The Poetry of Thought

The Poetry of Thought

From Hellenism to Celan

By George Steiner

New Directions Publishing Corporation, Hardcover, 9780811219457, 223pp.

Publication Date: January 24, 2012

With his hallmark forceful discernment, George Steiner presents in The Poetry of Thought his magnum opus: an examination of more than two millennia of Western culture, staking out his claim for the essential oneness of great thought and great style. Sweeping yet precise, moving from essential detail to bracing illustration, Steiner spans the entire history of philosophy in the West as it entwines with literature, finding that, as Sartre stated, in all philosophy there is a hidden literary prose. The poetic genius of abstract thought, Steiner believes, is lit, is made audible. Argument, even analytic, has its drumbeat. It is made ode. What voices the closing movements of Hegel s Phenomenology better than Edith Piaf s non de non, a twofold negation which Hegel would have prized? This essay is an attempt to listen more closely. "

About the Author
George Steiner is an essayist, writer, critic, and cultural philosopher. After fleeing the increasing anti-Semitic violence in Europe, he spent a large part of his youth in the United States. He studied at Harvard and Oxford. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, and he is the author of many books, including In Bluebeard s Castle, Language and Silence, After Babel, and The Poetry of Thought.