As Objectivists familiar with Ayn Rand's esthetic theory, we understand the importance of art conceptually; unfortunately, because of the bankruptcy of American education, many of us do not appreciate it viscerally. Consequently, we are deprived of the deep satisfaction to be gained from great literature.
In this course, Miss VanDamme discusses and analyzes three plays: The Browning Version, by Terence Rattigan; The Miracle Worker, by William Gibson, and Inherit the Wind, by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Each of these plays offers a concretized presentation of values held deeply by Objectivists (even if they contain philosophic errors).
Her approach to analysis is the one presented in The Romantic Manifesto; and in Leonard Peikoff's "Eight Great Plays," focusing on the plot, plot-theme, characterization, and theme, and adding to that the exercises of relating the themes of each story to one's own life. Throughout, the course emphasizes the over-arching theme of all Miss VanDamme's discussions of literature-the intense personal value to be gained from reading.
This course was recorded at the 2007 Objectivist Summer Conference in Telluride, CO.
(MP3 download; 4 hrs, 37 min, with Q & A, 199.10 MB)