Gabriel Richard Mason (1884 - 1979) de eerste Amerikaan die op Spinoza promoveerde schreef ook een Spinoza gedicht

The Spinoza Quarterly uit 1933 waaruit ik in het vorige blog het Spinoza sonnet van Julius Drachsler bracht, gaf ook een Spinoza gedicht te lezen van Gabriel R. Mason.

Uiteraard ging ik opzoek naar meer gegevens over hem en kwam bij de volgende tekst die ik overneem uit Lewis S. Feuer, Varieties of Scientific Experience [Transaction Publishers. 1995 –].

Daaruit blijkt o.a. dat de eerste promotie over Spinoza in Amerika  plaats vond in 1911, en wel met Gabriel R. Mason, Spinoza and Schelling [New York University, Graduate School of Arts and Science, 1911 - cf.] Of, completer:

Gabriel R. Mason. B.A., 1903, College of the City of New York; M.A.,
1907, New York University. Thesis: "The Relation of the God of Spinoza to the Absolute of Schelling." Educator. Instructor, Public School No. 62, New York City. [onder het jaar 2011, cf.]  

“The first American to write a doctoral thesis on Spinoza, Gabriel R. Mason, was indeed one of the young East Side Jews who was in rebellion against the orthodoxy of his parents. Gabriel, himself born in Russia in 1884, was brought by his parents to the United States at the age of eight in 1893. During the year after his Bar-Mitzvah, as he was shedding "the ritual and the superstitions of the Jewish religion," he sought for some sort of intellectual support, or more accurately the reassurance of a tradition within Jewish history of his philosophical rebellion against orthodoxy. To his delight, he came in his senior year at college upon Spinoza, learning that "for these same views Spinoza was excommunicated by the Jews of the Amsterdam Synagogue." Thus, he writes, "I was attracted to this road [Naturalism] by the lovable personality and profound philosophy of Spinoza...." Mason had a notable career as an educator, serving for many years as a principal of a public elementary school and high school, when such posts were the highest academic places to which Jewish scholars, except for unusual exceptions, could aspire. But Mason also was for 44 years a member of the Socialist Party during periods especially before and during the First World War when such a membership brought one close to the permissible boundaries of academic freedom. And if Spinoza lived close to the Collegiant sect, Mason found fellowship in the Ethical Society. “

Gabriel Mason was a teacher and administrator in the New York City Public School System for over fifty years. He lectured in philosophy and education, was active in teachers unions, and was the author of a number of books. His papers consist of a manuscript copy of a chapter of his autobiography, "The Teachers’ Union," plus a draft of a dedicatory note to Albert Shanker. [Cf.]

Uit de eindnoot nr. 66 bij Feuer leren we dat Mason's theses Spinoza's Idea of God en Spinoza and Schelling hem de master’s resp. doctor’s graad bezorgden aan de New York University. En voorts zien we daar dat Feuers bron was:

Gabriel Richard Mason, Gabriel Blows His Horn: The Evolution of a Rebel. Philadephia, 1972

Gabriel R. Mason, What Does the War Mean to You?

Hier dan zijn gedicht dat in 1932 gepubliceerd werd:

Ook dit neem ik uiteraard op in het Corpus Poeticum Spinozanum [cf.].  


Andere data te vinden bij Shirley F. Anderson "Gabriel R. Mason 1885 - 1979." Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 53 (2):221 - (1979) [Cf.]

Een anekdote over een minder fraai optreden van Gabriel R. Mason tijdens Halloween 1952 is te lezen in Samira Kawash, QR code for Candy. Macmillan, 2013 [Cf.]

Zijn fotootje plukte ik uit deze advertentie op e-bay.