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George Steiner

19 April 1990
Spinoza​ and Other Heretics. Vol. I: The Marrano of Reason 
by Yirmiyahu Yovel.
Princeton, 244 pp., $24.50, January 1990, 0 691 07344 9
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Spinoza​ and Other Heretics. Vol. II: The Adventures of Immanence 
by Yirmiyahu Yovel.
Princeton, 225 pp., £29.50, January 1990, 0 691 07346 5
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... the object of a considerable corpus of poetry and fiction in which the strangeness, the sometimes histrionic apartness and reputed violence, of his truth-seeking takes on a romantic, mythical cast. BaruchSpinoza has been a perennial source of imagery or fable. Even those unacquainted with his writings know of a thinker of utmost purity, of utmost abstention from mundanity, who ground optical lenses ...

Horrible Heresies

Jonathan Rée: Spinoza’s Big Idea

16 March 2017
The Collected Works of Spinoza​ Vol. II 
edited and translated by Edwin Curley.
Princeton, 769 pp., £40.95, June 2016, 978 0 691 16763 3
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... BaruchSpinoza​ was fascinated by human follies, and in the Ethica he set out to examine them dispassionately. ‘These turmoils move me neither to laughter nor even to tears,’ he said, ‘but to philosophising ...

Tides of Treacle

James Wood: Nicole Krauss’s schmaltz

23 June 2005
The History of Love 
by Nicole Krauss.
Viking, 252 pp., £12.99, May 2005, 0 670 91554 8
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... parentage, all the Singer and Babel that Krauss has been reading. Gursky looks out of the window: ‘Maybe I was contemplating the sky. Put even a fool in front of the window and you’ll get a Spinoza.’ No one talks like this in real life, unless they are impersonating an idea of how people talk in Singer’s tales. Interestingly, the novel often registers its uncertainty in such passages ...

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