Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.

Reading and Writing

Leonard Peikoff

Presented at: IRM 1994

Date: Jul 16, 1994

This mini-course offers an Objectivist version of two of the three ''R"s. It discusses how to read fiction (specifically, how to analyze great plays) - and how to write non-fiction (specifically, how to present great ideas). 

The writing segment (sessions one and three) focuses on achieving clarity in ideological speeches, letters to the editor, etc. For most topics (e.g., establishing context, selecting essentials, creating a structure), students will be assigned a brief paragraph to write in class. Dr. Peikoff's own answer to the assignment (photocopied in advance) will be handed out as part of the ensuing analysis.

The reading segment (sessions two and four) focuses on the method of identifying the essential events and the metaphysical value-judgments of two twentieth-century Romantic dramas, one now virtually unknown, the other famous. The two are Monna Vanna by Maurice Maeterlinck, whIch Ayn Rand once tried, unsuccessfully, to have made into a movie (session two) and Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand (session four). (The Monna Vanna lecture is a repeat of one previously given.) Students are asked to read both plays before the lectures begin. 


Parts: 4

Handout: none


  • YouTube, 2018 (En) - 108 mins - Part 1
  • YouTube, 2018 (En) - 114 mins - Part 2
  • e-Store, 2012 (En) - 225 mins
  • CD, 2007 (En) - 225 mins - 4 CD set