His language and his ideas display even-handedness, seriousness without heaviness, learning without pedantry, and sober charm.
—Naomi Bliven, The New Yorker

By one of the world’s foremost intellectuals, George Steiner’s My Unwritten Books meditates upon seven books he had long had in mind to write, but never did. Massively erudite, the essays are also brave, unflinching, and wholly personal.

My Unwritten Books

Nonfiction by George Steiner

In this fiercely original and audacious work, George Steiner tells of seven books which he did not write. Because intimacies and indiscretions were too threatening. Because the topic brought too much pain. Because its emotional or intellectual challenge proved beyond his capacities. The actual themes range widely and defy conventional taboos: the torment of the gifted when they live among—when they confront—the very great; the experience of sex in different languages; a love for animals greater than for human beings; the costly privilege of exile; a theology of emptiness. Yet a unifying perception underlies this diversity. The best we have or can produce is only the tip of the iceberg. Behind every good book, as in a lit shadow, lies the book which remained unwritten, the one that would have failed better.

Editions: Clothbound

Buy from:

Your Independent Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Clothbound (published January 1, 2008)

ISBN
9780811217033
Price US
23.95
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
192

George Steiner

Contemporary critic and essayist

His language and his ideas display even-handedness, seriousness without heaviness, learning without pedantry, and sober charm.
—Naomi Bliven, The New Yorker
Brilliantly illuminating.
—Alain de Botton
Superb … a phenomenon.
—Edward Said, The Nation
No one now writing on literature can match Steiner as a polymath and polyglot, and few can equal the verve and eloquence of his writing.
—Robert Alter, The Washington Post
A joyful literary enterprise.
The Spectator