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The Stylized Soul in Romantic Literature

Tore Boeckmann

Presented at: OCON 2013

Date: Jul 05, 2013

“[E]very human soul has a style of its own,” says Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead. “You’ll see it reflected in every thought, every act, every wish of that person.” Toohey is only half right: while a soul can have its own style, this is not common but a rare achievement. It presupposes a process of stylization.

A “stylized” object is one whose characteristics concretize philosophical values and optional, individualizing, internallycongruous values. Focusing on Ayn Rand’s novels, Mr. Boeckmann shows how a Romantic writer expresses her unique, individual soul by stylizing every aspect of her stories; and, secondarily, how she conveys the individuality of her respective characters by similar means.

To describe the same topic more concretely, this lecture answers the question, How do Howard Roark and John Galt come to be uniquely “Ayn Rand heroes” and, at the same time, uniquely themselves?


Parts: 1

Handout: none