George Steiner and Rod Dreher

Piazza Navona, Roma, Italia

George Steiner and Rod Dreher

Today, at The American Conservative, Rod Dreher finishes off a long item noting:

This is a time and this is a place in which we do not need politicians and pundits, but rather poets, priests, and prophets. We need those who can read the signs of the times, and reveal to us the phoenixes rising from the corpses of swans and the source of life and renewal beyond the leaf-choked fountains.

Along these lines was George Steiner, who over twenty years ago plead:

What we need (I have argued this elsewhere) are not ‘programs in the humanities,’ ‘schools of creative writing,’ ‘programs in creative criticism’ (mirabile dictu [a wonderful tale], these exist). What we need are places, i.e., a table with some chairs around it, in which we can learn again how to read, how to read together… We need ‘houses of and for reading….’ Servants to the text…[i]



[i] “ ‘Critic’/ ‘Reader’.” New Literary History. Vol. 10. No. 3. (Spring 1979.) 423–52 at 452 also in George Steiner: a Reader. (1987).



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