A Philosophical Novelist: George Santayana and "The Last Puritan"
By: H.T. Kirby-Smith (author)Hardback
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H. T. Kirby-Smith uses Santayana s 1936 novel, "The Last Puritan, "as both an occasion and a means for bringing into focus the complex relations between Santayana s life, his personality, and his philosophy. Opening with an account of Santayana s various literary styles and arguing for the significance of Santayana s writing of philosophy as literature, Kirby-Smith notes that Santayana saw the rational life as a continual adjustment and accommodation of contradictory claims. And he saw a literary style as an accommodation of the author to the reader.Chapters 2 through 5 provide the philosophical background for a consideration of "The Last Puritan, "summarizing exactly how Santayana assimilated other philosophies into his own.Chapters 6 and 7 incorporate Santayana s three-volume autobiography, his letters and memoirs, and biographical studies by others into a psychological portrait of the author. All of this is in preparation for chapters 8 and 9, which focus on "The Last Puritan. "Kirby-Smith closes with a chapter that serves as a legal brief in defense of the author against the harsh, sometimes malicious attacks of his critics."
H. T. Kirby-Smith is an associate professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
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- ID: 9780809321131
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