Katarzyna Kremplewska’s George Santayana’s Political Hermeneutics (Brill, 2022) is a comprehensive study of Santayana’s political philosophy as found in Dominations and Powers (1951) and dispersed throughout his other works. Managing necessity and harmonizing diversity, negative anthropology, an Apollonian individualism and naturalistic humanism, are only a few of the interpretative categories used to elucidate the dense, ambiguous and ironic ruminations of Santayana and reveal their timeliness. Discussion of other thinkers—from Plato to Ricoeur—brings to light the essentially dialogical character of his work.
Author: Martin Coleman Page 1 of 4
by Adrienne Harris Thomas
The Santayana Edition has introduced a new web resource! Select “Map of Travels” under the “About Santayana” tab, and view and interact with a map tracking Santayana’s travels from his retirement in 1912 until his death in 1952 (see Figure 1).
The map allows you to toggle between years and select locations marked by a pushpin icon that, when clicked on, opens a pop-up box listing locations (sometimes with specific addresses), the dates Santayana was there, links to the letters Santayana wrote while there, and, occasionally, information on projects he was working on or contemporaneous publications (see Figure 2). To maintain chronological and spatial clarity, arrows depict the progression of his travels (the arrows do not represent the exact route Santayana took to travel between locations; rather they indicate the general spatial order of his travels.)
As the world becomes increasingly digital, academic scholarship can create tools to communicate research results more easily and more widely. This map, created to take advantage of the tools and methods of digital humanities for The Santayana Edition, leads you on a virtual exploration of the life and travels of George Santayana. A chief value of the map lies in providing geographical awareness of Santayana’s life at a time when he wrote some of his best-known works. The map benefits experienced Santayana scholars, interdisciplinary researchers, and students. It can enrich individual research as well as the classroom.
The process of creating the map was fairly simple. After collecting the data (dates, locations, addresses, etc.) from The Letters of George Santayana, I used the Map Viewer program on ArcGIS Online to construct the map. This involved creating layers for each year, plotting points at each location, adding the pertinent information to the pop-up boxes, drawing the arrows to indicate the timeline/progression of travel, and formatting the shape and color of the location points and arrows to visually delineate between years if multiple layers are selected. Multiple variations were created and reviewed by Santayana scholars and a geographer familiar with ArcGIS to determine the most effective and useful version possible with this platform.
Daniel Pinkas, Daniel Moreno, and José Beltrán have published Recently Discovered Letters of George Santayana/Cartas recién descubiertas de George Santayana, which includes letters to Charles A. Loeser and to Albert von Westenholz. This edition gives both the original English language letters and Moreno’s Spanish translations. The letters, spanning fifty years in two centuries, document two important friendships in Santayana’s life beginning in his student days and continuing until his retirement in Europe. The letters offer details about Santayana’s travels, insightful comments about events of the day, and philosophical reflections; and they are a delight to read.
RECENTLY DISCOVERED LETTERS OF GEORGE SANTAYANA/CARTAS RECIÉN DESCUBIERTAS DE GEORGE SANTAYANA
DANIEL PINKAS, ED.; Traducción y notas de Daniel Moreno / Translated by Daniel Moreno; Presentación de José Beltrán / Prologue by José Beltrán: Introducción a cargo de Daniel Pinkas / And with an Introduction by Daniel Pinkas
(Biblioteca Javier Coy D’Éstudis Nord-Americans, 180, Universitat de València, 2021, 378 pp.)
Ruth Derham’s Bertrand’s Brother: The Marriages, Morals and Misdemeanours of Frank, 2nd Earl Russell (Amberley Publishing, 2021) recounts the life of the close friend of Santayana’s youth Frank Russell. Santayana’s autobiography, Persons and Places (1944, 1945, and 1953) PDF EPUB, was an important source for understanding the life of Frank; and Derham’s engaging book, in turn, provides enlightening personal and cultural context for understanding Santayana’s life and his friendships with both Frank and his brother.
Herman J. Saatkamp’s A Life of Scholarship with Santayana: Essays and Reflections (Brill, 2021) collects nearly fifty years of research by the eminent Santayana scholar and founder of the Santayana Edition. Saatkamp’s work contributes to an understanding of Santayana and applies the sensibilities gained from that scholarship to a broader range of significant topics. The essays cover Santayana’s philosophy, scholarly editing, genetics, and the future of philosophy. The book champions an important American philosopher and exemplifies Saatkamp’s life of scholarship and reflection.