Summer 1944 • Vol. VI No. 3 Book ReviewsJuly 1, 1944 |

Salt, Pepper, and Pity for Mankind

Persons and Places: The Background of My Life by George Santayana. Scribners. $2.50. Mr. Santayana has always professed that his writings were nothing but soliloquies, and in such works as Character and Opinion in the United States, Soliloquies in England, Dialogues in Limbo and his novel, they have shaded imperceptibly into memoirs. It is not surprising that now, at the age of eighty, he should overcome the residue of his coyness and give us an undisguised autobiography; and it was to have been expected that autobiography itself should be another medium for the restatement of his philosophy. Persons and Places could, then, be read as the record of an interesting person who has known other interesting persons and lived in interesting places, or for information about the influences which shaped one of the great philosophical systems of our time, or as a critical commentary, by a kind of Henry James in reverse, on the relation of New World culture to the Old. But his life is so mu

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