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The Art of Nonfiction (Unabridged)
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The Art of Nonfiction (Unabridged) [Audio Download]

by Ayn Rand (Author), Marguerite Gavin (Narrator)
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 6 hours and 56 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 9 Dec 2004
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0096FDEJY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product Description

In 1958, and again in 1969, Ayn Rand gathered a small group of her friends and acquaintances and gave an informal course on writing. At once a fascinating philosophical discourse on the art of creation and an invaluable guide for the aspiring writer, these edited transcripts are a treasure that will challenge, edify, and illuminate the way to more powerful writing.

Rand takes listeners step by step through the writing process, providing insightful observations and invaluable techniques along the way. She discusses the psychological aspects of writing and the roles played by the conscious and subconscious mind. She talks about articles and books, explaining how to select a subject and theme, how to identify your audience, and how to write the first draft.

©2001 Estate of Ayn Rand; (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Judge Rand on the writing task before us 3 Jan 2010
In this slim volume we have a fair presentation of Rand's personal advice to writing colleagues, as given in a series of 1969 meetings. She disposes of writers' block, self-doubt, self-censorship, and muddled thought as someone with long experience in facing these goblins. Of course her program is colored by the Objectivist philosophy, which is for her essential to independent thought. But the way she applies this to writers' problems is quite practical and probably cross-cultural. At times she shows hints of a "greed is good" ideology, which sounds slightly less prophetic these days. But then she plows ahead, delivering sound advice on writing style, organization, work habits, editing, selecting topics, or reviewing books, always telling the writer what is essential and what to ignore.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Art of Nonfiction 3 Mar 2012
By Rusty
"Writing is no more difficult a skill than any other, such as engineering. Like every human activity, it requires practice and knowledge. But there is nothing mystical about it." - Ayn Rand. This book takes you through the steps from preparing the outline, polishing a draft, to developing and mastering your own style. This book is a must for those who wish to understand the fundamental principles, that underpin all good nonfiction works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wise and profound guide to clear writing 24 Oct 2010
This is a remarkably brilliant discussion of the art of writing, concentrating on what Ayn Rand calls 'middle-range' articles: factual pieces that take fundamental philosophical principles for granted, which therefore belong mid-way between theoretical articles (academic papers dealing with abstract ideas and proofs) and journalism (reports of concrete events without theorizing).

I call Ayn Rand's discussion 'remarkably brilliant' because it is an edited recording of talks she gave to an Objectivist audience (followers of her personal philosophy), speaking from only a few notes. The coherence and clarity of what she said is therefore as remarkable as the wisdom and novelty of what she said.

Ayn Rand makes the case for writing as clearly as one can, with a good grasp of English grammar, and letting prose style emerge naturally. The key lesson is the idea of the subconscious mind being an automatic computer that is programmed by the conscious mind. We write with the subconscious and just as there are various techniques to help the subconscious work unimpeded, so there are techniques to order and clarify conscious ideas before they are automated in the subconscious. Practical advice follows, such as to leave a day to forget the actual sentences used before editing, not to correct as one writes, to stick to the outline and to ignore problems that will slow one down.

Altogether, a wise and profound guide to clear writing.
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