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北京第二外国语学院学报  2019, Vol. 41 Issue (5): 102-115    DOI: 10.12002/j.bisu.252
Correction, Dialogue and Inheritation: An Interpretation of Dialogues in Limbo by George Santayana
Hongying Niu
Tiangong University, Tianjin 300387, China
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关键词: 桑塔亚纳《冥府对话》理性卢奇安《死者对话》    

Dialogues in Limbo by George Santayana is corrective, dialogical and inheriting as well. Though with rich and deep implications, this work has seldom been studied by researchers home and abroad. By associating it with The Life of Reason in five volumes, the best-known work of Santayana across the world written in his middle age, and the ancient Greek sources of thoughts that Santayana was indebted to, this paper points out that The Life of Reason, which eulogizes reason as the basis of anything good in life, could not best represent Santayana’s final idea of reason, because in Dialogues in Limbo the author questions and corrects his former understanding of reason. Dialogues in Limbo is in fact a criticism of absolute reason. Besides, transforming himself and those ancient Greek philosophers, especially Democritus, Socrates and Aristotle, into literary interlocutors, Santayana at the same time conducts a trans-temporal dialogue about reason in Dialogues in Limbo with these giants. What is more, judging by the choice of the setting, the atmosphere and the characterizations in this work, Santayana is a conscious imitator and inheritor of Lucian, the great Roman writer who, with his Dialogues of Dead, established a sub-tradition of the literary dialogues of the West. Though Santayana never mentions Lucian in this book or elsewhere, the latter’s influence upon the former could not be denied. This study not only examines the ignored academic value of Dialogues in Limbo, but to some extent enriches the existing scholarship about George Santayana and the tradition of literary dialogues of the West.

Key words: Santayana    Dialogues in Limbo    reason    Lucian    Dialogues of the Dead
收稿日期: 2017-11-14 出版日期: 2020-01-15
PACS:  I106.4  
基金资助: 本文受2015 年国家社科后期资助项目“西方对话体文学研究”(项目编号:15FWW014)
作者简介: 牛红英,天津工业大学人文学院英语系教授,300387,研究方向:西方文学。电子邮箱
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牛红英. 修正·对话·继承:乔治·桑塔亚纳《冥府对话》解析[J]. 北京第二外国语学院学报, 2019, 41(5): 102-115.

Hongying Niu. Correction, Dialogue and Inheritation: An Interpretation of Dialogues in Limbo by George Santayana. Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2019, 41(5): 102-115.


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