George Steiner Quotes

A collection of quotes by George Steiner.

George Steiner was a highly influential literary critic and cultural philosopher known for his profound insights into the relationship between language, literature, and human existence. Born on April 23, 1929, in Paris, he grew up in an intellectual Jewish family, witnessing the rise of Nazism and eventually fleeing to the United States during World War II.

Steiner obtained a classical education in French lycees and later graduated from the University of Chicago, where he studied literature and philosophy. He went on to earn a Ph.D. at the University of Oxford, focusing his research on the works of French author Honoré de Balzac. This became the foundation of his first book, "Tolstoy or Dostoevsky," which showcased his distinctive analytical style.

Throughout his career, Steiner published numerous influential works, including "The Death of Tragedy" (1961), "After Babel" (1975), and "Grammars of Creation" (2001). He wrote extensively on topics such as the nature of language, translation, the Holocaust, and the role of literature in society. Steiner's writing often explored the limitations and potential of human communication, emphasizing the moral and ethical responsibility of writers and readers.

Steiner taught at various prestigious institutions, including the universities of Geneva, Cambridge, and Harvard, and was a highly sought-after lecturer. His erudition, eloquence, and distinctive accent made him a captivating speaker. He had a profound impact on generations of students and scholars, challenging conventional thinking and inspiring critical engagement with the written word.

George Steiner passed away on February 3, 2020, leaving behind a rich intellectual legacy that continues to shape literary and cultural studies to this day.