“As near as an ordinary, secular spirit can come to Pentecost”

“Why have I been remunerated, given money … to read with others, to study Phaedrus or The Tempest? … My doctoral seminar in Geneva ran, more or less unbroken, for a quarter of a century. Those Thursday mornings were as near as an ordinary, secular spirit can come to Pentecost. By what oversight or vulgarization should I have been paid to become what I am? When … it might have been altogether more appropriate for me to pay those who invited me to teach?”

– George Steiner, Lessons of the Masters (Cambridge, Mass., 2003), p. 19

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