Language and Silence Author:George Steiner Language is "the defining mystery of man." — Primarily this is a book about language -- about language and politics, language and the future of literature, about the pressures on language of totalitarian lies and cultural decay, about language and other codes of meaning (music, translation, and mathematics); about language and silence.
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George Steiner's essays include evaluations of modern writers and critics such as Kafka, Gunter Grass, Sylvia Plath, Claude Levi-Strauss, F.R. Leavis and Georg Lukacs. "Night Words -- on pornography -- and "The Hollow Miracle" -- on the role of Nazism in the history of the German language -- provoked sharp controversy on their first appearance and have continued to be widely discussed. Other essays, such as "The Retreat from the Word", raise issues of profound philosophical importance and have already passed into general awareness. And "Silence and the Poet" poses a challenge to the very notion of literature.« less