The Grasshopper: Games, Life and Utopia
Published: September 1990© 1978
192 Pages, 6.12 x 9.20 x 0.45 in
Aesop’s improvidnt Grasshopper is the protagonist of this delightful tour-de-force, a playful yet thoroughly serious philosophical dialogue in which he develops, Socratically, a utopian world-view: that life is, ideally, to be thought of as consisting of games, and that the good life should be concerned with play, not work. In arriving at his conclusions, the Grasshopper takes the reader on a mischievous but disciplined romp through the moral philosophy of gaming, including considerations of espionage, make-believe, “zero-sum” strategy, cheating, lovemaking, competition, horseplay, mountain climbing, professionalism, riddles, seduction, and much, much more. Wittily illustrated by Frank Newfeld, THE GRASSHOPPER is itself the kind of game of which it treats: a spirited and challenging intellectual adventure that is also, quite simply, good fun.
“…as much a delight to the eye and imagination as a challenge to the intellect.” —Toronto Globe and Mail
“At last—a work of modern linguistic philosophy that you can safely give to your mother for Christmas…”—University Publications
“…a lively, theatrical, Pirandellian, non-academic…It is a serious philosophic conquest.”—Canadian Journal of Political and Social Theory
“Although this book’s initial popularity may be accounted for its wit, charm, and visual beauty, its long-term significance will be assured by the delicacy and depth of its philosophic insight.” —Quill and Quire