martes, 1 de mayo de 2012


                                                                              (continuación de la serie iniciada en EL PUNTO Z)

A través de la azorinóloga Anna Krause me topo una vez más en mi vida con el nombre de Santayana, a quien considera impremeditado trasunto del pequeño filósofo de Monóvar. Hasta ahora, siempre que me he topado con este nombre, me he quedado al final en ayunas (vi en una feria de viejo EL ULTIMO PURITANO y no me decidí, alguien me lo recomendó pero nunca me dejó un ejemplar para consumar dicha recomendación, y así todo). Ahora acabo de descubrir una cosa llamada PROYECTO GUTENBERG donde puedo descargarme varias obras suyas (no está EL ULTIMO PURITANO pero seguiré buscando). Esta vez le hincaré el diente a Santayana sí o sí. Y qué invento esto del PROYECTO GUTENBERG para los sujetos sin posibles como yo.

"When chaos has penetrated so far into the moral being of nations they can hardly be expected to produce great men. A great man need not be virtuous, nor his opinions right, but he must have a firm mind, a distinctive, luminous character; if he is to dominate things, something must be dominant in him. We feel him to be great in that he clarifies and brings to expression something which was potential in the rest of us, but which with our burden of flesh and circumstance we were too torpid to utter. The great man is a spontaneous variation in humanity; but not in any direction. A spontaneous variation might be a mere madness or mutilation or monstrosity; in finding the variation admirable we evidently invoke some principle of order to which it conforms. Perhaps it makes explicit what was preformed in us also; as when a poet finds the absolutely right phrase for a feeling, or when nature suddenly astonishes us with a form of absolute beauty. Or perhaps it makes an unprecedented harmony out of things existing before, but jangled and detached. The first man was a great man for this latter reason; having been an ape perplexed and corrupted by his multiplying instincts, he suddenly found a new way of being decent, by harnessing all those instincts together, through memory and imagination, and giving each in turn a measure of its due; which is what we call being rational. It is a new road to happiness, if you have strength enough to castigate a little the various impulses that sway you in turn. Why then is the martyr, who sacrifices everything to one attraction, distinguished from the criminal or the fool, who do the same thing? Evidently because the spirit that in the martyr destroys the body is the very spirit which the body is stifling in the rest of us; and although his private inspiration may be irrational, the tendency of it is not, but reduces the public conscience to act before any one else has had the courage to do so. Greatness is spontaneous; simplicity, trust in some one clear instinct, are essential to it; but the spontaneous variation must be in the direction of some possible sort of order; it must exclude and leave behind what is incapable of being moralised. How, then, should there be any great heroes, saints, artists, philosophers, or legislators in an age when nobody trusts himself, or feels any confidence in reason, in an age when the word dogmatic is a term of reproach? Greatness has character and severity, it is deep and sane, it is distinct and perfect. For this reason there is none of it to-day."  

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