Pedro Blas González Unamuno: A Lyrical Essay. ISBN: 978-0-915745-75-3. $22.95.

The most extraordinary and exemplary piece of Latino prose writing, bordering in Rational lyricism. Scholarship and art in Europe, traditionally crisscrossed each other, particularly when the brightest minds where at it. Germany has Goethe, the Hispanic world has Unamuno. Both were consummated philosophers and creative writers, who left indelible marks, both in culture and philosophical argumentation. Goethe's "Werther" is credited with initiating Romanticism in Europe. "El Sentido Trágico de La Vida" ponders the ever-present human (and Hispanic) preoccupation for life, death and beyond, immortality. However, it takes a Latino scholar to analyze, scaffold, and present in a very understandable way to us the grandiosity of Unamuno's philosophical concerns and his scrupulous argumentation. Dr. Pedro Blas González is the first Latino scholar to elaborate and deconstruct Unamuno's philosophical work and related creative writings. This is a work lyric prose, as well as of literary criticism, philosophical analysis, and pure rigorous Latino erudition advancing Hispanic thinking. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña, Editor.

Miguel de Unamuno is the consummate thinker. Possessing the sensibility of a poet, the critical eye of a scientific observer and the acumen of a worldly philosopher, his thought is vital and survives as a timely reminder of the heights that philosophy can achieve. His existential inquietude is representative of philosophy - in its infancy - and as such it is the work of the philosopher as a proto first-man. In Unamuno we encounter a thinker for whom philosophy matters. His method is that of an inspired painter, creating brush strokes out of metaphor and logical argumentation in the manner of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. He is also a master of allegory, a genre that lends itself naturally to communicating palpable and complicated universal truths. Like the Spanish thinker's essayistic and novelistic probing of philosophical themes Unamuno: A Lyrical Essay, too, is inspired by the exploratory freedom afforded by Montaigne's novel creation - the essay. Unsystematic like Unamuno's thought, yet rigorous in its scrupulous attention to detail, this work pays allegiance to Unamuno's conception and handling of philosophy - as a vocation. Beginning and ending with an exploration of Unamuno's the Tragic Sense of Life - the question of mortality and immortality - the author frames this work with commentary and analysis of Unamuno's novels: Mist, Abel Sánchez and Don Manuel Bueno, Martyr.

Pinning the exigencies of reason - pure reason, even - against vital thought, Unamuno's thought captures the imagination in its pressing need to assert vital life over reason. Noticing that this is precisely the modus operandi of the Basque thinker, González manages an exposition of Unamunean thought that is raw and unadulterated. In the absence of hair-splitting and fashionable doublespeak, Unamuno's thought and its portrayal in Unamuno: A Lyrical Essay make philosophy whole once again.

"In Unamuno: A Lyrical Essay, Pedro Blas González has produced a work worthy of Unamuno himself. With his fresh lyricism and supple dialectic Prof. González displays an uncommon understanding not only of Unamunean themes but also and more importantly of the man Unamuno himself. Meeting him on his own ground perhaps for the first time in the history of Unamunean studies, González jousts and spars intellectually and spiritually with the great Basque thinker, matching him sally for sally, parry for parry, irony for irony, and seemingly enjoying himself immensely in the contest. Unamuno would have wished it to be no other way and surely would have been pleased." Dr. Harold Raley's (Professor Emeritus, Houston Baptist University)

Pedro Blas González is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Barry University, Miami Shores, Florida. He earned his Ph.D in Philosophy at DePaul University, 1995. Dr. Pedro Blas González has published extensively on leading Spanish philosophers, such as Ortega y Gasset and Unamuno.