Monday, June 1, 2009

Santayana Goodbye (1952)

George Santayana was a philosopher and author who was born in Madrid in 1863. As a young boy, he and his family moved to the United States. As an adult, Santayana attended Harvard University and Kings College. After he received his Ph.D. from King’s College, Santayana began a career as a teacher, teaching at Harvard and in other places around the world. At the age of 50, Santayana left the U.S. for good and lived in various places in Europe. Santayana’s spectrum of knowledge was very broad. He was both a published novelist and philosopher. He also coined the famous phrase “ those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (citation needed) Santayana died in Rome in the year 1952. Santayana represented the foil for the common McCarthy crazed person of the fifties. Though Santayana lived in the U.S. for much of his life, he distanced himself from its culture. He never became a citizen and found many aspects of American culture repugnant. Santayana was a man who thought for himself and didn’t fall victim to hysteria. He represented an example of a model human being, regardless of whether or not people followed his model.

3 comments:

  1. Glad to read your stuff. I am also a huge fan of Santayana, am also still a Canadian after spending huge chunks of life in the US when I wasn't traveling or sailing, so of course I also never considered the US as my country and studied it as an outsider as well.

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