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The Romantic Manifesto

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,402 Ratings  ·  91 Reviews
In her ethics AynRand extolled the virtue of selfishness—and in her theory of art she was no less radical. Piercing the fog of mysticism and sentimentality that engulfs art, the essays in The Romantic Manifesto explain why, since time immemorial, man has created and consumed works of art.

AynRand argues that objective standards in art are possible because art is not a subje
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Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 1st 1971 by Signet (first published 1969)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Michael
Sep 22, 2010 Michael rated it did not like it
Shelves: philosophy, 1970s
With this one, Rand really jumped the shark for me.

I was willing to try her philosophical essays in The Virtue of Selfishness, and I read a couple of her novels as well. But, the zealous condemning of whole branches of art and literature, because it didn't fit with her idea of what art should do? Condemning Dostoyevski and embracing James Bond? Not that there's anything wrong with Ian Flemming, but still.

To make it clear what I'm arguing AGAINST, let me tell you the thesis Rand is arguing in th
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sologdin
Part IIII of multi-part review series.

Nutshell: person who has read a half dozen novels and no literary theory writes treatise on literary theory.

Opens with an dictionary definition of manifesto, regarding a declaration of intentions by an organization, then promptly states that this manifesto is “not issued in the name of an organization or movement. I speak only for myself” (v). The title is therefore revealed in the preface to be dishonest. We are accordingly off to a standard start in a Rand
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
Apr 25, 2010 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it
I know a lot of people sneer at Ayn Rand and her admirers. But one would think the one thing they'd acknowledge is that she was a writer who knew how to tell a story. *thinks of reviews she's seen.* OK, maybe not. But even if I'm not an uncritical devotee, I for one do love her style, do, with some reservations, love her novels. And I think the core of her argument here is absolutely true--you can't write fiction without revealing your philosophy and values--even if you try. Ayn Rand is the one ...more
BJ
Mar 01, 2009 BJ rated it really liked it
Ayn Rand should be read by Christians and atheists alike. I wholeheartedly disagree with the end for which she writes--the glory of man--yet find inspiration in much of the means she uses to get there. She despised much of what was called art and literature in her own day, and thus wrote for the purpose of projecting "an ideal man" (162). She will not settle for the ordinary-ness of humanity. She wants to call people up to something great.

As a Christian, I resonate with this. Humanity is not or
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John
May 28, 2013 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some of Rand's opinions about art I happen to disagree with, but overall her ROMANTIC MANIFESTO is, without a doubt, the most cohesive definition of "good art" that I've ever come across. At times, the fact that THE ROMANTIC MANIFESTO is actually a collection of essays which originally appeared in Rand’s newsletter, THE OBJECTIVIST, over a course of several years makes the book feel a little disjointed, but it certainly holds together a lot better than, say, Tolstoy's "WHAT IS ART?", which I rea ...more
Yogeeswar
Feb 11, 2016 Yogeeswar rated it really liked it
There are two aspects of man’s existence which are the special province and expression of his sense of life: love and art.

Reading this book made me think and I was glad to realize that, I would support a Romantic over a Naturalist or a Classicist. Rand, for me is one of those authors, to whom I would nod yes to all of her opinions. It is her conscious reasoning that makes her the best. For example, her articulate ability to denounce photography as an art of any kind makes me angry and love her a
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Jenna
My third most favorite book of Ms. Ayn Rand " The Romantic Manifesto"(Esthetics), it's the pillar of her foundation, and so was her Epistemology. Once, you read this book the way you look arts will change. Arts become meaningful especially of undestanding "Romanticism" and realize how arts relates the world around you.

Romanticism---is a category of art based on the recognition of the principle that man possesses the faculty of volition. It deals, not with the random trivia of the day, but with t
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Kay
Aug 04, 2007 Kay rated it liked it
Full disclosure -- I read a lot of Ayn Rand when I was about sixteen or seventeen. It's appealing at around that age. Now I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole! I'm giving it three stars (rather than one) for how I (apparently) felt about it back then.

The same applies to Thomas Wolfe, but I still retain a fondness for him even if I can't manage to get through any of his books anymore. Oh, and Hermann Hesse. I read a lot of Hesse, but the only one I was even remotely tempted to reread was The Gl
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Matt Holmes
Aug 29, 2015 Matt Holmes rated it really liked it
Sweet Aynnie in full force. Not big into pulling punches, this one. I walked in expecting it to be a defense of actual Romanticism. In parts, it was, but most of it was a scathing critique of contemporary art and literature, working her way around to her favorite, constant implication: "Ya'll are inauthentic, and you sound like a bunch of pussies."

