In Bluebeard’s Castle

In Bluebeard’s Castle

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"It is not the literal past that rules us, save, possibly, in a biological sense. It is images of the past. These are often as highly structured and selective as myths. Images and symbolic constructs of the past are imprinted, almost in the manner of genetic information, on our sensibility. Each new historical era mirrors itself in the picture and active mythology of its past or of a past borrowed from other cultures. It tests its sense of identity, of regress or new achievement, against that past. The echoes by which a society seeks to determine the reach, the logic and authority of its own voice, come from the rear. Evidently, the mechanisms at work are complex and rooted in diffuse but vital needs of continuity. A society requires antecedents. Where these are not naturally at hand, where a community is new or reassembled after a long interval of dispersal or subjection, a necessary past tense to the grammar of being is created by intellectual and emotional fiat."

George Steiner

  • ISBN: 978-953-8075-40-7
  • Dimensions: 128x200 mm
  • Number of pages: 172
  • Cover: paperback
  • Year of the edition: 2018
  • Original title: In Bluebeard's Castle. Some Notes Towards the Redefinition of Culture
  • Original language: English
  • Translation: Giga Gračan

“Four impressive lectures about the culture of recent times (from the French Revolution) and the conceivable culture of times to come. Mr. Steiner’s discussion of the break with the traditional literary past (Jewish, Christian, Greek, and Latin) is illuminating and attractively undogmatic. He writes as a man sharing ideas, and his original notions, though scarcely cheerful, have the bracing effect that first-rate thinking always has.” – New Yorker

“In Bluebeard’s Castle is a brief and brilliant book. An intellectual tour de force, it is also a book that should generate a profound excitement and promote a profound unease like the great culturalists of the past. Steiner uses a dense and plural learning to assess his topic: his book has the outstanding quality of being not simply a reflection on culture, but an embodiment of certain contemporary resources within it. The result is one of the most important books I have read for a very long time.” – New Society