fiction

O. Henry: Austin’s Storyteller and America’s Spirit by Shoshana Milgram

“More than any other author,” Ayn Rand wrote, O. Henry represents “the expectation of finding something wonderful around all of life’s corners.” He became world-famous for his ingenious plot twists, exuberant wordplay, and cheerful benevolence. It all began, in fact, in Austin—where he lived, loved, worked, and first expressed his glowing literary universe. (No advance reading required.) Recorded live as part of The Objectivist Conference on August 30, 2021.

Aristotle and the Romantic Manifesto by Robert Mayhew

In the Romantic Manifesto, Ayn Rand reports that before she heard the name “Aristotle,” she had accepted his principle “that fiction is of greater philosophical importance than history, because history represents things only as they are, while fiction represents them ‘as they might be and ought to be.’” The aim of this talk is to explain the role of this principle in Aristotle’s esthetics and Ayn Rand’s, and to note other parallels between the Poetics and Romantic Manifesto.

Recorded live on June 27, 2019 in Cleveland, OH.