I first read George Steiner in my twenties, and he made a lasting impression. He was a remarkable critic; his writing was transparent and his learning prodigious. Recently, after many years, I reread In Bluebeard’s Castle: Some Notes Towards the Redefinition of Culture, and can report that it still has the eloquence and power that I remembered. One of my favorite Steiner books, his controversial novella The Voyage to San Cristobal of A.H., forms the backdrop for the best discussion of Steiner that I know: “Interrogation at the Borders: George Steiner and the Trope of Translation” by Ronald Sharp, former Dean at Vassar. Other works by Steiner that I recommend are After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation and Real Presences.
So, why didn’t the music say no?