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Language and Silence - Steiner, George - Yale University Press
Literary Studies

Language and Silence

Essays on Language, Literature, and the Inhuman

  • George Steiner
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Out of Print.


"When Steiner deals with transactions between languages . . . as in discussion of various English versions of the Bible or Robert Lowell`s translation of Racine, we see a keenly discriminating literary mind at work on what it loves."óRobert Gorham Davis, New York Times Book Review

"An extraordinarily sharp, brilliant, and thoughtful discussion of the strange conditions into which modern writing has worked itself. . . . Few, very few writers today have as much that is worthwhile to say on today`s writing as does the author."óJoseph G. Harrison, Christian Science Monitor

"Whoever has valued and needed this book for its insights into some one particular matter . . . will upon rereading discover the astounding breadth of attention in [it]: from Homer to Thomas Mann, from Marshall McLuhan to The Warsaw Diary of Chaim Kaplan. In each of these essays, a single sentence, and often more than one, can endlessly provoke and illuminate thought."óJohn Felstiner

How do we evaluate the power and utility of language when it has been made to articulate falsehoods in certain totalitarian regimes or has been charged with vulgarity and imprecision in a mass-consumer democracy? How will language react to the increasingly urgent claims of more exact speech such as mathematics and symbolic notation? These are some of the questions Steiner addresses in this elegantly written book, first published in 1967 to international acclaim.  

George Steiner was recently Lord Weidenfeld Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature at Oxford University.  

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