In the late 1950s, when he was a fellow at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Learning, George Steiner overheard the legendary J. Robert Oppenheimer, at that time head of the Institute, dressing down a young physicist outside his door: ‘You are so young,’ boomed the father of the atomic bomb, ‘and you have already done so little!’ The story appears most recently in A Long Saturday, a series of conversations between Steiner and the French journalist and biographer Laure Adler, but it is one he has told several times before as a kind of apology for his own unflagging industry as an educator, critic, essayist, and novelist. ‘After comments like that,’ he reflects, ‘you could only hang yourself.’
Andrew Fuhrmann reviews 'A Long Saturday: Conversations' by George Steiner and Laure Adler
A Long Saturday: Conversations
by George Steiner and Laure Adler
University of Chicago Press (Footprint), $44.99 hb, 144 pp, 9780226350387
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Andrew Fuhrmann reviews books and theatre. He was an ABR Ian Potter Foundation Fellow in 2013 and is currently writing a book on the plays of Patrick White.
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