Thinking in Inessentials

 Posted by on 6 July 2005 at 7:00 am  Uncategorized
Jul 062005

Perhaps I’m too sheltered, but I’ve never seen an interpretation of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged quite this odd:

A few people have accused me of being a fan of Ayn Rand, and I don’t think that’s true. I admired ‘Atlas Shrugged’ – as a literary work, and as an interesting and detailed story that had more depth than most can fathom. So when I came across The Fountainhead, it wasn’t too much of a decision to pull it off the shelf and trade some small pieces of paper for it.

It’s an amazing book.

One of the problems I had with ‘Atlas Shrugged’ was that it seemed to be the opposite of the world as I see it – in that the creative people are not in as advantageous positions as ‘Atlas Shrugged’ portrayed, and the fact that the people had money to form the commune within the book seemed counterintuitive. I had thought that a reversal of that would be an interesting thing, but I hadn’t realized that Ayn Rand had actually already written it. It’s almost exactly what ‘The Fountainhead’ is.

Let me translate that: The basic important difference between Ayn Rand’s two major novels is that Howard Roark was poor, while John Galt was rich. To read Ayn Rand’s novels in terms of such absurd inessentials must have taken years of rigorous training in bad epistemology.

I’m impressed.

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