George Steiner

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Just this week, after a friend recommended I look into them, I have started to listen to this critic, who died a week ago.


He's remarkably interesting. I've paused at his comments on memorization, about 13-15 minutes in, to post this. What he says from the experience of people under the Soviet regime -- !

A little later on, listen to him on the need for silence, privacy, and concentration. There's a sweet anecdote about visits to Stockhholm...

And around 27:00 "the masters of science fiction" -- but who was he thinking of?
 
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I remember reading his book Real Presences back in the '90s. Though I'm not religious (to say the least) I found it very powerful. Much of it has stayed with me -- both a certain interpretation of what I would call the poetics of Christianity (what helps us appreciate a religious painting by Raphael or Caravaggio even if we don't share the belief), and the hypothetical notion of a world with only primary texts (novels, poems, paintings) but no literary or art criticism.
 
Listen to Steiner around 5:00 here. It's like Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

 
The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H. is quite good. It's been awhile since I last read it so the details are hazy, but I recall it as a powerful short novel.

Randy M.
 
The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H. is quite good. It's been awhile since I last read it so the details are hazy, but I recall it as a powerful short novel.

I'd love to get my hands on that one, to see how he handled the Hitler monologue. Hopefully it'll be reprinted one day.
 

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