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Disenchantment: George Steiner and Meaning of Western Civilization After Auschwitz (Religion, Theology and the Holocaust) Hardcover – April 11, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"Chatterley is correct in maintaining that Steiner's ideas warrant serious pondering. She provides that and much more in her pioneering study of the life and work of one our most creative literary and cultural critics. Whether one agrees with them fully or not, George Steiner's contributions to post-Holocaust thought have been seminal, and anyone seeking a well-informed, judiciously-drawn exposition of his work can hardly do better than to consult this volume." --Alvin Rosenfeld, Religion and Literature

"Chatterley's book on George Steiner performs an essential service. It is at once a close reading of a diverse and compelling body of cultural and literary criticism and a corrective to a great load of nonsense that has too often been lavished upon Steiner's work. Alert to the controversy generated by particular essays and books, Chatterley has kept her eye chiefly on Steiner's own formulations and seen to the heart of the dark yet generous vision informing the work of a writer who emerges, in her telling, as a compelling and indispensable thinker."--Robert Boyers, Skidmore College

"Catherine Chatterley provides an illuminating examination of George Steiner's life and work on language and literature. An important contribution to literary and cultural studies, Disenchantment traces important intellectual influences and the impact of the Holocaust on George Steiner's thinking and confirms his critical and intellectual legacy."--Lillian Kremer, Professor Emerita of English, Kansas State University

"Focusing on the centrality of the Holocaust to Steiner's understanding of language, literature, hermeneutics, and the fate of Western culture, Chatterley provides an admirably clear introduction to the biographical context and trajectory of Steiner's immense -- and immensely important - oeuvre."--Ronald A. Sharp, Professor of English, Vassar College

"Dr. Chatterley has written the first comprehensive account of George Steiner's influential oeuvre spanning more than half a century. Disenchantment rightly focuses on Steiner's compelling idea of a western 'post-culture' after Auschwitz. Her theme is developed with lucidity and sophistication in relation to Steiner's biography and fiction, his theories of translation, and, above all, his cultural criticism inspired by The Frankfurt School. The book should be read by anyone interested in post-Holocaust thought."--Bryan Cheyette, Chair in Modern Literature, University of Reading, UK

From the Author

Disenchantment was a 2011 National Jewish Book Award Finalist.

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More About the Author

Catherine Chatterley is a respected historian, an award-winning writer, and a frequent lecturer in Canada and the United States who trained at The University of Chicago.

Dr. Chatterley specializes in the study of modern European history, with particular emphasis on the history of Antisemitism and the dynamic relationship between Jews and non-Jews in Western history. She has been a media commentator in public debates over the design and content of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the growth of anti-Israel activism on Canadian campuses.

Syracuse University Press published her first book, Disenchantment: George Steiner and the Meaning of Western Civilization After Auschwitz, in their series on Religion, Theology, and the Holocaust, edited by Steven T. Katz. Disenchantment was named a 2011 National Jewish Book Award Finalist in the category of Modern Jewish Thought and Experience. Alongside Juan Asensio in France and Ricardo Gil Soeiro in Portugal, Catherine Chatterley is recognized as the leading North American scholar of George Steiner, an internationally renowned cultural critic, and has published two chapters in international collections about his work.

Her second book is entitled The Antisemitic Imagination and is nearing completion while a third study called Killing the Holocaust: Jewish Experience Under Siege is in development.

Dr. Chatterley has taught history at the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, and Concordia University. She is currently the Director of the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism (CISA), which she founded in 2010.

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