No Passion Spent: Essays

No Passion Spent: Essays George Steiner Is One Of The Preeminent Essayists And Literary Thinkers Of Our Era In This Remarkable Book He Concerns Himself With Language And The Relation Of Language To Literature And To Religion Written During A Period When The Art Of Reading And The Status Of A Text Have Been Threatened By Literary Movements That Question Their Validity And By Computer Technology, Steiner S Essays Affirm The Primacy Of Reading In The Classical SenseSteiner Covers A Wide Range Of Subjects, From The Hebrew Bible, Homer, And Shakespeare To Kafka, Kierkegaard, Simone Weil, Husserl, And Freud The Theme Of Judaism S Tragic Destiny Winds Through His Thinking, In Particular As He Muses About Whether Jewish Scripture And The Talmud Are The Jew S True Homeland, The Parallels Between The Last Supper Of Socrates And The Last Supper Of Jesus, And The Necessity For Christians To Hold Themselves Accountable For Their Invective And Impotence During The Holocaust The first essays I read from Steiner And immediately a favorite This is where hope is forged, in works like this, that knowledge both the beauty and the horror and do not settle for anything less than finding purpose and meaning. The reflections on Chardin s philosophe listant are why I could read him all day. Le por ah que a la mayor a de los lectores este libro les har sentir que todo lo que leyeron antes eran papas fritas mentales Es as , de cierta manera Pero es bueno S lo espero no terminar hablando como l ser deliberadamente hiperb lica jajaja quiero terminarlo ya George Steiner s essays are arduous and demanding, but the reward they offer isthan commensurate with the effort required Every essay in No Passion Spent offers not only ample matter for reflection and incentive to new learning, but also gem like sentences that ring in the memory like lines from the best poems The irreducibility of language, the mystery of words, and the near impossibility of faithful and final translation are a repeated focus in these essays He laments the vitiation of linguistic vitality in a modern environment of cancerous loquacity In his Preface to the Hebrew Bible 1996 he says of Job, It towers above language as it does above the commonwealth in the root and composite sense of our understanding a large claim with echoes in each paragraph as he traces in sequential English renditions of Hebrew scripture a history of awe and immensely fruitful failure Finally, he insists, Hebrew scripture is untranslatable, not only because of the radical ambiguities of ancient Hebrew itself, but perhaps because of some fundamental relationship we have lost with the God who spoke in the whirlwind Homer in English complements the essay on the Hebrew Bible with a similar treatment of what other foundational texts The Historicity of Dreams considers the status of dreams from David to Freud, suggesting that though our dreams participate in universal archetypes and mythic structures, they are informed by the cultures we inhabit The point in insisting on the historicity of dreams is to consider the cost entailed in forfeiting the prophetic in favor of the psychological understanding of dreams offered by Freud The search for the prophetic voice seems to inform much of Steiner s probing reflection on Judaism and Christianity The question of prophecy haunts the Jew in a particular way a matter he explores in Through a Glass Darkly The focus on Jewish history and identity continues in A Note on Kafka s Trial I return to this superb collection of essays periodically for intellectual stimulation and inspiration of a kind I ve found in only a handful of writers and thinkers Most of the essays focus in some way on text Our Homeland, the Text relates Kafka s tales to the Talmud, considering how reading is a process of teasing out the abyss, of circling the unnameable, of weaving meaning on meaning In another essay he considers the Dreyfus Affair and Hitler s rise to power in relation to semitic history The essay that provides a foundation stone or capstone to the collection is the first, The Uncommon Reader, which leads us to reconsider the act of reading as a quasi sacred act The ideal reader, Steiner reflects, is one who enters into such active inner dialogue with the writer that his or her primary impulse in reading is to write a book in response The essay is a heartfelt admonition to read with care in a culture where the leisure and silence required to do so are hard to attain Insistently, Steiner reminds us of what we have lost in a culture of paperbacks, white noise, and digest journalism and holds up for close, careful, and even loving scrutiny an image of the deep repose of the contemplative moment Even as he reminds us what it is to read well, Steiner gives us, in prose that demands responsible response, instruction, incentive and means to do so. Steiner teeters between pessimistic socialist and fascism His atheistic readings of texts is rooted in linguistics and theology, which make for enlightening scholarship, but his opinions are also presented as scholarly when often times they veer into the fantastical That s not to say he s not a delightful read he is When he s really on his game, he s one of the most engaging philologists and grammatologists one could hope to read His linguistic studies challenge and also build on Chomsky s work However, when Steiner focuses his vitriol on class and things like, y know, raceone wonders how a refugee Jew can sound so much like Ernst R din His essay on Chardin s philosophe listant is Steiner at his finest sentimental, anachronistic, unapologetically erudite, and delightfully lulling. See my review of Levinaspour over ice and serve. Passions impunies by George Steiner Steiner s simply a genius who writes in honeyed text Even where I haven t read and or viewed the works or been familiar with the personages under discussion, I m content to be swept along in the buoyant current of his deep and richly learned stream of thought. Destinato ad esperti del settore o studiosi di letteratura, teatro e simili troppo cerebrale per me Da semplice amante della buona lettura ho adorato il primo saggio.

George A Steiner, author on Management and Planning.Dr Francis George Steiner is an essayist, novelist, philosopher, literary critic, and educator He has written for

➵ [Reading] ➷ No Passion Spent: Essays  By George Steiner ➪ –
  • Paperback
  • 448 pages
  • No Passion Spent: Essays
  • George Steiner
  • English
  • 25 May 2019
  • 9780300074406

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