By Shoshana Milgram
While preparing to write The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand reread Les Misérables to study Hugo’s method of esthetic integration. In this course we will analyze the integration of plot, theme and style in Hugo’s masterpiece, with special attention to the way he shows that man is a being of self-made soul. Hugo—against the background of a wide canvas, a large cast of characters, and a 50-year time span—focuses intense interest on a single soul, a man who must choose, continually and in different contexts, between good and evil. Topics include: Hugo’s brilliant dramatization of internal and external conflicts and his distinctive treatment of the nature of heroism; the bond of courageous struggle; and the glory of moral innocence—as well as comparisons and contrasts with the fiction of Ayn Rand.
This course was recorded at the 2003 Objectivist Summer Conference in Industry Hills, CA.
(MP3 download; 6 hrs., with Q & A, 247 MB)