Marsha Enright

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Everything posted by Marsha Enright

  1. Ellen, Hi! Good to 'see' you again after all these years. Regarding Rand's behavior in public and in these private lessons, I do think she tended to be more on the defensive - or offensive, as one might see it - in public where she thought she might be more easily under attack. Hey, were you listening the time Rand got mad at me and told me I should leave Frank alone? I had been waiting to talk to her during a break at one of those lectures in the '70's (Peikoff or Blumenthal, I don't remember), so I was making conversation with Frank about his painting. He was clearly infirm at that time, aphasic and had difficulty expressing himself. She kept throwing me dagger glances until she finally said in a stern voice to leave him alone, that I shouldn't bother him about Objectivism (which I hadn't), he was just her husband or something like that (John remembers the dialogue better than I!). So I went away, realizing that she didn't understand what I had been saying to him, and that she was being protective, given his infirmity. Did I ever tell you that she sought me out at the next break in the lecture and said, in her heavy Russian accent, "Please, dahling, forgive me. I didn't know what you were talking about!"? Here, I was just some kid she didn't know- but she had done me wrong (obviously Frank had straightened her out), so *she* found *me* to apologize! No standing on ceremony there, or making anything of her position of fame and achievement. I was impressed. Marsha
  2. Michael, Thanks for your kind welcome and for posting the link. Kevin, I can send you an electronic copy of the article if you give me your address. How does that work here? I mean, is there a problem/danger to posting our email addresses in these messages? (like MORE SPAM?) Thanks for your interesting accounting of your own experience changing your automatic reactions. You'll note that, although you couldn't directly control your reactions, your conscious choices to do something about them eventually led to different reactions and an improved situation for you. Effectively, you gave yourself a new habit. I think there may be a problem with misunderstanding certain terms being used, like "understanding," in the objectivist writing on emotion. More later - gotta go, sorry. Marsha
  3. I thought the story the class read and negatively criticized (on the grounds that its philosophy was off or something like that) was one of Rand's stories, like "The Simplest Thing In The World." I agree with Phil - and this is part of what I meant about the emptiness of the FW book - even in the somewhat edited tapes I listened to, Rand made many fascinating and valuable comments about the fiction they discussed. She had *first hand* emotional/intellectual experiences with a work and analyzed her responses without preconceived ideas and moral judgments - which allowed her to have the kind of unique and brilliant insights she did. You could hear this in her discussions on the tapes. There was no "this is a good work because it is philosophically correct" kind of stuff. She even analyzed a novel of pulp fiction! Also, her manner was very kind and patient - excellent teaching manner, despite all kinds of questions one could get impatient with. It gave quite a different picture of her than the kind of volatile anger and quick moral judgments I saw sometimes at Ford Hall Forum, or even in person. Marsha
  4. THanks to Roger for his extensive comments. Here's mine: the Boeckman transcript is crap. (Sorry if I'm violating a rule here...just let me know and I won't do it again!) He left out sooo much from the tapes, that the meaning of Rand's comments are seriously changed. A few years ago, Susan McCloskey gave a presentation/analysis of this book at the summer seminar, with serious, and accurate, criticisms -IF THE BOOK ACTUALLY REPRESENTED WHAT RAND SAID. David Axel and I had to let her know that it didn't, and that she needed to hear the taped course to get an idea of the complex and subtle understanding Rand had to fiction, how to experience it and how to write it. Of course, I don't know if they've edited those tapes more, too (they were obviously edited when I heard them about 20 years ago). Whew, I know we're supposed to restrain our ranting to a specific area-sorry if I've goofed. Marsha
  5. By the way, although the online pics give you a bit of an idea of what the Four Seasons paintings are like - WOW - you can really hardly see their awesome beauty from these pics (no offense Kat, it seems to be a problem with the medium). DON'T MISS THEM IN PERSON!!! Marsha
  6. Thanks for the double welcome and for this lovely site. I really like the tone and interesting topics. And an extra thanks to Kat for finding the pictures. Funny, the Four Seasons paintings reminded me of Maxfield Parrish, although none of Girodet's others did. Marsha
  7. Kevin, First, who's article are you quoting? Sorry if I didn't follow that, I just became a member. Second, before I start arguing, I wanted to let you know that I think there's much to be improved about the objectivist way of understanding emotions. I've taken a shot at this a few years ago in an article for JARS called "If Emotions Are Not Tools of Cognition...What Are They?". Also, I do think that the way people understand what Rand et. al said about emotions can lead them astray in terms of understanding their own and the role they play in life. Unfortunately, in Rand's striving to emphasize the role of reason in life, her own, complexly nuanced attitude towards emotion is overlooked. Her attitude is most clearly apparent in what she's says about the process of writing, as in her Journals and in the tapes on fiction writing (the book was so severely edited that it doesn't even represent the views she expressed in the talks she gave on which the book is based!). In her discussions of writing, she talks about the necessity of relying on your emotions to produce so many aspects of the writing. She says it would be impossible to write without doing that. However, you can also *see*her comment on emotion in some of her interviews with Snyder, etc. Lastly, anyone who hears her lecture or sees her on film or reflects on her essays or novels should be able to easily realize that she is highly passionate and acutely tuned into her own emotions and the emotions of others. Her characters are, too - that's one of the ways they notice all kinds of things about the villains versus the other heroes. What I'm talking about here is looking at what Rand did in her life as a context for what she said about reason and emotion. It gives a different picture than the highly controlled, rationalistic approach to emotion which many people take from her work. You quoted someone as saying:
  8. There's a fabulous exhibit of the French Classical/Romantic painter Girodet at the Art Institute until April 30th. He was a student of the Classicist Jacques-Louis David (who painted the crowning of Napoleon, for example). Although some of his pieces exhibit the posed qualities of Classicism, like the Oath of the Horatii, Girodet broke away from David to paint much more imaginative, Romantic pieces with awesome technical skill, such as the Four Seasons. His portraits are also powerful and his rendering of the human body beautiful. His work is rife with gorgeous color, texture and sensuality. Don't miss it! This is a travelling exhibit with many paintings from the Louvre, free with admission to the Art Institute.