By Associate Professor H. T. Kirby-Smith A.B. M.A.
H. T. Kirby-Smith makes use of Santayana’s 1936 novel, The final Puritan, as either an celebration and a method for bringing into concentration the advanced family members among Santayana’s existence, his character, and his philosophy. starting with an account of Santayana’s a variety of literary kinds and arguing for the importance of Santayana’s writing of philosophy as literature, Kirby-Smith notes that Santayana observed the rational existence as a continuing adjustment and lodging of contradictory claims. And he observed a literary kind as an lodging of the writer to the reader.Chapters 2 via five give you the philosophical historical past for a attention of The final Puritan, summarizing precisely how Santayana assimilated different philosophies into his own.Chapters 6 and seven include Santayana’s three-volume autobiography, his letters and memoirs, and biographical stories through others right into a mental portrait of the writer. All of this is often in instruction for chapters eight and nine, which specialise in The final Puritan. Kirby-Smith closes with a bankruptcy that serves as a criminal short in safeguard of the writer opposed to the tough, occasionally malicious assaults of his critics.
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Extra info for A Philosophical Novelist: George Santayana and the Last Puritan
Page 14 Typical also of James was a stress on the relations and activities between the transitory agglomerations in that vast stream of existence; a particular thing was not self-contained, but was an entity because of its relations with other things. Santayana, however, felt that separateness from other things defined an entity; he distrusted the notion of the mystical relations of one thing to another, and he distrusted intimacy of any sort. But when James talks about awareness or consciousness, he uses a term that one finds everywhere in Santayana's writings: attention.
Collected Essays and Reviews 128) The "womb of unimagined other possibility" sounds somewhat like Santayana's realm of essence, though essence, for Santayana, was never tinged with the faintest hue of actuality or potentiality. Santayana, however, was more in agreement with James about empiricism, although he felt that the empiricists had already carried their "anthropomorphic affirmations" rather far into their investigations. In discussing the course in English philosophy that he took from James, Santayana admits that neither James himselfhowever hearty and friendly his approachnor Santayana, when he later taught the same course, could extract much of value from Locke, Berkeley, and Hume.
His suasive eloquence drew readers to his work and prompted assent, often in the absence of comprehension. But whether you favor Santayana or oppose him, it will not do to speak of his style in the singular. He had numerous styles. As he composed, he was always conscious of putting on a literary performance. This is exactly the problem with his poetry: it is usually occasional, always self-conscious, always mannered, always derivative. " Jumbled together in Santayana's collected poems are high-flown meditations, comic verses improvised for club meetings, Hudibrastic (or perhaps Oliver Wendell Holmesian) satire, and other nonce genres.
A Philosophical Novelist: George Santayana and the Last Puritan by Associate Professor H. T. Kirby-Smith A.B. M.A.