George Santayana's Marginalia, A Critical Selection, Book 1: by George Santayana

By George Santayana

In his essay "Imagination," George Santayana writes, "There are books during which the footnotes, or the reviews scrawled via a few reader's hand within the margins, could be extra attention-grabbing than the text." Santayana himself was once an inveterate maker of notes within the margins of his books, writing (although smartly, by no means scrawling) reviews that light up, contest, or curiously extend the author's concept. those volumes provide a variety of Santayana's marginalia, transcribed from books in his own library. those notes provide the reader an strange point of view on Santayana's existence and paintings. he's by way of turns serious (often), approving (seldom), literary, slangy, frivolous, or even spiteful. The notes convey his humor, his occasional outcry at a writer's folly, his drawback for the niceties of English prose and the putting of Greek accessory marks. those volumes record alphabetically through writer all of the books extant that belonged to Santayana, reproducing a range of his annotations meant to be of use to the reader or pupil of Santayana's suggestion, his paintings, and his lifestyles. each one access contains a headnote with the author's identify, the name of the paintings, short book info, and the library position of the booklet. no longer all marginalia from a given textual content is integrated; the notes were chosen for content material and elegance. [cut final sentence; reduce whole paragraph if nec.] Santayana, usually residing in solitude, spent loads of his time speaking to, and speaking again to, a superb miscellany of writers, from Spinoza to Kant to J. S. Mill to Bertrand Russell. those notes record these conversations.

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It is a false and fragile unanimity. 27 p 70, top Last meaning of “Democracy” = herd psychology or linch [sic] law. ] Note the insidious though perfectly logical combination of mystical nationalism and compulsion! The ‘consuming flames of higher patriotism’ which Fichte was trying to kindle have devoured since then the happiness of millions and devastated the ancient commonwealth of nations. To call these ideas Prussian is misleading, nor were they German (they were indeed opposed to all German traditions); they were revolutionary.

The Russian revolution & reconstruction. 25 p 67, top Militant society: the bond of crime is the most compulsive and internal, but also the most brittle externally, when the criminals turn against one another. 26 p 69, marked When in 1793 the Committee of Public Safety began to revolutionize the war, the country was weary and apathetic. It had to be driven into this 2:34 George Santayana’s Marginalia enterprise at the sword’s point. The formidable weapon which in times to come made Europe tremble, was forged against the will of the French nation under the pressure of a Terrorist government.

Everything would be good if it were perfect after its kind: but nothing is. Thus the two maxims can be reconciled. Is this, I wonder, what you are going to say? 2:18 George Santayana’s Marginalia 26 p 310, underlined ||Maritain represents as Manichean|| certains grands artistes modernes, comme Baudelaire ou Oscar Wilde. || While Kant affirms mental activity only in the course of destroying objectivity, because he has in view only fabricated activity, Thomism, because it sees mental activity truly immanent and truly vital, makes the objectivity of the understanding reason itself and the purpose [fin] of its activity.

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