Submitted by jsdubose015 on Sat, 03/13/2010 - 17:34
This is an outstanding book written by one of the greatest authors and philosophers of the past century. The book is exactly what it's title suggests: a declaration of what Romanticism was and Romanticism ought to be. It begins by dealing with the basic question of "What is art?" From there, Rand deals with the basic issues of each the arts: literature, sculpture and architecture, music, and the performing arts. The largest part of Rand's book is directed toward her own field, literature. However, the alert reader will still gain many abstract principles that can be applied to all the arts. Of particular interest here is the section on music. Here Rand discusses briefly the psychological effects of music, as well as, the physiological aspects with several references to the work of Helmholtz. Perhaps most poignant is her statement that "until a conceptual vocabulary is discovered and defined, no objectively valid criterion of aesthetic judgment is possible in the field of music.
This books has drastically changed the way I approach music. Instead of blindly feeling my way along, I now see with the clear vision of a rational mindset. I cannot stress enough how important I believe it is for every artist, regardless of their chosen field, to read this book. If there is to be a “Romantic Renaissance,” this book has set the stage for those who will set it in motion. However, I conclude with Rand's own warning: "Those who feel that art is outside the province of reason would be well advised to leave this book alone: it is not for them."
What a fantastic review, thank you. I just ordered this book on Amazon, and I can't wait until it arrives!
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