Related Entries 1. He was born in Madrid, Spain, on 16 December The father studied law and practiced for a short time before entering the colonial service for posting to the Philippines. He translated four Senecan tragedies into Spanish, wrote an unpublished book about the island of Mindanao, had an extensive library, and made three trips around the world.
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Related Entries 1. He was born in Madrid, Spain, on 16 December The father studied law and practiced for a short time before entering the colonial service for posting to the Philippines. He translated four Senecan tragedies into Spanish, wrote an unpublished book about the island of Mindanao, had an extensive library, and made three trips around the world. In , he became the governor of Batang, a small island in the Philippines. Previously she married George Sturgis d. There were five children from this first marriage, three of whom survived infancy.
She promised her first husband to raise the children in Boston where she moved her family. He was fifty years of age and she was probably thirty-five. Santayana lived eight years in Spain, forty years in Boston, and forty years in Europe.
In his autobiography, Persons and Places, Santayana divides his life into three phases. The background — encompasses his childhood in Spain through his undergraduate years at Harvard.
The second period — is that of the Harvard graduate student and professor with a trans-Atlantic penchant for traveling to Europe. The third period — is the retired professor writing and traveling in Europe and eventually establishing Rome as his home. In , his father realized the opportunities for his son were better in Boston, and he moved there with his son. The separation between father and mother was permanent. Strange marriage, this of ours! So you say, and so it is in fact.
Santayana first attended Mrs. His undergraduate years at Harvard reveal an energetic student with an active social life. He was a member of eleven organizations including The Lampoon largely as a cartoonist , the Harvard Monthly a founding member , the Philosophical Club President , and the Hasty Pudding.
Santayana provides no clear indication of his sexual preferences, and he never married. Attraction to both women and men seems apparent in his undergraduate and graduate correspondence. The one documented comment about his homosexuality occurs when he was sixty-five. After a discussion of A. Santayana received his Ph. He was a highly respected and popular teacher, and his students included poets Conrad Aiken, T.
He retired from Harvard in at the age of forty-eight and lived the remainder of his life in England and Europe, never returning to the U. Santayana cherished academic life for its freedom to pursue intellectual interests and curiosity, but he found that many aspects of being a professor infringed on that freedom.
Faculty meetings and university committees seemed primarily to be partisan heat over false issues, so he rarely attended them. The general corporate and businesslike adaptation of universities was increasingly less conducive to intellectual development and growth. He expressed concern about the evolving Harvard goal of producing muscular intellectuals to lead America as statesmen in business and government. Were not delight and celebration also a central aspect of education? Abbot, Stoughton Hall, Harvard, 15 February In , Santayana experienced a metanoia, a change of heart.
Gradually he altered his style of life from that of an active student turned professor to one focused on the imaginative celebration of life. In doing so, he began planning for his early retirement, finding university life increasingly less conducive to intellectual pursuits and delight in living.
Enjoy the world, travel over it, and learn its ways, but do not let it hold you …. To possess things and persons in idea is the only pure good to be got out of them; to possess them physically or legally is a burden and a snare Persons and Places, — Pragmatism, as developed by Peirce and James, was an undercurrent in his naturalism, particularly as an approach to how we ascertain knowledge, but there are aspects of his naturalism more aligned with European and Greek thought that presage developments in the late twentieth century.
This focus, along with his Spanish heritage, Catholic upbringing, and European suspicion of American industry, set him apart in the Harvard Yard. In May , Santayana formally announced his long-planned retirement from Harvard.
President Lowell asked him to reconsider. By now Santayana was a highly recognized philosopher, cultural critic, poet, and teacher, and his desire to be free from academic confinement was also well known. Lowell indicated he was open to any arrangement that provided Santayana the time he desired for writing and for travel in Europe. Initially Santayana agreed to alternate years in Europe and the U.
The year before his retirement, he had presented at least six lectures at a variety of universities including Berkeley, Wisconsin, Columbia, and Williams. His books were selling well and his publishers were asking for more.
Two major universities were courting him. Always attentive to his family, Santayana visited her weekly, then daily, during his last years at Harvard. Hence, in January , at age forty-eight, Santayana was free from the constraints of university regimen and expectations and, more importantly, free to write, to travel, and to choose his residence and country. Harvard attempted to bring him back to the United States, offering him several professorships beginning in In , he received an invitation from Brown University, and Harvard later asked him to accept the William James Lecturer in Philosophy, a newly established honorary post.
But Santayana never returned to Harvard or to America. Believing that the academic life was not a place for him to cultivate intellectual achievement or scholarly work, Santayana also refused academic appointments both at Oxford University and Cambridge University. At first, Santayana planned to reside in Europe, and after numerous exploratory trips to several cities, he decided on Paris. However, while he was in England, World War I broke out and he was unable to return to the mainland.
