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#34314 Selective timeline and links of the Kelley-Peikoff schism

Posted by Ellen Stuttle on 03 September 2007 - 11:30 PM in David Kelley Corner

A resources question about Liberty back issues and their on-line availability: Does anyone here know if the John Hospers 2-part Liberty memoir "Conversations with Ayn Rand" (July and September 1990) is available via website?

I wrote in my post #53 above that I'd been re-reading the memoir and would "type in some passages tomorrow," since

[...] I find the circumstances of John Hospers' relationship with her especially poignant and especially revealing in illustrating why she necessarily remained insulated from intelligent critique.


I should know better by now than to say "tomorrow" about a project requiring my sitting at a computer screen for more than a brief while. The spirit might be willing; the flesh has its problems. And tomorrow (the coming tomorrow, not the one I meant) I won't be home. But I do find that memoir poignantly illuminating for a number of reasons, including its relevance to a type of question which has come up several times on this site: What would have happened if someone non-hostile toward her had respectfully but intelligently critiqued Rand?

The memoir's on-line accessability would expedite quoting passages.

Ellen

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#34280 Selective timeline and links of the Kelley-Peikoff schism

Posted by Ellen Stuttle on 02 September 2007 - 10:58 PM in David Kelley Corner


[...] the story told by John Hospers in his 2-part Liberty memoir "Conversations with Ayn Rand." I've been re-reading that memoir. I'll type in some passages tomorrow. I find the circumstances of John Hospers' relationship with her especially poignant and especially revealing in illustrating why she necessarily remained insulated from intelligent critique.

Ellen


While I'm not a witness, I've said before and now I think Hospers got the boot because Rand didn't want the type of ratiocination he brought, necessarily, to their situation.

--Brant


Are you saying this as a criticism of Hospers? I.e., are you using "ratiocination" as a pejorative? Or is your point that she didn't want any well-based challenges to her views, and he was qualified to make such? (I agree with that.) Or...some other interpretation I'm not thinking of.

Ellen

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#34275 Selective timeline and links of the Kelley-Peikoff schism

Posted by Ellen Stuttle on 02 September 2007 - 10:24 PM in David Kelley Corner

An omnibus reply to several posts...


[....] You could even make a strong Objectivist argument for the streaker if you like. To whip something up as an example:

[skipping the example]

See how easy - not to mention fun - this is?


Easy and fun maybe; but not plausibly Ayn Rand.

Notice how Leonard describes her remarks:

http://www.objectivi...n...ost&p=34245

"Here," she said to me in effect, "is a nationally acclaimed occasion replete with celebrities, jeweled ballgowns, coveted prizes, and breathless cameras, an occasion offered to the country as the height of excitement, elegance, glamor [...]."


He's paraphrasing her; but she did think of the film industry as an icon of glamor, however much she might have disapproved of particular films being made, and of watering down to the lowest common denominator, etc. She'd revered the film industry from afar in Russia. She took begowned, bejeweled displays, echoes of Garbo and Dietrich, etc., seriously. On the other hand, she had no sympathies for the sexual liberationist hippiedom cultural trends of which the streaker fad was a sort of tail-end (forgive the pun) manifestation. (I still recall the scathing scorn of her voice tones when she spoke of "hippies.") She wouldn't have drawn a parallel to Greek sculptures glorifying the human body. I think she felt personally insulted by the streaker's appearance at (fanfare) The Academy Awards (gasp).


Neil comments:

[....] Just as Rand "knows" why the streaker did what he did w/o the facts, Peikoff knows why the Nazis came to power.


Again quoting "My Thirty Years...":

[my emphasis]

Listening to Ayn Rand that evening, I felt that I was beginning to understand what it means really to understand an event. I went home and proceeded to write the chapter in my book The Ominous Parallels about Weimar culture, which develops at length Ayn Rand's analysis of the modern intellectual trend.


I recall thinking upon reading "My Thirty Years..." when it appeared in The Objectivist Forum, Yes, well, just so: the methodology he uses in The Ominous Parallels indeed does share the flaws of her streaker analysis. He learned the "lesson."

==

Another detail about his account: He refers to her throughout as "Ayn Rand": interesting compromise between referring to her as "Ayn" -- too familiar I suppose he would have thought -- and referring to her as "Miss Rand," as he typically did in lectures and speeches -- too formal for the specific occasion, I suppose he would have thought.

==


Dan,

It's unfortunate that no one had the courage or the brains to tell Rand, "Sometimes a streaker is just a streaker."


Or to tell her anything one had half an idea that she would take the wrong (right?) way.

--Brant


It wasn't simply a lack of courage or brains (though I think in some cases there was a lack of one or the other or both). It was also that one couldn't get anywhere telling her something she'd "take the wrong (right?) way." Vide the Blumenthals' experience trying re music and painting. Or the story told by John Hospers in his 2-part Liberty memoir "Conversations with Ayn Rand." I've been re-reading that memoir. I'll type in some passages tomorrow. I find the circumstances of John Hospers' relationship with her especially poignant and especially revealing in illustrating why she necessarily remained insulated from intelligent critique.

Ellen