SANTAYANA: The Later Years by Daniel ory

SANTAYANA: The Later Years

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Daniel Cory's memoir covering the last quarter-century of Santayana's life is affable and acute enough, but all the same it is a good thing, nay grand, so much of it includes the philosopher's letters and random remarks; they are, as Santayana says somewhere else, the sauce without which the rest can't go down. Cory served as Santayana's secretary-companion; during those years the Santayana-in-Italy legend evolved; he wrote two best-sellers (Last Puritan and Persons & Places) and two tomes (the completed Realms of Being and Dominations and Powers). Santayana was very much the ideal man of letters, always above the hurly-burly, enrapt in ""essences"" and eternals. If, as Bertrand Russell suggested, an emotional privation lay at the heart of his serene rationalism, he was also, according to Cory's account, a charming, markedly considerate father-figure, with whom he could converse in the Pincio or over al fresco luncheons and through whom he encountered the intellectual galaxy of an era, either in person (Russell, Stone, Pound, Lowell) or discussions (Whitehead, Eliot, Heidegger, Bergson). And Santayana's comments- so cannily right, so disarmingly clever- constitute an Old World education in themselves. In short, whenever Santayana is in evidence, it is a lovely book.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1963
Publisher: Braziller