Skip to content

The Poetry of Thought From Hellenism to Celan

by George Steiner

cover image for

A new book by George Steiner is always an event.

The New York Times

From one of the world's foremost thinkers, a vision of the inseparable nature of Western philosophy and its living language.

The Poetry of Thought From Hellenism to Celan

Nonfiction by George Steiner

With his hallmark forceful discernment, George Steiner offers The Poetry of Thought as his magnum opus: an examination of more than two millennia of Western culture that argues on behalf of the essential oneness of great thought and great style. Sweeping yet precise, moving from essential detail to bracing illustration, Steiner spans the entire history of philosophy in the West as it entwines with literature, finding that, as Sartre stated, in all philosophy there is “a hidden literary prose.”

"The poetic genius of abstract thought,” Steiner believes, “is lit, is made audible. Argument, even analytic, has its drumbeat. It is made ode. What voices the closing movements of Hegel’s Phenomenology better than Edith Piaf’s non de non, a twofold negation which Hegel would have prized? This essay is an attempt to listen more closely.”

published November 22nd, 2011