9.417 "houses of reading" (Steiner)

Humanist (mccarty@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Wed, 27 Dec 1995 18:43:46 -0500 (EST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 9, No. 417.
Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities (Princeton/Rutgers)

[1] From: Hugh Nicoll <hnicoll@funatsuka.miyazaki- (16)
Subject: Re: "houses of reading"

In Humanist 9.415 Jim O'Donnell asked about George Steiner's dream of
"houses of reading". I found the following citation in Lanham's _The
Electronic Word_. It is footnote 9 to chapter 1.

9. George Steiner remarked on the historical connection between books and
monasteries: "I would not be surprised if that which lies ahead for
classical modes of reading resembles the monasticism from which those modes
sprung. I sometimes dream of houses of reading-a Hebrew phrase-in which
those passionate to learn how to read well would find the necessary
guidance, silence, and complicity of disciplined companionship" ("The End
of Bookishness?" Times Literary Supplement, 8-14 July 1988, 754). We may
expect a warm welcome for this monastic alternative to technological

I wonder how others respond to the irony in Lanham's commentary in the
final sentence.

Best wishes to all on Christmas Day.

Hugh Nicoll, Miyazaki Municipal University