Lucio Pozzi


By George Steiner, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1989, 236 pp.

As one who is sick and tired of the epidemic of mechanistic explanationitis raging through our culture, I welcomed George Steiner’s Real Presences. It represents an attempt to synthesize the chances a renewed attention to emotions and transcendence might have in regenerating our thinking today.

I beamed at Steiner’s description of our culture as secondary and parasitic. I agreed with his calling our communication “rotten with lifeless clichés [and] meaningless jargon,” and with his referring to the “contrived obscurantism and specious pretensions to technicality” of the post-Structuralist and deconstructive epigones of Jacques Derrida (whom he in fact respects) as a symptom of our cultural disease.

In search of an alternative to the dominance of secular positivist methods of “proof and verification” in

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