The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1075  Wednesday, 4 June 2003

From:           Claude Caspar <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 3 Jun 2003 12:18:32 -0400
Subject:        Santayana Quoted Correctly

Below is the exact quote I incorrectly cited from memory - I used
'emotions' for 'passions.'  This is important concerning Essences.  When
I went back to the texts to see the context I found similar sentiments
but not the exact formulation.  In despair, I asked the editors of the
Santayana Edition to search their electronic database. Since this
inspired several comments here, & since S -- a is important to me, at
least we all now can see it best expressed.  His earlier formulations in
"The Sense of Beauty" & "Interpretations of Poetry & Religion," are very
much worth experiencing regarding Shakespeare studies.  He wrote famous
essays on Shakespeare who is referred to throughout his works, such as
"Three Philosophical Poets" where the Bard haunts a book in which he is
not featured philosophically - especially see his Letters now being
published - they are up to volume 4.  Again, I also can't help but
recall Diderot's immortal "Paradox of Acting," & William Archer's
treatment in "Masks or Faces."

In another thread I believe someone suggests laws be passed forbidding
fools from playing Hamlet.  I go further, proposing that fools be bared
from playing Polonius!  I think summery execution on-stage in the
closet-scene reasonable in culling the herd.

"Hence, a paradox important in the arts: that the passions most movingly
portrayed are passions that nobody has ever felt. Not only does the poet
never actually feel the emotion he is expressing - he would not be an
artist if he did - but the ideal personage he is enacting, if that
personage had existed, would not have felt the pure, the glorified
emotions that the author's words or theme suggest to the public."

from THE REALM OF SPIRIT, Chapter VII, "Distraction," Scribner's, 1940,
page 129, footnote.

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