Salvadaor de Madariaga (1886-1978) introduces Miguel de Unamuno (1964-1936), “the man of letters who is no mere man of letters, but also a man… who despite this multiplicity and this dispersion, the dominant impression which his personality leaves behind is that of a vigorous unity, an unswerving concentration both of mind and purpose”….
For all this vitality and ever-moving activity of mind is shot through by the absolute immobility of two owlish eyes piercing the darkness of spiritual night. And this intense gaze into the mystery is the steel axis round which his spirit revolves and revolves in desperation; the unity under his multiplicity; the one fire under his passions and the inspiration of his whole work and life...whose eyes never turn away from nature, however unwelcome the sight, is strengthened by that passion for life which burns…
Yet a passionate man—or, as he would perhaps prefer to say, therefore a passionate man. But in a major, not in a minor key; of strong, not of weak passions.
The difference between the two lies perhaps in that the man with strong passions lives them, while the man with weak passions is lived by them, so that while weak passions paralyze the will, strong passions urge man to action. It is such an urge towards life, such a vitality ever awake, which inspires Unamuno’s multifarious activities in the realm of the mind.Salvador de Madariaga, Tragic Sense of Life