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Each time and this is the theological scenario a new group of heretics breaks away; and it always says, look, we have the real message of the master; listen to us, the sacred texts have been corrupted, the Gospel is in our keeping; don’t listen to the church at the centre. In fact, George Steiner goes one step further and calls these movem I came on this book through a tweet by Marc Andreesen, where he claimed that it handily explained a lot of modern-day Weltschmerz.

May 28, Safat rated it did not like it.

Nostalgia for the Absolute by George Steiner

The mythology presents a total explanation of history and humanity’s place in the cosmos; quite often it claims that the analysis is based on science, though it will tend to be unfalsifiable and so not qualify as a scientific theory. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. The consummation of the libido lies in death” absluto.

Carla rated it it was amazing Jun 02, A mythology, in Steiner’s sense of the word, has an easily recognizable beginning and development: His chosen targets are also clearly grorge world movements, and are worth discussing as pseudo-religions.

I find myself disagreeing with Steiner’s overall conclusion. Not as profound as I’d hoped.


To ask other readers questions about Nostalgia for the Absoluteplease sign up. It definitely pointed out the impossibility all systematic philosophy for me. Didn’t leave much to hope for, but Steiner also seems to shrug at the current possibilities.

Sep 10, Feisty Harriet rated it did not like it Shelves: Had I to do it over, I’d skip the first four sections. 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.

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. Paperback64 pages. We recognise in the history of Marxism each of the attributes [ The A good, short book that seems thoroughly sensible. I found this lecture a somewhat unsatisfying conclusion, though it does have neat closing paragraph: Marxism, Freudian psychoanalysis, and Levi-Straussian anthropology.

While Steiner does a decent job in his exploration of the question of whether truth and human survival are coterminous and I agree with his assessment that they are not necessarily so, what Steiner fails to address is whether human beings are truth-capable, that is, whether humans actually possess the requisite faculties to ascertain and understand truth.

Jean d’Arp rated it really liked it Feb 04, I bought this CBC Massey lecture when it first appeared a couple of millennia ago – I’m not informed enough on any of the topics to say whether the author is successful. What the species strives for, finally, is not survival and perpetuation, but repose, perfect inertness. The conclusion of the book is a quite-depressing investigation of science as savior.

Steiner suggests that the Marxist, the psychoanalyst, and the anthropologist would be furious if you told him his beliefs and analyses of the human condition “are mythologies and allegoric constructs directly derivative from the religious world-image which he has sought to replace. But finally — steindr-nostalgia contrary to all intuitive, instinctive expectations, to all our hopes — it is not Eros, not love Summary: Refresh and try again.


Is it the right basis set? Apr 26, Rhys rated it liked it. As he examines these alternatives and replacements, he concludes that each is lacking in fundamental ways and fails to achieve its goal of creating a new system by which man can live and, most importantly for Steiner, each evades the truth of the matter in favor of a new mythology.

The conversation then shifts to a discussion of whether truth and human survival are commensurable and even compatible. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Lists with This Book.

Nostalgia for the Absolute

Francis George Steiner is an essayist, novelist, philosopher, literary critic, and educator. Fall rated it really stenier-nostalgia it Oct 13, The gist is that the author argues that the major intellectual movements he calls them mythologies of 20th century stem from a reaction to the spiritual vacuum left in the wake of the rise of scientific rationalism. He discusses whether the truth, when discovered, will actually be beneficial to humanity.

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