14 of 24 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Lessons of the Masters (Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) (Hardcover)
A George Steiner book presents a certain source of excitement for me. This book collects the Norton Lectures Steiner gave on the relations between master and student, master and matter mastered, and masters and their ability to transmit mastery. Steiner's favorite familiar players Plato, Dante, Heidegger, Celan and Pessoa take various turns throughout the excogitations. The first two chapters, one on Plato and the other on Faustus, provided me with the most joy. I felt an odd sense of disenchantment in the chapter on native grounds, in which Steiner dissipates his energy on the American scene by discussing Knute Rockne and American football. This collection is necessarily selective. I imagine many others, though few as capable, would have chosen different masters and other relationships to discuss fruitfully. Steiner proclaims the essential validity of the face to face relations that can occur in a paedagogic setting of any sort and ubiquity of some form of erotics among the involved. Curious in their extended absences from the text are heroes Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound who did much to teach at least one generation writing.