Ayn Rand Essay 2009

Ayn Rand Essay 2009-9
all Americans who have appeared on the nation’s postage stamps, Ayn Rand is probably the only one to have thought that the United States government has no business delivering mail.

all Americans who have appeared on the nation’s postage stamps, Ayn Rand is probably the only one to have thought that the United States government has no business delivering mail.In her central pronouncement of political belief—the character John Galt’s radio address, which begins on page 1,000 of Rand’s 1957 novel, “Atlas Shrugged”—allowance is made for the state to run an army, a police force, and courts, but that’s it.

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A white spark of fire flashed like a cold metallic cross in the glass she held, as if it were a lens gathering the diffused radiance of her skin.

Rand never once seems struck by the contrast between the taciturnity she so admires in her hero and the authorial verbosity that stretches the novel to 727 pages.

But a sizable number of readers seem tempted to return to Galt’s Gulch during leftward lurchings of the body politic.

Sales of “Atlas Shrugged,” never less than robust, have these days been spiking, as commentators like Glenn Beck tout the book as an antidote to the supposed socialism of President Obama’s domestic program.

Heller finds the novel “phenomenally compelling,” possessed of a “thrilling intensity”; Burns, more warily, calls “The Fountainhead” a “strange book, long, moody, feverish” but ultimately “unforgettable.” It is, in fact, badly executed on every level of language, plot, and characterization.

Dominique is not simply, as Burns would concede, “highly stylized”; she is a kind of couture-clad Tesla coil.Most readers make their first and last trip to Galt’s Gulch—the hidden-valley paradise of born-again capitalists featured in “Atlas Shrugged,” its solid-gold dollar sign standing like a Maypole—sometime between leaving Middle-earth and packing for college.Only a handful become lifetime followers of Objectivism, Rand’s codified philosophy, which holds that reality exists as something concrete and external, not created by God or by a person’s consciousness; that emotions derive from ideas; and that self-interest rather than altruism is man’s ethical ideal.Burns, a professor of history, more ably situates Rand within and against the world of American conservatism. for America with a stamped passport and the sponsorship of some relatives of her mother’s who lived in Chicago. Even before leaving the Soviet Union, she had published a pamphlet on the silent-film actress Pola Negri, and like a movie star herself she now refashioned “Rosenbaum” into her own new name.Both biographers overestimate, Heller more seriously, the literary achievement of their subject, whose intellectual genre fiction puts her in the crackpot pantheon of L. Ron Hubbard; it is no closer to the canon of serious American novels than Galt’s Gulch is to Brook Farm. Heller and Burns both knock down the myth that a Remington-Rand typewriter inspired the rechristening.Born in Russia in 1905, as Alisa Rosenbaum, Rand was the daughter of two St. We can do it.” As Heller points out, “We the Living” contains the only tragic ending in Rand’s fiction. There is a greater factual basis to the legend of Rand’s having met Cecil B. wardrobe department, and then had a writerly breakthrough with a courtroom murder drama called “Night of January 16th.” Thanks to a gimmick that allowed each night’s audience to serve as the jury and thereby choose the ending, the play made it to Broadway, where Rand railed against the producers’ subordination of its incidental messages about the beauty of unbridled individualism.Petersburg Jews, a prosperous pharmacist and his socially ambitious wife. A Soviet border guard shoots Kira as she tries to escape into Latvia. De Mille before she worked as an extra on his production of “The King of Kings” (1927). Settling in New York with her husband, Frank O’Connor (another “King of Kings” extra), Rand set seriously to work on the first of her two major novels, “The Fountainhead.” Writing the book took four and a half years, including the time Rand worked in the architectural offices of Ely Jacques Kahn, gathering material with which she could texture the professional world of Howard Roark.A reader doesn’t know whether to light her cigarette or to light his with her: She stood leaning against a column, a cocktail glass in her hand.She wore a suit of black velvet; the heavy cloth, which transmitted no light rays, held her anchored to reality by stopping the light that flowed too freely through the flesh of her hands, her neck, her face.(The book would have been a third longer had wartime paper scarcity not made Rand cut the manuscript.) The thematic repetitions are such that this novel about architecture becomes a kind of Levittown, with chapter after chapter hammered together to establish exactly the same point that was made in the one before.The notorious scene in which Dominique throws herself against Roark with a lot of biting and blood (Rand called it “rape by engraved invitation”) is less arousing than confusing; the only thing detracting from Dominique’s pleasure is her disappointment that Roark doesn’t have, along with his marble muscles, a criminal record.


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