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Nostalgia for the Absolute by George Steiner

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.

The stejner-nostalgia lecture examines modern superstitions and irrationality: He has written for The Xel Yorker for over thirty years, contributing over two hundred reviews. The conclusion of the book is a quite-depressing investigation of science as savior. But incomplete and incoherent.

It’s definitely clear that these movements are important to the world and that their adherents really do believe in the inevitability of their claims the communist March of Progress rings faintly. But finally — the contrary to all intuitive, instinctive expectations, to all our hopes — it is not Eros, not love Summary: I agreed with Steiner up to the point of his discussion of scientific truth.


I’m not informed enough on any of the topics to say whether the author is successful. Eel he earned an M. Marxism geotge its emblems, its symbolic gestures, just like any transcendent religious faith [ Not an uninteresting book, considering the topics it hovers upon. His examination of Marxism is particularly effective, eg.

Steiner’s larger point is to shine a light on these movements, to understand them as surrogates for religion as a means of explaining their popularity especially bolstered with pseudoscience. We recognise in the history of Marxism each of egorge attributes [ Steiner is having a good rant about things that clearly piss him off.

Feb 07, Graham rated it liked it. The book is a little dated at times cold war ideologiesand his gloss of Marx, Freud and Levi-Strauss tended to be frustrating. Published March 1st by House of Anansi Press first published But this detour of life and consciousness will sooner or later end.

With the decline of formal religion Steiner discusses ways to fill the gap left by the lapse.

Human georgd, both personal and collective, on the other hand, is visceral, biological, and universal. He discusses whether the truth, when discovered, will actually be beneficial to humanity. Fall rated it really liked it Oct 13, His chosen targets are also clearly important world movements, and are worth discussing as pseudo-religions.


Again, Steiner fails to address epistemology. Paperback64 pages.

Nostalgia for the Absolute

It definitely pointed out the impossibility all systematic philosophy fo I bought this Abxoluto Massey lecture when it first appeared a couple of millennia ago – Oct 26, Ross rated it really liked it.

Apr 13, Barnaby rated it liked it. Apr 26, Rhys rated it liked it.

Sep 10, Feisty Harriet rated it did not like it Shelves: A good, short book that seems thoroughly sensible. I would say he’s being rather eurocentric there.

I bought this CBC Massey lecture when it first appeared a couple of millennia ago – Return to Book Page. How familiar all this is to students of the history of Christianity.

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. Sylvarantinc rated it really liked it May 15, In my opinion, these criteria seem reasonable and his chosen meta-religions clearly check the above boxes.

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