that one might find in a university curriculum.
In competing annually in the Glass Bead Game, the town of Castalia coalesces all of the disciplines into one expression of mastery that unifies the wisdom of broader human civilization. Players of the game become initiates in a mystery, versed in complex symbolism they have spent their lives working tirelessly to master.
The Glass Bead Game, then, is about mastery of mystery. Brilliantly, Hesse never describes the complete working intricacies of a game end-to-end, preserving the concept of mystery about the game itself as its own fictional symbol.