George Steiner Quotes

George Steiner Picture Quote image saying: He is no true reader who has not experienced the reproachful fascination
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He is no true reader who has not experienced the reproachful fascination of the great shelves of unread books, of the libraries at night of which Borges is the fabulist. He is no reader who has not heard, in his inward ear, the call of the hundreds of thousands, of the millions of volumes which stand in the stacks of the British Library asking to be read. For there is in each book a gamble against oblivion, a wager against silence, which can be won only when the book is opened again (but in contrast to man, the book can... Read more »

George Steiner

George Steiner Picture Quote image saying: Cheap music, childish images, the vulgate in language, in its crassest sense,
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Cheap music, childish images, the vulgate in language, in its crassest sense, can penetrate to the deeps of our necessities and dreams. It can assert irrevocable tenure there. The opening bars, the hammer-beat accelerando of Edith Piaf's Je ne regrette rien - the text is infantile, the tune stentorian, and the politics which enlisted the song unattractive - tempt every nerve in me, touch the bone with a cold burn and draw me into God knows what infidelities to reason, each time I hear the song, and hear it, uncalled for, recurrent inside me.

George Steiner

George Steiner Picture Quote image saying: The capacity for imaginative reflex, for moral risk in any human being
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The capacity for imaginative reflex, for moral risk in any human being is not limitless; on the contrary, it can be rapidly absorbed by fictions, and thus the cry in the poem may come to sound louder, more urgent, more real than the cry in the street outside. The death in the novel may move us more potently than the death in the next room. Thus there may be a covert, betraying link between the cultivation of aesthetic response and the potential of personal inhumanity.

George Steiner