George steiner at the new yorker

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george steiner at the new yorker

At the New Yorker by George Steiner

Between 1967 and 1997, George Steiner wrote more than 130 pieces on a great range of topics for The New Yorker, making new books, difficult ideas, and unfamiliar subjects seem compelling not only to intellectuals but to “the common reader.” He possesses a famously dazzling mind: paganism, the Dutch Renaissance, children’s games, war-time Britain, Hitler’s bunker, and chivalry attract his interest as much as Levi-Strauss, Cellini, Bernhard, Chardin, Mandelstam, Kafka, Cardinal Newman, Verdi, Gogol, Borges, Brecht, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, and art historian/spy Anthony Blunt. Steiner makes an ideal guide from the Risorgimento in Italy to the literature of the Gulag, from the history of chess to the enduring importance of George Orwell. Again and again everything Steiner looks at in his New Yorker essays is made to bristle with some genuine prospect of turning out to be freshly thrilling or surprising.
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George Steiner on the meaning of Music

Our George Steiner Problem -- and Mine

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In fact, they were doing exactly that. Steiner, who turns 80 next month, has poured forth millions of words on the fate of art and literature in modern times. But his provocative lifelong inquiry into the sources of human cruelty and creation does not alone account for his controversial status. He taught at Cambridge for several years, then accepted a professorship at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. After that, he shuttled back and forth between prestigious universities here and in England before retiring from teaching. All the while, he published dozens of critical monographs, a handful of novels and hundreds of essays, articles and reviews. But even more than these brief uproars, what once made Steiner such a contested figure was the question of just what type of bearer and interrogator of high culture he was.

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May 14, The front flap of George Steiner at The New Yorker , published as a lovely paperback by New Directions earlier this year, claims that the book "collects fifty-three of his fascinating and wide-ranging essays from the more than one hundred and thirty he has contributed to the magazine. The essays are certainly fascinating and wide-ranging, but there are only twenty-eight of them. Perhaps Robert Boyers, the editor, has selected another twenty-five for a later volume. We can certainly hope so.

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