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The Romantic Manifesto: A Bibliography


What follows is a suggested reading list for the study of Ayn Rand’s The Romantic Manifesto, compiled by IOS Advisory Board Member Kirsti Minsaas, a former Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Oslo, and author of several essays and reviews on Ayn Rand’s fiction and aesthetic theory. Serious students of Rand’s aesthetic and literary theory are advised to understand and evaluate Rand’s claims in relation to the works on the list, which in some cases cohere with, in other cases contradict, and in still other cases provide the historical context for, Rand’s claims. Dr. Minsaas’s bibliography may profitably be compared and contrasted with the “Foundations Study Guide” on Literary Theory compiled by Dr. Stephen Cox (University of California, San Diego) for The Atlas Society. (We’ll be adding hyperlinks very soon!)

(1) Literary Theory and Criticism

M. H. Abrams and Geoffrey Galt Harpham, A Glossary of Literary Terms. 10th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2012.  9th ed. (2009).

Aristotle. The Poetics.

Wayne C. Booth, The Rhetoric of Fiction. 2nd ed. Chicago: Chicago University Press, [1961]1983.

A. C. Bradley, Shakespearean Tragedy (1904). London: Penguin Classics, 1991.

Victor Brombert, Victor Hugo and the Visionary Novel. Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1986.

Stephen Halliwell, Aristotle’s Poetics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

Victor Hugo, William Shakespeare (1864). Translated by Melville B. Anderson (1887). Honolulu: University Press of the Pacific, 2001.

Walter Kaufmann, Tragedy and Philosophy. Princeton: Princeton University Press, [1968] 1992.

Martha C. Nussbaum, The Fragility of Goodness: Luck and Ethics in Greek Tragedy and Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Plato, The Republic. Books 3 and 10.

Percy B. Shelley, A Defence of Poetry ([1821] 1840).

Sir Philip Sidney, An Apology for Poetry (1595). Edited by Geoffrey Shepherd. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1973.

(2) Music

Peter Kivy, Introduction to a Philosophy of Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Jerrold Levinson, Music, Art & Metaphysics: Essays in Philosophical Aesthetics.  Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990.

Aaron Ridley, Music, Value and the Passions. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1995.

Roger Scruton, The Aesthetics of Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

(3) Aesthetics

Noël Carroll, Philosophy of Art: A Contemporary Introduction. London: Routledge, 1999.

Paul Guyer, Kant and the Experience of Freedom: Essays on Aesthetics and Morality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment (1790).

Peter Kivy, Philosophies of Arts: An Essay in Differences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy (1881).

Harold Osborne, Aesthetics and Art Theory: An Historical Introduction. New York: Dutton, 1970.

Roger Scruton, The Aesthetic Understanding: Essays in the Philosophy of Art and Culture. South Bend, Indiana: St. Augustine’s Press, 1998.

Friedrich Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man (1794). Translated by Reginald Snell. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1954.

Leo N. Tolstoy, What Is Art? (1896). Translated by Aylmer Maude. Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company, 1960.

Julian Young, Nietzsche’s Philosophy of Art. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

(4) Romanticism

M. H. Abrams, The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963.

Jacques Barzun, Classic, Romantic, and Modern. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1961.

Isaiah Berlin, The Roots of Romanticism. London: Chatto & Windus, 2000.

Victor Hugo, Preface to Cromwell (1827).

Arthur O. Lovejoy, “Schiller and the Genesis of German Romanticism” and “On the Discrimination of Romanticisms,”in Essays in the History of Ideas. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1948.

William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1802).



  1. Also “What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand” by Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi (Open Court, 2000).

  2. Kirsti Minsaas says:

    I deliberately omitted secondary works on Ayn Rand’s aesthetics, since this site also has a separate online bibliography section devoted to the various branches of Objectivism (including aesthetics, though as yet empty). I believe it should be listed there.

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