In this profoundly original presentation of a rational esthetics, Miss Rand holds that the distinguishing characteristic of top rank Romantic writers ". . . (apart from their purely literary genius) is their full commitment to the premise of volition in both of its fundamental areas: in regard to consciousness and to existence, in regard to man's character and to his actions in the physical world. Maintaining a perfect integration of these two aspects, unmatched in the brilliant ingenuity of their plot structures, these writers are enormously concerned with man's soul (i.e., his consciousness).
"They are moralists in the most profound sense of the word; their concern is not merely with values, but specifically with moral values and with the power of moral values in shaping human character. Their characters are 'larger than life,' i.e., they are abstract projections in terms of essentials. In their stories, one will never find action for action's sake, unrelated to moral values."
"The events of their plots are shaped, determined and motivated by the characters' values (or treason to values), by their struggle in pursuit of spiritual goals and by profound value-conflicts."
"Their themes are fundamental, universal, timeless issues of man's existence—and they are the only consistent creators of the rarest attribute of literature: the perfect integration of theme and plot, which they achieve with superlative virtuosity."
"If philosophical significance is the criterion of what is to be taken seriously, then these are the most serious writers in world literature."
A profoundly original presentation of a rational esthetics.
Table of Contents
1. The Psycho-Epistemology of Art
2. Philosophy and Sense of Life
3. Art and Sense of Life
4. Art and Cognition
5. Basic Principles of Literature
6. What Is Romanticism?
7. The Esthetic Vacuum of Our Age
8. Bootleg Romanticism
9. Art and Moral Treason
10. Introduction to Ninety-Three
11. The Goal of My Writing
12. The Simplest Thing in the World
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