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Nostalgia for the Absolute by George Steiner

Mar 18, David Withun rated it really liked it Shelves: While there is much that can be said here, my own thoughts largely fall into two areas: To ask other readers questions about Nostalgia for the Absoluteplease sign up. Didn’t leave much to hope for, but Steiner also seems to shrug at the current possibilities.

George Steiner doesn’t go into details for why movements with these characteristics resonate so deeply with humanity. Steiner is having a good rant about things that clearly piss him off.

His inescapable conclusion is that science has actually driven more people into the arms of pseudoscience through recent-ish discoveries like the inevitable heat-death of the universe and the acknowledgement that scientific advancement might come at the expense of humanity and not in service of it e.


The truth, I believe, does have a future; whether man does is much less clear. I found this lecture a somewhat unsatisfying conclusion, though it does have neat steiner-notsalgia paragraph: With the decline of formal religion Steiner discusses ways to fill the gap left by the lapse.

Steiner concludes from his discussion that truth is paramount and that man should seek truth even at the risk of his own destruction. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.


Nostalgia for the Absolute

Books by George Steiner. But I cannot help having a hunch as to which of the two is more important. Refresh and try again.

Steiner argues that this decay and the failure of the mythologies have created a nostalgia for the absolute that is growing and leading us to a massive clash between truth and human survival.

He lives in Cambridge, England, See also: We recognise in the history of Marxism each of the attributes [ As he examines these alternatives and replacements, he concludes that each is lacking in fundamental ways and fails to achieve its goal of absluto a new steinernostalgia by which man can live and, most importantly for Steiner, each evades the truth of the matter in favor of a new mythology. Is that really the complete basis set?

All in all, I enjoyed this book a great deal and I recommend it to anyone interested in the state of thought in the modern world. It definitely pointed out the impossibility all systematic philosophy for me.

The consummation of the libido lies in death” p. Steinerauthor on Management and Planning. Is it the right basis set?

The fourth lecture examines modern superstitions and irrationality: Jean d’Arp rated it really liked it Feb 04, He has written for The New Yorker for over thirty years, contributing over two hundred reviews.

Steiner examines three modern mythologies which attempt to fill the gap, the hunger for absolute truth, left by the decline of religion: Fall rated it really liked it Oct 13, What the species strives for, finally, is not survival and perpetuation, but repose, perfect inertness.


Feb 09, Arash Kamangir rated it it was amazing. In addition, he seems to leave us with a scenario reminiscent of the famous Zen koan “if a tree falls in the woods and there is no one to hear it, does t make a sound? Marxism, Freudian psychoanalysis, and Levi-Straussian anthropology. The conversation t Steiner begins by examining the impact of the “death of God” and the decline of Christianity as well as the emergence of various alternatives to and replacements of Christianity in the modern world.

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Scientific rationalism induced the death of Christian religion in Western Europe and the popularity of aliens, communism, eastern religion, Freud, and structural anthropology can be explained as a direct replacement of the role religion used to geodge. The mythology presents a total explanation of history and humanity’s place in the cosmos; quite often it claims that the analysis is steiner-noetalgia on science, though it will tend to be unfalsifiable and so not qualify as a scientific theory.

His conclusion reminded me of the first paragraph from Lovecraft’s Call of Cthulhu: