I should like to do anything that Mr Kyllmann thinks would be advantageous to the sale of my books; not that I want any money, but that it flatters me that they should be read and that it would be a satisfaction if so devoted a publisher made more respectable profits. In itself however, I will say frankly that the idea of a collection of critical essays, picked out from my present books, does not seem to me necessary: it would seem to eviscerate “Poetry & Religion” and even “Winds of Doctrine” and the “Soliloquies”, as if the rest of what they contain were inferior. This is perhaps true of “Poetry & Religion”, but hardly of the other two books. Of course, it makes no difference to me in what form people read my writings, if they read them at all: and if such a selection would be more popular, it is only a gain from the point of view of propaganda and of “fame”, just as “Little Essays” have been. But these evidently did not supersede anything else—they were too short for that—and may even have rescued the whole from early oblivion. As to fresh essays, there is one that ought certainly to be included, the one on “The Character of Hamlet” which forms the introduction to the Hamlet in Sidney Lee’s edition. It is a very Latin view of the subject, and cost me infinite pains.
From The Letters of George Santayana: Book Three, 1921-1927. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2002.
Location of manuscript: The Library of Congress, Washington DC