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Gems of Short Fiction

Lisa VanDamme

Presented at: OCON 2006

Date: Jun 30, 2006

One consequence of the decay of American education is that many adults have never been exposed to the classics of world literature. Reading lists from today’s high schools and universities consist primarily of contemporary American fiction or obscure multicultural novels. In those rare cases that the classics are taught, they are analyzed either superficially or from an irrational philosophic perspective.

In this course, Ms. VanDamme will discuss of some of the world's great works of short fiction, by authors such as Leo Tolstoy, Guy de Maupassant, Oscar Wilde and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Her approach to analyzing these stories will be the one defined by Leonard Peikoff in his brilliant course "Eight Great Plays": she will discuss the plot (or central event), characterization, theme, underlying philosophy and style of each author. In doing so, she hopes to introduce Objectivists to the powerful events, penetrating insights and memorable characters of stories that they ought to have been taught in school, and that are taught at her school.


Parts: 3

Handout: none