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 party and a way for bringing into concentration the advanced family among Santayana’s lifestyles, his character, and his philosophy. starting with an account of Santayana’s a variety of literary types and arguing for the importance of Santayana’s writing of philosophy as literature, Kirby-Smith notes that Santayana observed the rational lifestyles as a continuing adjustment and lodging of contradictory claims. And he observed a literary type as an lodging of the writer to the reader.Chapters 2 via five give you the philosophical history 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 can be in guidance 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 cruel, occasionally malicious assaults of his critics.
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Extra resources for A Philosophical Novelist: George Santayana and the Last Puritan
A gradual evolution of style carried him through the five volumes of The Life of Reason; the landscape of his prose became a little more rugged and displayed a sparser efflorescence of verbal posies. In his middle years, he swung from the vigorous expository criticism of Three Philosophical Poets to the Hazlitt/Lamb manner of the informal essays in Solioquies in England and then back to the spirited excoriation of philosophical idealism in Egotism in German Philosophy. It is true that throughout these stylistic shiftings of fieldsome would say, tergiversationsthere is always evident an abiding gift for the gracefully turned figure of speech, for the deliciously suspended sentence.
I say this knowing that for many students of philosophy who aim at any sort of absolute, the citing of authors of works of fiction as points of comparison may actually tend to discredit Santayana. Santayana's approach is deliberately literary. By doing philosophy this way, Page 4 he asserts the importance of what he called "literary psychology" and insists on our claims as human beings. Abandoned is the presumption of mathematical method and exactitude, the foundations for which were laid by Descartes, Hobbes, and Spinoza.
Actually he is all these things at onceand much more. Although one will come away from McCormick's biography (and from Santayana's own autobiography, reissued as a single-volume Persons and Places) with a sense of personal acquaintance with him, it seemed to me useful to consider even more closely the reciprocities that exist between his life, his personality, and his philosophy. I have therefore tried also to offer a psychographic portrait of Santayana and his work, my models being Sainte-Beuve and, after him, Edmund Wilson.
A Philosophical Novelist: George Santayana and the Last Puritan by Associate Professor H. T. Kirby-Smith A.B. M.A.