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 get together and a method for bringing into concentration the complicated family members among Santayana’s existence, his character, and his philosophy. beginning 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 sort as an lodging of the writer to the reader.
Chapters 2 via five give you the philosophical heritage for a attention of The final Puritan, summarizing precisely how Santayana assimilated different philosophies into his own.
Chapters 6 and seven contain Santayana’s three-volume autobiography, his letters and memoirs, and biographical experiences through others right into a mental portrait of the writer. All of this can be in instruction for chapters eight and nine, which concentrate on The final Puritan. Kirby-Smith closes with a bankruptcy that serves as a criminal short in security of the writer opposed to the tough, occasionally malicious assaults of his critics.
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Additional info for A Philosophical Novelist: George Santayana and the Last Puritan
Since any essence I happen to have hit upon is independent of me and would possess its precise character if I had never been born, or had never been led by the circumstances of my life and temperament to apprehend that particular essence, evidently all other essences, which I have not led to think of, rejoice in the same sort of impalpable beingimpalpable, yet the only sort of being that the most rugged experience can ever actually find. Thus a mind enlightened by scepticism and cured of noisy dogma, a mind discounting all reports, and free from all tormenting anxiety about its own fortunes, finds in the wilderness of essence a very sweet and marvelous solitude.
James carried Page 15 sportsmanship to cosmic extremes with hisfrom Santayana's point of view, grotesquely overdevelopedsympathy for oddballs, for whom James felt a warm comradeship; he enjoyed a sense of shared purpose not only with humankind, but also with God, whom he was quite happy to welcomeon equal termsas one of the team. Santayana appreciated the variety of the human animal almost to the degree James did, and he displayed great fondness and a great capacity for friendship toward it, but he could not feel that we are all engaged in a common struggle, and he could not bring himself to view human interests as the only important thing in the universe.
9296) So Santayana could see in Schopenhauer an authority for his concept of matter; a fundamental reverence for the cosmic process and for those who also paid it homage; and a sort of helpful fifth-columnist in the enemy territory of German transcendentalism. As a young man, too, he must have found appealing Schopenhauer's passionate interest in the arts; it was another antidote, or palliative, to the bitter medicine of Spinozism. Schopenhauer's power and charm as a literary stylist also set an example that Santayana emulated; he showed that it was possible to conduct philosophical discourse without entering into Kantian obfuscations or attempting the geometrical rigor sought by Descartes and Spinoza.