My Unwritten Books

My Unwritten Books

By one of the world's foremost literary critics, George Steiner's "My Unwritten Books" meditates upon seven books he had long had in mind to write, but never did.

Massively erudite, the essays are also brave, unflinching, and wholly personal.

In this fiercely original and audacious work, George Steiner tells of seven books which he did not write.

Because intimacies and indiscretions were too threatening.

Behind every good book, as in a lit shadow, lies the book which remained unwritten, the one that would have failed better.

Reviews of the My Unwritten Books

Here he writes 7 essays on books he might have written, but didn't. Yet strangely, there is another essay bemoaning the lack of privacy and absence of discretion in our modern world.) Essays on Zionism and our love for animals are tendentious and boring.

Each of the seven chapters covers a book Steiner had hoped to write but did not.

Cada "libro no escrito" trata de cavilaciones, a mi modo de ver, compartidas por todos. Mis favoritos han sido "Los idiomas de Eros" (por mi formación en letras) "Cuestiones educativas" (creo que cada vez somos más los que abogamos por una educación "universal", a cuya materia propuesta le agregaría leer y escribir) y "Del hombre y la bestia" (justo estos días volvía ver 2001: Odisea del espacio, y la escena de los homínidos tomó nueva dimensión).

George Steiner, the polymaths polymath of total cultural mastery, from the pre-Socratics to the postmodern. Envy, sex, linguistics, Jewish identity, the historiography of Chinese scientism, intersectional international educational standards, animal love, political participation, the existence of God Central to Steiner, and perhaps to the authorial ethos writ large, is the idea that there remains something to be said. And although the map can never be perfect, a high sage of comparative literature such as Steiner is in a unique position to identify where these unmapped territories lie. Steiner is a neophile, highly open to new experiences and new ways of experiencing. But as Im sure Steiner understands, the great explorers dont just map out the unexplored, they go there, sometimes at their own peril, sometimes because the peril compels them. Favorite quotes It was Cartesian rationality, Kantian criticism, Hegelian and Marxist scenarios of history which underwrote the exponential deployment of the Western understanding of and mastery over nature. p. 57 What should be the most spontaneously anarchic, individually exploratory and inventive of human encounters, is to a very large degree scripted.

In Alberto Manguel's wonderful compendium of libraries, The Library at Night, he writes: "We can imagine the books we'd like to read, even if they have not yet been written, and we can imagine libraries full of books we would like to possess, even if the are well beyond our reach, because we enjoy dreaming up a library that reflects every one of our interests and every one of our foibles--a library that, in its variety and complexity, fully reflects the reader we are." This idea, and I share his feelings along with the distress of finding books that I would love to have in my library but are too dear for my pocketbook, as expressed in the line "even if they have not yet been written" leads me to a wonderful book that is in my library, My Unwritten Books by George Steiner; described as a "grand master of erudition", he is a both polymath and eclectic as a thinker and writer of prose, both fictional and non-fictional. Beginning with his own anarchic education that saw the onset of his school life with three languages while studying in Manhattan and France. But it is exciting and challenging as George Steiner engages with the reader in sharing ideas in these notes for his "unwritten books". By this I mean the sort of ideal that is characterized best by Alberto Manguel in another of his fascinating books, A Reader on Reading, where he writes: "The ideal library is meant for one particular reader.

Additionally, Steiner accepted the post of Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Geneva in 1974, which he held for 20 years, teaching in four languages. He has since held the positions of the first Lord Weidenfeld Professor of Comparative Literature and Fellow of St. Anne's College at Oxford University from 1994 to 1995, and Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University from 2001 to 2002.

  • English

  • Writing

  • Rating: 3.86
  • Pages: 209
  • Publish Date: January 1st 2008 by New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Isbn10: 0811217035
  • Isbn13: 9780811217033