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Real Presences Real Presences by George Steiner
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Real Presences Quotes Showing 1-23 of 23
“The fantastically wasteful prodigality of human tongues, the Babel enigman, points to a vital multiplication of mortal liberties. Each language speaks the world in its own ways. Each edifies worlds and counter-worlds in its own mode. The polyglot is a freer man.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“The inception of human consciousness, the genesis of awareness, must have entailed prolonged 'condensations' around intractable nodes of wonder and terror, at the discriminations to be made between the self and the other, between being and non-being (the discovery of the scandal of death).”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“No phonetic sign, except at a rudimentary, strictly speaking pre-linguistic level of vocal imitation, has any substantive relation or contiguity to that which it is conventionally and temporally held to designate.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“A canon is a guarded catalogue of that speech, music and art which houses inside us, which is irrevocably familiar to our homecomings. And this will include, if honestly arrived at and declared (even if solely to oneself), all manner of ephemera, trivial, and possibly mendacious matter…No manor woman need justify his personal anthology, his canonic welcomes. Love does not argue its necessities.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“There would be no history as we know it, no religion, no metaphysics or aesthetics as we have lived them, without an initial act of trust, of confiding, more fundamental, more axiomatic by far than any “social contract” or covenant with the postulate of the divine. This instauration of trust, this entrance of man into the city of man, is that between word and world.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
tags: story
“It took ten months for me to learn to tie a lace; I must have howled with rage and frustration. But one day I could tie my laces. I profoundly distrust the pedagogy of ease.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“The root-phenomenology of the journalistic is, in a sense, metaphysical. It articulates an epistemology and ethics of spurious temporality. Journalistic presentation generates a temporality of equivalent instantaneity. All things are more or less of equal import; all are only daily. Correspondingly, the content, the possible significance of the material which journalism communicates is 'remaindered' the day after. . . . The utmost beauty or terror shredded a close of day. We are made whole again, and expectant, in time for the morning edition.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“There would be no history as we know it, no religion, no metaphysics, politics or aesthetics as we have lived them, without an initial act of trust, of confiding, more fundamental, more axiomatic, by far than any 'social contract' or covenant with the postulate of the divine. this instauration of trust, this entrance of man into the city of man, is that between word and world.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
lion neither roars nor defecates.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“The news brought by annunciations not only stays new; it can be unendurable in its ambiguity.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
Anything can be said and in consequence, written about anything.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“Only language knows no conceptual, no projective finality.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“any coherent understanding of what language is and how language performs, . . . any coherent account of the capacity of human speech to communicate meaning and feeling is . . . underwritten by the assumption of God's presence.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“Of these recognitions and needs, of their constantly recursive formulation and fulfillment, comes the canon. From the talismanic quickening of being which is ours when we experience, when we live the major text, the master-painting or sculpture, the necessary music, the syllabus is made.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“A sentence always means more. Even a single word, within the weave of incommensurable connotation can, and usually does.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“Wheere they do not press factitious claims to theory and the theoretical and work clearly within their own secondary, subjective and intuitive nature — all three qualifiers being of the utmost bearing — explicative and evaluative 'meta-texts' are both necessary and fruitful.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“We may also conceive of certain explicative techniques as dramatized myths or mythologies of intelligibility, as fables of understanding. . . Narratives and myths are poetic genres. They are not theories.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“No phonetic sign, except at a rudimentary, strictly speaking pre-linguistic level of vocal imitation (onomatopoeia), has any substantive relation or contiguity to that which it is conventionally and temporally held to designate.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“If there is in deconstruction any hint towards valuation, towards the choice of one text for commentary rather than another, it lies merely in the wealth, gamesomeness and ingenuity of the misreadings or emancipations which it occasions.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“For the late-twentieth-century reader, says Borges, Joyce comes before Homer, and the Odyssey is a late commentary on Ulysses.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“We are the 'other ones' whom the living significations of the aesthetic seek out.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“What we must focus, with uncompromising clarity, on the text, on the work of art, on the music before us, is an ethic of common sense, a courtesy of the most robust and refined sort.”
George Steiner, Real Presences
“a syllabus is established over time. . . . it represents cultural, social, pedagogic choices which aim at more or less stable consensus. . . . the syllabus is instinct not only with aesthetic but also with political and political-economic motives and valuations. There is a politics in the marketing of the 'classical' as there is a counter-politics in the bartering of the subversive and the anarchic. A canon, on the contrary, is a profoundly personal construct. . . . A canon is the guarded catalogue of that in speech, music and art which houses inside us, which is irrevocably familiar to our homecomings.”
George Steiner, Real Presences