George Steiner

Richard Kearney

in Debates in Continental Philosophy

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print August 2004 | ISBN: 9780823223176
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235155 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

George Steiner

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George Steiner believes that there is in the history of Europe a very strong central tradition, which is by no means an easy one to live with. It is that of the Roman Empire meeting Christianity. It strikes Steiner that Europe is a constellation of cities, which no other place on earth, no other civilization, not even the United States, has ever known. When one comes to Europe, what strikes one immediately is the great diversity of all the cities, each one with its historical moment of grandeur, its historical past being engraved in stone, and there to be admired. Although Paris is the epitome of a national city, it is more of an exception. Steiner's theory is that France, and Paris as representative of France, are exceptions in Europe, and the French will take a long time to become aware of that; they will probably have to change their ambitions and rethink their nation and their sense of nationality in order to adjust to the new European standards. Here, Steiner talks about the shared culture as the culture of the city.

Keywords: George Steiner; history; Europe; cities; Paris; culture

Chapter.  4664 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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