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George Steiner: A Reader Paperback – May 28, 1987

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0195050684 ISBN-10: 0195050681 Edition: Reprint

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Editorial Reviews


"[Steiner] is a remarkably powerful writer, as essays like 'The Hollow Miracle' and 'Postscript'...attest....[Here] he offers passionate, dexterous, erudite arguments."--The Christian Science Monitor

"George Steiner is arguably the most influential cultural mediator writing in English today. Through his essays he has exposed readers...to the latest news from the intellectual and literary fronts of Europe, in a style that is at once lucid and eloquent."--World Literature Today

"A plenteous feast--various and served up with intelligence and style...An intelligent, deeply felt humanism characterizes Steiner's work; a tradition of intelligence and style lives in this prolific man."--Los Angeles Times

"Steiner is a phenomenon. Reading him over the years, and now in portable form, I'm struck with the energy and, at is best, the relentless concentration of his thought."--Edward W. Said, The Nation

"No one now writing on literature can match [Steiner] as polymath and polyglot, and few can equal the verve and eloquence of his writing....[He] has commented with fine perceptiveness on a dizzying range of literary texts and cultural issues."--Robert Alter, The Washington Post Book World

"Steiner's style is by turns richly allusive, metaphoric, intensely concerned, prophetic, apocalyptic--and almost always captivating."--The National Review

"[Steiner is] in a class above most critics."--The Hudson Review

About the Author

George Steiner is Extraordinary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Geneva. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships, and honorary doctorates.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (May 28, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195050681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195050684
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,271,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Scott Lahti on December 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
...or closer to the Wizard of Oz? In my original review of this book (NATIONAL REVIEW, July 26, 1985), I closed by asserting that Steiner "earns that backhanded compliment deserved by few academic critics these days: He is never dull." It is true that for a man of Steiner's prodigious learning and effervescence, verbal theatricality is not so much a tic as a conditioned reflex - decades of striving after the will-o-the-wisp of the Deeper Truth of the Cultural Crisis of Our Time have led him to pronounce dozens of "Eurekas" since his early days as the youngest fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, while still in his 20s (he was, and still is, the Orson Welles of belles-lettres). Authentic tragic drama as a Western tradition has fallen mute, overtaken by the radical catastrophes of twentieth-century politics (THE DEATH OF TRAGEDY, 1960). The German language has been hollowed out from within by the totalitarian lies of the Nazi years, and lies unredeemed by "The Hollow Miracle" (the title of an essay repinted in LANGUAGE AND SILENCE, 1967) of postwar German economic resurgence. The failure of the humanities to humanize Western, and more specifically, Central European, society (think of the commandant proceeding home from his day-job in the death camp to weep rhapsodic by evening over an exquisite rendition of Schubert), as seen in the world-historic catastrophe of the destruction of European Jewry, tells of a radical rupture in Western culture against which bland liberal meliorism must prove impotent.Read more ›
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