George Steiner

(b. 1929)

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(1929– ),

American critic and author, born in Paris, and educated at the Sorbonne and the universities of Chicago, Harvard, and Oxford. His critical works include The Death of Tragedy (1961); Language and Silence (1967); In Bluebeard's Castle: Some Notes Towards the Re‐Definition of Culture (1971); After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation (1975); and Real Presences: Is There Anything in What We Say? (1989). One of Steiner's recurrent themes is the way in which the 20th‐cent. experiences of totalitarianism and world war, and, more specifically, of the Holocaust, have destroyed the assumption that literature is a humanizing influence. His novella The Portage to San Cristobal of A. H. (1979; dramatized by Christopher Hampton, 1982) puts in the mouth of Hitler (who is supposed to have survived the war and taken refuge in South America) the argument that the Jews (through monotheism, Christianity, and Marxism) had provoked their own destruction. Other works include Proofs and Three Parables (fiction, 1992) and Errata: An Examined Life (1997), a memoir.

Subjects: Literature.

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