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Cover for George Steiner at The New Yorker

George Steiner at The New Yorker

George Steiner


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An education in a portmanteau: George Steiner at The New Yorker collects his best work from his more than 150 pieces for the magazine.

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.

Praise For George Steiner at The New Yorker

The essence of Steiner’s magic—I don’t really know what else to call it—has been his singular ability to articulate and elucidate, through nuance, allusion, and a peerless precision of language, those Phoebus-rays of wisdom that lie beyond wisdom and almost always elude words.
— Nick Tosches - Bookforum

[He] seems to know most things worth knowing and is acutely perceptive and energetically serious about them all.
— Jeff Simon - The Buffalo News

A remarkably powerful writer.
— The Christian Science Monitor

A keenly discriminating literary mind.
— The New York Times Book Review

New Directions, 9780811217040, 304pp.

Publication Date: January 30, 2009

About the Author

Extraordinary Fellow of Churchill College at Cambridge University and the author of dozens of books (The Death of Tragedy, After Babel, Martin Heidegger, In Bluebeard’s Castle), George Steiner is one of the world’s foremost intellectuals.