Sunday, April 30, 2023

Objectivist Round-Up, April 2023

1. The Great Debate on Open versus Close Objectivism took place in mid-April at the Ayn Rand Centre Europe between Craig Biddle and Steven Hicks. I’ve been shaking the trees but can’t find why the video hasn’t been posted.

2. Ayn Rand Institute Objectivists are glad that Tucker Carlson was fired by FOX. See here (James Valliant) and here (Yaron Brook). Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I find it curios that the ARI seems to have an odd dislike of right-wing populists such as Trump and Carlson. They don’t get so worked up over the main stream left wing media.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Why Did Rand Dislike Joseph Conrad?

Ayn Rand, during one of her Q&A’s, made the following remark about Joseph Conrad, the Polish born English novelist:

Joseph Conrad also called himself a Romantic Realist. I don’t like him, but I think he is correct in so labeling himself. He treats his novels realistically, but not naturalistically. So even though my values are quite different from his, I agree with that designation. He expressed his values, and in that sense he was a romantic—only his settings and character are much more realistic than I’d ever select. But he was not a naturalist. [NFW 69]

As far as I know, this is the only recorded instance of Rand mentioning Conrad. She says nothing about him in the Romantic Manifesto and she made no reference to him, as far as anyone knows, in her long interview with Barbara Branden. Now given the fact that (1) Rand regarded herself as a “romantic realist,” and (2) that Conrad the is one of the few authors she also regarded as a “romantic realist,”—why then did Rand make no mention of Conrad when she introduced her theory of Romanticism in the Romantic Manifesto? She mentions other important romantic authors, such as Victor Hugo, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Friedrich Schiller, and Edmond Rostand. Didn’t Conrad at least deserve a mention as well? But no, she ignores him entirely. How do we account for this curious anomaly?