Santayana: the Later Years: A Portrait with Letters

By Daniel Cory | Go to book overview

One: 1927-28

It is too bad if I hurt your feelings by calling you a young barbarian. It was very far from my intention, but criticism by a friend is a delicate matter, and I ought to have been more considerate.

I HAD already been away from home for nearly a year, for it was early in 1926 that I had first sailed from New York to England. My interests were divided equally between poetry and philosophy, and I intended to continue my studies abroad as long as I could afford it. I was fortunate in having a sympathetic aunt who had lived for years in London, and under her able supervision I had lectured on "Aspects of American Poetry" and even bewildered the members of a women's club in Mayfair with a series of lectures on Freudian psychology.

But the written words of Santayana had fired me since my earliest intellectual stirrings. Although I had studied philosophy for several years at Columbia University, and was therefore acquainted with its main problems, it was not until I opened the pages of Scepticism and Animal Faith that I realized fully what philosophy, at its best, could still be. Perhaps it was the perfect marriage of form and matter that won me over so utterly. Poetry and philosophy had joined hands, as in Plato, and their union was irresistible.

So I gave up lecturing early in 1927 and decided to write an ambitious essay on the deliberate philosophy of Santayana. With all the confidence of youth, I shut myself up for six

-15-

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Santayana: the Later Years: A Portrait with Letters
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Prologue 11
  • One: 1927-28 15
  • Two: 1929 37
  • Three: 1930-31 59
  • Four: 1932 89
  • Five: 1933 106
  • Six: 1934 122
  • Seven: 1935 146
  • Eight: 1936 165
  • Nine: 1937 181
  • Ten: 1938 193
  • Eleven: 1939 206
  • Twelve: 1940-41 225
  • Thirteen: 1942-46 245
  • Fourteen: 1947-48 266
  • Fifteen: 1949-50 290
  • Sixteen: 1951-52 306
  • Epilogue 328
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