Critic, novelist, philosopher and general polymath George Steiner has died aged 90. Taught multiple languages from an early age by a German Jewish fan genre savvy to the widespread personal threat of Nazism, Steiner was brought up in Paris until his father moved the entire family one month before the Nazis occupied the city. Blessed by this family second sight, Steiner earned degrees from Chicago, Harvard and Balliol before taking up scholarship of his own, via an interlude as lead writer for The Economist. A proponent of Goethe, Steiner remained a popular and charismatic teacher. He was also controversial among peers in the 1950s for bringing up the Holocaust, and for teaching that racism is capable to stir in anyone. He wrote on a variety of topics, from critical dissertations on Dostoevsky, to short story collections where Hitler is found in the Amazon jungle by the Wiesenthal Nazi hunters.
He was a unique hit for theme team Death is Intellectual. Normally if you pick a DDP team, you got a 50/50 chance of winning. But here they had a 25% at best chance of beating the Reaper. But once you add the other teams you got a 33 1/3 chance of winning so you take that 33 1/3 chance minus their 25% chance and there was an 8 1/3 chance of winning their DDP pick. See, Joe, the numbers don’t lie, and they spell disaster for this pick.
Don’t worry, only about 5 people will get that…
23 April 1929 – 3 February 2020