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  • Posted by Vinay 5 years, 3 months ago
    Per se, heroism is NOT a necessary component of romanticism (neither are pro-capitalism/ objectivist values). What matters is that there are values held by individuals hell-bent on pursuing them. In a sense, Harold Robbins (the 4th highest selling novelist of all time, ahead of Suzanne Collins, JFK Rowling, Jeffrey Archer etc. etc.) wrote in a romanticist way. But none of his characters are morally upstanding. They are almost all grey. Except of course 79 Park Avenue (also made into a movie I believe), which has quite a heroic twist in the story. Romanticism is volitionism. You trying to get a math degree is romanticist. Heroism, or trying the highly improbable, is necessary component of dramatic conflict. It makes the story more interesting. Just getting a math degree may sound like a boring story, but throw in this--a female 16-year old prodigy trying to get this degree in a Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Hello, now we can make this interesting.
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  • Posted by straightlinelogic 5 years, 3 months ago
    Rothbard makes many of the same points about Romantic literature that Ayn Rand did in The Romantic Manifesto. I believe that only Romantic literature is enjoyable, can dramatize important philosophical, political, and cultural issues, and will have any enduring value. As I was growing up, I could not understand why so much of what I was forced to read as "literature" was so boring. I also could not understand why so much of what was superficially interesting--best sellers--had nothing to say about anything important.
    When I started writing fiction, my number one goal was to right the kind of stories I would want to read--interesting with something important to say. That, I realized after my first encounters with Ayn Rand and her philosophy of writing, necessarily meant Romanticism. After reading Rand I understand why "important" books were dull and "interesting" books were trivial.
    The Golden Pinnacle is a Romantic novel. Readers can judge for themselves whether it is interesting and has something important to say; in other words whether my goal in writing it has been realized. The one argument I have with Rothbard is the requirement that a Romantic novel have a happy ending, but that may be more definitional than anything else. If by happy ending it is meant that the hero's commitment to his values are intact at the end of the novel, then I have no problem with the happy ending requirement. If, on the other hand, happy ending means that everything comes up roses for the hero at the end, I disagree. The hero in The Golden Pinnacle, Daniel Durand, never wavers in his commitment to freedom and liberty, but the end of his life marks a period when the U.S. is changing for the worse and everything does not come up roses for him and his family.
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    • Posted by Vinay 5 years, 3 months ago
      The conflict set up at the start of the story MUST be resolved with a finality. Otherwise it is lazy writing. It need not be resolved with the good guys winning, the bad side might win (in a sense), e.g. We The Living. Nevertheless, a more efficacious sense-of-life is conveyed when the protagonists achieve their values, or at least manage to make a difference, and achieve some of their values.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 5 years, 3 months ago
      Pinnacle is definitely romantic. But an epic novel is about history. I found Durand's life happy in the end.
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      • Posted by Vinay 5 years, 3 months ago
        I think we can rank stories on a scale of romanticism. Good to know Pinnacle is romantic. IT's not whether the struggle succeeds or not, but whether it has a chance of success, so that the protagonist does not set out to become a martyr, e.g. Kira in We The Living, and Hypatia in Agora, the movie.
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  • Posted by Vinay 5 years, 3 months ago
    Strictly speaking, for a story to be romanticist, it need not espouse objectivist values (e.g. Victor Hugo's novels). But the plot must progress consequentially, not randomly, and as a result of the characters actively pursuing their wants, conveying clearly a sense that their desires are achievable. Demonstrating consequentialism is rendered unnecessarily harder in non-linear story telling like Pulp Fiction,, because consequences occur linearly.
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