Re: Rand and Romanticism

Natasha Vita-More (
Sat, 23 Oct 1999 10:28:02 -0700

At 10:23 AM 10/23/99 -0700, Daniel wrote:

>I agree. I just mean that often a conscious doctrine inhibits creativity,
>especially when the artists (and wannabes) try to follow the doctrine.

First I would question why someone might sit down with a compass and sextant to follow any doctrine! -:) People who find a line of thinking that is in sync with their own enjoy it and implement it into their lives, but this doesn't make them blinded to their own lives. A person who inhibits or restrains his creativity is usually because of his own emotional ups and downs, financial woos, or a creative block.

>Well, the artists who are Objectivists might beg to differ. I mean they
>want to create what they term "Romantic Realism," though what they typically
>produce are formula driven works.

Some Romantic Realistic are not objectivists but paint romantically Impressionistic images, and others portray an illustrative image which appears to be in the spirit of Rand's fiction. But, here I am not knowledgeable enough to comment fully. Romantic Realism was not mentioned in any of my art history curriculum in undergrad or grad schools. I don't seem to have reference to it in my library of art books. I did view some pieces on the Internet and I thought they were fine art, but I didn't see any or other electronic art (videos or robotics).

Romanticism was an established art genre long before Rand's time. In that Rand did not appreciate modern art or abstract expressionism, she held Romanticism up as pretty much the only worthwhile art form. It was safe. (Romanticism was an "art and intellectual movement originating in Europe in the late 18th century and characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual's expression of emotion and imagination, departure from the attitudes and forms of classicism, and rebellion against established social rules and conventions.")

>However, as you say, the good ones do learn and I don't want to reject all
>Objectivist artists. Some are good, though most are bad.

I hope we have the scrutiny recognize what doesn't work and the aesthetics to cherish what does work.


Natasha Vita-More: To Order the book: Create/Recreate: The Third Millennial Culture
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