Download e-book for iPad: The Poetry of Thought From Hellanism to Celan by George Steiner

By George Steiner

ISBN-10: 0811219453

ISBN-13: 9780811219457

Together with his hallmark forceful discernment, George Steiner offers within the Poetry of idea his magnum opus: an exam of greater than millennia of Western tradition, staking out his declare for the fundamental oneness of significant suggestion and nice type. Sweeping but distinct, relocating from crucial element to bracing representation, Steiner spans the whole heritage of philosophy within the West because it entwines with literature, discovering that, as Sartre said, in all philosophy there's “a hidden literary prose.”

“The poetic genius of summary thought,” Steiner believes, “is lit, is made audible. Argument, even analytic, has its drumbeat. it truly is made ode. What voices the last hobbies of Hegel’s Phenomenology larger than Edith Piaf’s non de non, a twofold negation which Hegel might have prized? This essay is an try to hear extra closely.”

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Example text

There have been ingenious inquiries into the 51 scenario of the opening lines in major dialogues; but no systematic critical examination of how urban and rural, private or public set­ tings, mises en scene, initiate and inform the subsequent dialectic. I know of no comprehensive look at the role of entrances and exits in the dialogues though these are as paced and shaping as in any great play. The Platonic account of the trial and death of Socrates has long been regarded, together with Golgotha, as archetypal of western tragic art and feeling in toto.

As the Charmides gets under way, Socrates has just returned from the bitter battle at Potidea. " Virtually always Plato signals precise locations, 61 many of whose implicit references or symbolism are bound to elude us. Thus Socrates is walking from the Academy to the Lyceum along the road which skirts the outside of the city walls. He "has reached the little gate where the Panops has its source" when he chances on a cluster of young men eager to engage him.

This conviction, set out with chilling severity in the Laws, has generated numerous pro­ grams of " thought control" and censorship, whether inquisitorial, Puritan, Jacobin, fascist or Leninist. The unfettered poet or novelist energizes, exemplifies the rebellious irresponsibilities of the imagi­ nation. He is always to the left of official sentiment. In the economy, always under pressure, of civic means and obligations the aesthetic can entail both waste and subversion. From this point of view Plato does worse than repudiate the "open society " (Popper's celebrated indictment) : he repudiates the open mind.

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The Poetry of Thought From Hellanism to Celan by George Steiner


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