Santayana: the Later Years: A Portrait with Letters

By Daniel Cory | Go to book overview

Six: 1934

[The Last Puritan] is moving fast towards completion: very exciting, this act of capping the climax or putting the lid on the boiling pot: and I feel that...it is a true drama.

W ITH the advent of the new year I was hard at work in Bournemouth on my book. As Santayana had approved of the introduction, I was anxious to have him read and note any blemishes in style in a key chapter I had just finished. It would appear, however, from an unusually long letter of January 20, that he took the phrase "blemishes in style" to embrace a wider range of commentary than I had anticipated:

You ask only for verbal notes on your paper, and I am sending you a few. It is hard to draw the line between style and tone or between tone and doctrine. On the whole your paper makes a pleasant strong impression. You are the postwar young man, simple, confident, not retrospective, and in sympathy with life. I like to divide you (like ancient Gaul) into three parts: 1st the intuitive, poetic, warm, Irish part, which (at least for me) is the foundation of everything and your true self. 2nd the cheeky, intelligent, but slightly low part; and 3rd (less constitutional and I hope transitory) the American philosophical seminar part. When you have been in England you speak and move like an Englishman, and it is very becoming and (at least to me) comforting and agreeable: but evidently living and studying in England don't make you write or think like the natives. You are, in this paper, thoroughly American in diction and manner: also in

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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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