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My Unwritten Books

George Steiner

5 Reviews

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Biography: general, Autobiography: literary, Prose: non-fiction

George Steiner, the eminent professor of English at Cambridge and Geneva universities, has outlined seven books he has never written, but has always wanted to write, in seven sections.

In this fiercely original and audacious work, George Steiner tells of seven books which he did not write. Because intimacies and indiscretions were too threatening. Because the topic brought too much pain. Because its emotional or intellectual challenge proved beyond his capacities.

The actual themes range widely and defy conventional taboos: the torment of the gifted when they live among, when they confront, the very great; the experience of sex in different languages; a love for animals greater than for human beings; the costly privilege of exile; a theology of emptiness.

Yet a unifying perception underlies this diversity. The best we have or can produce is only the tip of the iceberg. Behind every good book, as in a lit shadow, lies the book which remained unwritten, the one that would have failed better.

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Praise for My Unwritten Books

  • has sections that stop the heart with their passion and eloquence - INDEPENDENT - Boyd Tonkin

  • These essays reveal an inescapable humanity - GUARDIAN

  • bewitching; as personal as it is philosophical...thankfully, this is a touching, revealing, enlightening book that he did write - INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

  • An important addition to his pubished works - BIG ISSUE IN THE NORTH

  • An unusual and thought-provoking book that deals with repressed feelings, hang-ups and confusion. - GOOD BOOK GUIDE

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George Steiner

George Steiner is an Extraordinary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge and Professor of English at the University of Geneva.

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