Paris Review – The Art of Criticism No. 2, George Steiner

Paris Review – The Art of Criticism No. 2, George Steiner.

A fascinating interview

.Quote:For me the personal turning point was Pol Pot. Very few knew at the time about Auschwitz. Yes, there were bastards who knew, there were sons of bitches who knew and who didn’t believe it, but they were a tiny number. Nazi secrecy on this was fantastically efficient. The killing fields were on radio and television while they were going on, and we were told that Pol Pot was burying alive one hundred thousand men, women and children. Now I cannot attach honest meaning to the phrase “to bury alive one man, woman or child.” One hundred thousand! I almost went out of my mind in those days with bitter impotence. I was obsessed with the hope that Russia and America would say, “We don’t know what the rights and wrongs of this incredible geopolitical mess are but forty-five years after the Holocaust or after the gulag, we can’t shave in the morning, we can’t look at ourselves, knowing a hundred thousand people are being buried alive; the razor doesn’t work on the skin. No woman can put on her makeup and think of herself as human. If you don’t stop this, we’ll come in.” I’d hoped ………….

By my bed - À cabeceira
By my bed – À cabeceira (Photo credit: * starrynight1)

 

 

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