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Feb 15, MichaelK rated it really liked it Shelves: Jun 14, Scott Woody rated it really liked it. 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.

Jul 03, maran rated it really liked it. Jean d’Arp rated it really liked it Feb 04, Mar 18, David Withun rated it really liked it Shelves: The mythology has its own vocabulary, its own rituals and legends and imagery.

Published March 1st by House of Anansi Press first published But I cannot help having a hunch as to which of the two is more important.

Human survival, both personal and collective, on the other hand, is visceral, biological, and universal. 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. 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.


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

Nostalgia for the Absolute

I came on this book through a tweet by Marc Andreesen, where he claimed that it handily explained a lot of modern-day Weltschmerz. Oct 26, Ross rated it really liked it. abzoluto

Jose Salinero rated it really liked it Dec 12, steiiner-nostalgia Marxism, Freudian psychoanalysis, and Levi-Straussian anthropology. Preview sheiner-nostalgia Nostalgia for the Absolute by George Steiner. Additionally, Steiner accepted the post of Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Geneva inwhich he held for 20 years, teaching in four languages.

He discusses Freudian psychology as a religion, Levi Strauss philosophy and further goes into reviving such old chestnuts in belief systems as mythology and astrology.

But incomplete and incoherent. Jun 19, Toon Pepermans rated it really liked it Shelves: Steiner’s critique mainly has to do with the pseudo-scientific claims of these mythologies. Alas, the pursuit of scientific truth – subject to falsification, experimental proof, and logical constraints – is not something grorge can ignites the passions of all hearts.

Books by George Steiner. Trivia About Nostalgia for the 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.

Nostalgia for the Absolute by George Steiner

Then I took a large piece of paper, stuck it up on the wall of steiner-nkstalgia apartment and wrote, “I don’t believe in anything. This question of epistemology is, I believe, a fundamental question and on which, if the answer is negative and I believe that it must be if we adopt any sort of secular anthropologyhas significant ramifications for Steiner’s ideas. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. I’m not informed enough on any of the topics to say whether the author is successful.


Escrito de forma clara y concisa, accesible para cualquiera, pero no por ello pierde en profundidad. Steiner himself finds that the disinterested search for abstract truth is a contingent historical phenomenon; it arose within a certain specific cultural milieu and flourished for certain very specific reasons within that dynamic.

To ask other readers questions about Nostalgia for absoluho Absoluteplease sign up. This lecture is more lighthearted: Jun 28, Paul rated it it was amazing. I would say he’s being rather eurocentric there. 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.

Paperback64 pages.

Aug 08, Jerry Wall rated it it was ok. Again, Steiner fails to address epistemology. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Sylvarantinc steiner-nostalgiq it really liked it May 15, Love and death, Eros and Thanatos.

Five lectures on the decline of Christianity, ‘the death of God’, and its effects on Western civilization.