The Works of George Santayana

Author: Martin Coleman Page 1 of 5

New Publication: Winds of Doctrine, critical edition

The critical edition of George Santayana’s Winds of Doctrine has been published by The MIT Press.

Winds of Doctrine presents six essays on modern philosophy and culture. The essays address a broad sweep of intellectual trends of the Spanish-born American thinker’s time. Topics include the secularization of American culture, the rise of religious modernism, major literary and philosophical figures, and the “genteel tradition” in American philosophy, the subject of Santayana’s final lecture in America and perhaps his best known essay.

The original Winds of Doctrine, published in 1913, was Santayana’s first book after his 1912 retirement and departure for Europe. Santayana had felt stifled at Harvard for some time, and his long-contemplated resignation from academia enabled to him think and write with a new freedom. Much later, Santayana remarked on the significance of that choice to step away: “In Winds of Doctrine and my subsequent books, a reader of my earlier writings may notice a certain change of climate . . . . It was not my technical philosophy that was principally affected, but rather the meaning and status of philosophy for my inner man.” The critical edition is introduced by Paul Forster (University of Ottawa), and edited by David Spiech, Faedra Weiss, and Martin Coleman.

New Publication: George Santayana’s Political Hermeneutics

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.

New Interactive Map of George Santayana’s Travels

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).

Figure 1: A map of Santayana’s 1912 travels.

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.)

Figure 2: The pop-up box that appears after clicking on a push pin icon marking a particular location.

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.

New Publication: Recently Discovered Letters of George Santayana

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.

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.)
ISBN: 978-84-9134-905-1

New Publication: Biography of Santayana’s Friend Frank Russell

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.

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