The first third of the book was spectacular. I was highlighting every other page or so. The second third of the book is a veneration of Victor Hugo so
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Hawkgrrrl
Jul 30, 2008 Hawkgrrrl rated it it was ok
Only for die hard Ayn Rand fans.
Deb Seksay
Nov 28, 2008 Deb Seksay rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Elitists, people incapable of logic. I want to watch your head explode i na cloud of logic.
Recommended to Deb by: Ruff
In a word, for me, phenomenal. A short book on what I love about art, music, and literature, and what I hate about most of the reading, art, and music that people recommend to me. I do not believe that my life is meant to be full of suffering: I've done that part already, and I'm watching people older than me letting life happen to them as opposed to engaging or participating therein. This is a handy little ho- to guide for identifying people that will violently object to morality or naming thei ...more
Bill
Aug 09, 2012 Bill rated it it was amazing
This is probably may favorite of all of Ayn Rand's nonfiction works, because despite her rationality and intellectuality, she deals here with esthetics or art, and in my view the fundamental source of that is creativity itself, a process which she treats quite well from a disciplined intellectual perspective but whose source I think might remain unable to be pinned down by the intellect, much as the mind itself might remain ultimately non-graspable by the intellect. I came away from this book es ...more
T.E.
Fun Fact for the folks at home: Ayn Rand was never wrong.
Never.
Not even once.
That book she disliked at seven years old? Clearly an early, unconscious value-judgment based on her burgeoning worldview. She dislikes it to this day.

Also, who quotes their own books? Who does that? She'll just pop in a passage from "Atlas Shrugged," no big deal, everyone does that, amirite?

But anyway. I kind of like Ayn Rand. Is she a bad person? Maybe. Is her philosophy missing a few key points? Hella yes. Is Object
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zikafus
Dec 10, 2008 zikafus rated it it was amazing
Ayn may have the most rational philosophical basis of thought to ever grace mankind. Her perspective on psycho-epistemology opens worlds of understanding the judgment and action of man.
As I read The Romantic Manifesto all I can think is- "there is no convincing enough argument to promote the grandeur of this book... nothing I could say to others could portray the urgency I feel for them to read this book..."
The description on the back of the book describes "The Romantic Manifesto" as "...one of
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Haibar Zair
Mar 01, 2015 Haibar Zair rated it really liked it
Reading the name "Ayn Rand" would've given five stars straight, call it a huge bias, but that's how it is. If Rand talks about 10 things, I will agree with 7 of them automatically..but reading this book gave an eerie feeling, that of sitting in an isolated room, closing eyes and talking on top of my voice. Not caring, not seeing much. Just talking talking talking talking. Rand portrays fairly accurate assessments most of the times but the rest...she is blind to everything but what she says. I ca ...more
Alex Lee
Sep 17, 2015 Alex Lee rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, philosophy
This book more clearly explains Ayn Rand's position than any other book of hers I've read in the past.

Rand is often hotly contested; but it's not enough to say that something nonsensical or stupid because to truly understand something we should be able to explain what it is or why something is dismissed. Not only that but we should also be able to explain how a view is (in)valid. In a sense, Rand often fails to explain what is detestable in others, resorting to words like "evil" or "irrational"
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Robin
Jan 01, 2015 Robin rated it it was ok
Ugh....this was so tedious to read. I probably only agreed with less than 5% of what she had to say. and while I respect that she obviously took a lot of time thinking this through, I feel like it's pretty much her just saying, with big words, that her opinions are right and everyone who disagrees with her is wrong. or lazy, or stupid. Her view of art is soooo limited. And she is insulting. and conceited...I can't tell you how many times she quotes her own novels. But it's a lot. The interesting ...more
Robert Vlach
Jan 03, 2014 Robert Vlach rated it it was amazing
Kniha řízných esejů s podtitulem A Philosophy of Literature (Filozofie literatury) svou autorku nezapře. Ayn Rand psala o filozofii pro život na Zemi, známé jako objektivismus či realistický romantismus. Vtěchto textech se zaměřila konkrétně na obhajobu racionálního aselektivního přístupu k umělecké tvorbě, zejména s ohledem na formativní přínos. Umění zpočátku definuje jako dílo, které je nejvyšším cílem samo o sobě. Dále však tuto myšlenku rozvádí mnohem hlouběji a vedle románu přidává další f ...more
August V
Jan 09, 2016 August V rated it it was amazing
Of her non-fiction, this one on esthetics/literature is her most well organized, not including For The New Intellectual which was mostly one (brilliant) essay. The only fault in her presentation is that it is a collection of essays, as opposed to a book to present the subject. If it were begun as a book I think the presentation would have been better.

