The Poetry of Thought: From Hellenism to Celan

Overview

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 ...

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The Poetry of Thought: From Hellenism to Celan

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Overview

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.”

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Editorial Reviews

Rain Taxi
“The Poetry of Thought is denser in its language, more disquieting in its arguments, more in line with Steiner’s stronger works, such as Heidegger (1978) and many of the essays collected in No Passion Spent (1996). Steiner’s overall subject here is the interlocked nature of poetic language and philosophical thought, and how the intellect manifests itself through this connection.”
The Washington Post - Robvert Alter
“No one now writing on literature can match Steiner as polymath and polyglot, and few can equal the verve and eloquence of his writing.”
The New Yorker
“Illumination and attractively undogmatic”
Robvert Alter - The Washington Post
“No one now writing on literature can match Steiner as polymath and polyglot, and few can equal the verve and eloquence of his writing.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811219457
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 1/24/2012
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

George Steiner, author of dozens of books (The Death of Tragedy, After Babel, Martin Heidegger, In Bluebeard’s Castle, My Unwritten Books, George Steiner at the New Yorker, The Poetry of Thought), is Extraordinary Fellow of Churchill College at Cambridge University and one of the world’s foremost intellectuals. He has been acclaimed “superb” (Edward Said, The Nation), “dazzling” (London Review of Books), and “a remarkably powerful writer” (The Christian Science Monitor).
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