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In Bluebeard's Castle

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"Four impressive lectures about the culture of recent times (from the French Revolution) and the conceivable culture of times to come. Mr. Steiner's discussion of the break with the traditional literary past (Jewish, Christian, Greek, and Latin) is illuminating and attractively undogmatic. He writes as a man sharing ideas, and his original notions, though scarcely cheerful, have the bracing effect that first-rate thinking always has."--New Yorker "George Steiner comes to the conclusion . . . that classical humanism is at an end. But he consoles us with the prospect that the intellectual characteristic of the European tradition is irrepressible. It will go on even if it means finding more truths that kill. The seventh door in Bluebeard's castle offers us, in the bankruptcy of hope, the dignity of daring."--New York Times Book Review "The British critic's own notes toward a redefinition of modern culture in which the massacre of the Jews is symbolic of the revolt of anti-reason."--New York Times Book Review (New and Recommended) "Few observers of the Post-Modernist cultural revolution can mach George Steiner in breadth of knowledge. . . . In Bluebeard's Castle, which consists of the four T.S. Eliot Memorial Lectures which Steiner gave at the University of Kent in April, 1971, offers the profound if unpleasant thesis that the holocausts of the mid-twentieth century were brought about by a desire for subconscious retribution against the impossible ideals imposed upon Western culture by the monotheism of the Hebraic tradition, the moral rectitude of Christianity, and the messianic socialism of Marxism."--Journal of Modern Literature "George Steiner is a latter-day Edmund Wilson, at least as gifted and much more learned. . . . He presents us with a dark prospect for our culture. But his own existence is a proof that the culture has not altogether crumbled or split. His own existence is a cultural phenomenon in which we can take a decent pride."--C.P. Snow "An all too convincing diagnosis of what is happening to the 'culture' as America leads the world in rejecting wisdom and knowledge for more comfort, which is turning out to be comfortless."--Louis Finkelstein

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