Still, she presented her view on esthetics of literature fully, and to my knowledge is the only philosopher to have discovered the basis for such
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Mirela
Mar 22, 2016 Mirela rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
Portrayal of art unlike any other. Just as always, clear, purposeful, eloquence that brings light to most complex things in life.
Dominique Dacchille
Jan 20, 2016 Dominique Dacchille rated it really liked it
Potential readers, please note that this is a collection of essays rather than a novel. Having said that, when trying to read this book straight through as if it were a novel, Rand's constant reiteration of her lexicon and philosophical stances can become somewhat irritating. Despite this, if you find Rand to be as brilliant an author and thinker as I do, then this quick read will be enjoyable for you. I've never thought about the importance of art as critically as I did while I read "The Romant ...more
Bill FromPA
Nov 20, 2015 Bill FromPA rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Though subtitled “A Philosophy of Literature”, this short book considers all the arts except architecture (“I shall not include architecture in this discussion – I assume the reader knows which book I will refer him to.“). Rand states that it is possible to admire the aesthetic excellence in a work of art, while not personally liking the artwork, because the “sense of life” of the artist differs from the viewer’s “sense of life”. She admires the style of Vermeer immensely, but does not care at a ...more
Phil
Dec 11, 2015 Phil rated it did not like it
I forgot to review this when I finished this book several months ago, so my review is a bit stale.

Overall, this book came off as exactly what I would expect a stereotypical "manifesto" to be - full of negativity to back up the generally negative connotations associated with the word. I enjoy Ayn Rand's no nonsense ideals, but this came of as pompous. Even the word choice was pompous in that I had to question if they even were words, or if Ayn Rand was making up her own lexicon along with her own
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Maurice Cordero
Jul 23, 2014 Maurice Cordero rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy, art
While I reserve a pinch of skepticism on Rand's classification of what's good art and what is not, this collection of essays forms part of my formative phase in understanding art in general and the creative processes involved.

Keeping in mind that these essays were written generations before my time, instead of disagreeing in some parts of what she stands for (i.e. photography is not art), I look at them as an abstraction on both creation and appreciation of art. After all, art is a reflection of
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Jordan
Oct 22, 2010 Jordan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
Another serving of Ayn Rand's genius, her treatise on the philosophy of art forced me to think about art in ways I had not before. It asked me to define what art is--what it does. Like Francis Schaefer, Rand sees the connection between the art a culture produces and that culture's philosophical outlook. Rand is concerned with ethics and how art reveals one's view of humankind (a high view or a low view). Her premise is found in her (apt, I believe) definition of art as "a selective re-creation o ...more
Don Geronimo
Jul 06, 2009 Don Geronimo rated it really liked it
The Romantic Manifesto is a collection of Ayn Rand's essays and works regarding the state of art for the objectivist man. That said, there is a lot of repeated statements in each statement because it is a collection of her works. At many times it will seem like she is repeating herself. That's because she is. Another warning is the book is extremely Western-centric, ignoring various ethnocultural views of art and art's purpose in one's culture.

The world is full of the mundane and appreciates the
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Teri Anderson
This is a collection of Ayn Rand essays regarding literature, philosophy and art, written at various times in her life. She defines Romanticism as "a category of art based on the recognition of the principle that man possesses the faculty of volition." Rand calls Romanticism "the greatest achievement of art history" and mourns its destruction. The other opposing broad artistic category she defines is Naturalism, which "denies the existence of man's volition."

Ponder these words by Rand:

It is imp
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Brent McCulley
Rand's esthetic ideals were never kept under wraps, indeed, they were overtly plain for every to see. In spite of this, with her Romantic Manifesto Rand has written a new declaration proclaiming her specific intentions on art and literature derived from her philosophical inclinations.

Rand's view on mankind is simple: Man is an end in himself, and not a means to a great end. It is for that reason why Rand's aestheticism is chiefly rooted in the fundamental obligation to glorify the greatness of m
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Carrie Andersen
The Romantic Manifesto, by Ayn Rand,is a philosophy about how art affects life. This book was published in 1971, January 1. Ayn Rand wrote many books, all philosophical and all were successful sellers.
In The Romantic Manifesto, Rand writes about how she believes that art comes from within every human being, and that it has a great influence on us. In the book, she often talks about how people today don't realize and forget how important art can be to us and how it affects our lives so much. Sh
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Carrie Andersen
Dec 14, 2012 Carrie Andersen rated it liked it
The Romantic Manifesto, by Ayn Rand,is a philosophy about how art affects life. This book was published in 1971, January 1. Ayn Rand wrote many books, all philosophical and all were successful sellers.
In The Romantic Manifesto, Rand writes about how she believes that art comes from within every human being, and that it has a great influence on us. In the book, she often talks about how people today don't realize and forget how important art can be to us and how it affects our lives so much. She
...more
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Alisa Rosenbaum was born in pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg to a prosperous Jewish family. When the Bolsheviks requisitioned the pharmacy owned by her father, Fronz, the Rosenbaums fled to the Crimea. Alisa returned to the city (renamed Leningrad) to attend the university, but in 1926 relatives who had already settled in America offered her the chance of joining them there. With money from the sa ...more
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“The pursuit of truth is not important. The pursuit of that truth is important which helps you in reaching your goal that is provided you have one.” 6 likes
“Hence the sterile, uninspiring futility of a great many theoretical discussions of ethics, and the resentment which many people feel towards such discussions: moral principles remain in their minds as floating abstractions, offering them a goal they cannot grasp and demanding that they reshape their souls in its image, thus leaving them with a burden of undefinable moral guilt.” 5 likes
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