The Santayana Edition
Renewed NEH funding brought two new aspects to our work, one expected and the
other not. First, as anticipated, our accomplishments increased. We published The Last
Puritan in hardback (1994) and in paperback (1995), and the General Editor and MIT
Press agreed to the publication of a compact disk edition of The Works of George
Santayana by InteLex Past Masters Series using Folios software. This CD version will
have the first four volumes of the Edition, and other volumes will be added as they are
completed. Sales of the Edition are steady, and the first volume is now out of print.
In addition, considerable progress has been made on The Letters of George Santayana
and The Marginalia.
NEH*s political fragility is the unanticipated aspect of renewed funding. Throughout
this year, forceful efforts to eliminate both NEH and the National Endowment for the
Arts have been well publicized. Critics cited the "objectionable" art funded by the
NEA and the National History Standards funded by the NEH. The overall value of the
two endowments has largely been overlooked, along with the considerable support both
received through matching and cost-sharing funds. The Santayana Edition alone
received $90,000 in Federal matching funds and $90,000 in gift funds since 1983.
These funds supported the $780,208 in outright NEH funds received since 1977, which
were supplemented by institutional cost sharing that surpassed the total funding from
NEH. This non-NEH support has come from universities (Texas A&M University
principally, followed by the University of Tampa and Bucknell University) and from
individuals associated with philosophy and Santayana scholarship.
Matching and cost-sharing funds are an indication of the support generated through
NEH grants. Without the NEH support generating cost-sharing and gifts at anything
close to our current level is impossible. Ironically, if we receive funding through four
more years, we will be able to complete the work on ten books. However, funding
now appears to be in serious jeopardy. As of July 1995, Congress is considering
proposals that cut 30-50 percent from NEH funding in each of the next three years,
followed by elimination of the Endowment. The exact legislation will not be
determined until later, but the future of NEH is clearly at risk.
Without too much editorializing, there are two points to be made. (1) In terms of
reducing the federal budget, abolishing NEA and NEH is like eliminating one cup of
coffee per week to save the family budget — it will have little effect in significantly
reducing spending. But the more important point is political. (2) The present tide of
political ideology suggests that funding for all projects should be home-based, Le., in
the state or the locale where the work Is being completed. Perhaps this is a good idea
for projects that are primarily focused on a particular locale, but scholarship rarely is.
What agency will fund projects of national and International significance?
Obviously, this will be an important year for the Santayana project. In June we
completed the arduous task of submitting our 1996-98 NEH proposal. In March or