First, he lived in London and then primarily at Oxford and Cambridge. Because of his success as a writer, he assisted friends and scholars when they found themselves in need of financial support.
For example, when Bertrand Russell was unable to find a teaching post in the U. The rise of Mussolini in the s initially seemed positive to Santayana. He viewed the Italian civil society as chaotic and thought Mussolini might bring order where needed. But Santayana soon noted the rise of a tyrant. Trying to leave Italy by train for Switzerland, he was not permitted to cross the border because he did not have the proper papers.
With most of his funds coming from the United States and England, his case was complicated by his Spanish citizenship and his age. He returned to Rome, and on 14 October he entered the Clinica della Piccola Compagna di Maria, a hospital-clinic run by a Catholic order of nuns, where he lived until his death eleven years later.
This arrangement was not unusual. The hospital periodically received distinguished guests and cared for them in an assisted-living environment. Santayana died of cancer on 26 September Santayana asked that he be buried in unconsecrated ground, affirming his naturalism to the end.
However, the only such cemetery ground in Rome was reserved for criminals. He stops upon this threshold, As if the design of all his words takes form And frame from thinking and is realized. As an eight-year-old Spaniard, he wrote Un matrimonio A Married Couple , describing the trip of a newly married couple that meets the Queen of Spain.
And, until the turn of the century, much of his intellectual life was directed to the writing of verse and drama. He was a principal figure in making modernism possible but was not a modernist in poetry or literature.
His naturalism and emphasis on constructive imagination influenced both T. Eliot and Wallace Stevens. Santayana was among the leaders in transforming the American literary canon, dislodging the dominant Longfellow, Lowell, Whittier, Holmes, Bryant canon.
The Sense of Beauty is a primary source for the study of aesthetics. This naturalistic approach to aesthetics is expanded in his philosophical explication of art found in The Life of Reason: Reason in Art Each in its own right is of great value, but if either is mistaken for science, the art of life is lost along with the beauty of poetry and religion.
As expressions of human values, poetry and religion are identical in origin. Santayana employs a naturalistic account of poetry and philosophy, attempting to combine comparative structures with as few embedded parochial assumptions as possible while making explicit our material boundness to particular worlds and perspectives. Initially, Santayana appears optimistic about the youthful America.
European transcendentalism and Calvinism are the American intellectual traditions, but they no longer suit the American drive for success in industry, business, and football. Within a decade, he is less optimistic. Character and Opinion in the United States is his valediction to America. It includes frank, intellectual portraits of his Harvard colleagues and of American culture. This national faith and morality are vague in idea, but inexorable in spirit; they are the gospel of work and the belief in progress.
Its provenance lies in the s when Santayana began a series of sketches on college life that, broadened through his experience and travel, resulted in The Last Puritan. Essentially, it is about the life and early death of an American youth, Oliver Alden, who is sadly restricted by his Puritanism. Santayana draws a sharp contrast with the European Mario, who delights in all matters without a narrow moralism.
Mario is a carefree, naturally gifted and likeable young man who by American standards appears too focused on the peripheral aspects of life: travel, opera, love affairs, and architecture.
And the American perspective is embodied in the tragic hero, Oliver Alden, who is the last Puritan. He does what is right, based on his duties to his family, school, and friends.
Life is a slow, powerful flow of tasks and responsibilities. He is intelligent and knows there is more than obligation, and he senses his guilt at not being able to achieve the natural abundant life, but knowing this only nourishes his Puritanism and causes him to feel guilty about being guilty.
Oliver is a dedicated student and football player, thoroughly a first rate American taking matters seriously and doing his best. After only a short visit with the Professor, Mario, it is decided by Santayana, does not need to take a course from the Professor.
The Last Puritan
Books About Santayana 1. He lived his first eight years in Spain, his next forty years in Boston, and his last forty years in Europe. The second period, during which Santayana traveled between the U. The third period was that of the retired professor writing and traveling in Europe, and eventually adopting Rome as his center of activity. Through this exposure Santayana managed to develop a life-long appreciation for classical and medieval worlds and their cultural contributions, to a great extent preferring them to modern offerings.
The Last Puritan: A Memoir in the Form of a Novel
It was first published in by Constable Publishers in London. It was first published in the U. It was reprinted again in this edition included a preface in which Santayana described the writing process and his philosophical intentions , , and Santayana was at first hesitant about having the novel published. It contains explicit content by the standards of the time such as drug use, sexual deviance, atheism, etc.
THE LAST PURITAN
They married in A colonial civil servant , Ruiz de Santayana was also a painter and minor intellectual. She left the six-year-old Jorge with his father in Spain. Jorge and his father followed her to Boston in
George Santayana (1863—1952)