George Steiner The Times Literary Supplement - Essay

The Times Literary Supplement

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Steiner's themes in Language and Silence] are established in the first two sections, which fill nearly 200 pages and might really have been used, with a select sprinkling of the other items, to make a more tightly argued book. The problems set out there are important, often disturbing and largely neglected ones, and it is part of the author's unique merits as a critic that he keeps them always in the forefront of his mind. His concern is with language as the richest and closest expression of the human community at any given time or place—hence his interest in Lévi-Strauss, who treats human activities as analogous to language—and particularly with those instances where he feels that language has been...

(The entire section is 1315 words.)