I cannot read it anymore.
I have tried a couple times over the last couple of years, the lastest time the most successful, getting ALMOST half-way in (the book being a total of 185 pages). 185 pages is something I should rip through in no time. Especially when the book pertains to art. So I guess that just means it is bad....
Which book? ------ "The Romantic Manifesto" by Ayn Rand.
It was my intention to spend some time today thinking creatively by reading this book. When I picked it up to read it, I found myself dreading the time I would spend, taking it only to complete the task I had set forth some several weeks ago. I then decided that I am not a masochist and should not force myself to do things I do not enjoy doing. Wow, what a revelation.
I guess I thought if I continued reading that I would like it, considering that I really enjoyed "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged," and consider the former to be one of my favorite books. The source of this favoritism has much to do with the detailed yet light and interesting way she writes, but also with her philosophy - in ways.
These 'ways' match how I am in 'ways' what one might consider conservative politically - I am to a certain extent for the idea of limited government, all about personal responsibility, and can often see the benefits of self-interest (insert Ayn Rand here). At the same time, I am a believer of some government sponsored social programs and in all aspects of human rights.
These ideas being at odds with one another 'in ways' exemplify how, as a 'liberal' artist with personal responsibility streak, my past enjoyment of Ayn Rand is at odds with my current feelings of deterence and desire to laugh at some of her musings. Examples;
"Art is not the means to any didactic end." - Pg. 22
Art is one of the best ways to share moral and ethical ideas, as well as a structure in which to teach such ideas. To suggest that art is merely in the moment and participatory (which are indeed some of its best situations, but not only) is to limit its capacities.
"The product of America's anti-rational, anti-cognitive, "Progressive" education, the hippies, are reverting to the music and drum-beat of the jungle." - Pg. 64
This is just plain hilarious. Back to the idea of participatory and sensory experiences, suggesting that hippies are anti-cognitive is hilarious! If someone is dancing to music or beats, in those moments, all they can think about is the sound and how their body is reacting - could anything be more cognative? Cognation does not need to be planned or forced in order to be experienced, reacted to, and gained from.
"Music is an independent, primary art. Dance is not. In view of their division of labor, the dance is entirely dependent upon music." - Pg. 69
Also just plain funny. I find it interesting that I am actually taking the time to refute this, as an intense purveyor of the idea that dance that is inspired from and exists due to music is not only valid but incredible. However, there certainly is a large piece of me that insists that dance is an act of art in itself that in no way REQUIRES music. In this same line of thought, I also prescribe to the idea that music requires artistic motion - in my mind, dance - to exist. Therefore - dance and music can certainly be lookd upon as free-standing art forms, but when examined deeply, lean on one another to exist. When this thought is broadened, I would go so far as to suggest that no art form can exist without the presence of others silently informing one another.
I did eventually get to Pg. 120, but the last quote from Pg. 69 was so hilarious to me that I did not get much out of the subsequent 50 pages.
So thanks, Ayn, for applying objectivism to art - in defending romanticism alone in creation, you have provided me with several wonderful fits of giggles.