Very sad to read that George Steiner died at 90 years old. Perhaps more than any critic, Steiner was able to cover vast philosophical, literary and historic ground in concise and readable prose. His essays, particularly the four that make up In Bluebeard’s Castle simultaneously open up the world while filling the reader with lament about how little we know and how much there is to study in so little time.
Steiner approached the world with an artist’s sensibility in times increasingly dominated by the soft and hard sciences. He was a deep reader and a generous explicator. In a world adrift in the shallows, we needed George Steiner.