Saturday, December 20, 2008

`The American Champion of the Inner Life'

Thanks to Dave Lull for passing along a rare pairing of gifted minds -- Robert D. Richardson's review of the eighth and final volume of George Santayana's letters. Richardson, of course, has given us excellent intellectual biographies of Thoreau, Emerson and William James. Here's a sample:

"Santayana is the American champion of the inner life, the life of reason. He believed that religion -- by which he meant `feeling attracted to the Church, feeling its historic and moral authority, and yet seeing that its doctrine is not true' -- in its `humility restores man to his only dignity, the courage to live by grace.' Grace abounded in his own life. And when he died just short of 90, his friend and disciple Daniel Cory read Santayana's poem `The Poet's Testament' at the funeral: `I give back to the earth what the earth gave / All to the furrow, nothing to the grave.'"

And there's more good news: Richardson's new book, First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process, will be published in February.

1 comment:

Marney said...

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