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Thread: Can't believe there's no thread for Atlas Shrugged [by Ayn Rand]

  1. #126
    Livin' la vida biblia ASeiple's Avatar
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    It's telling that it's impossible to discuss Atlas Shrugged without clarifying your stance on Rand's worldview.

    To that end, it's impossible to deny that she was a powerful writer. Articulate? Classically skilled? Not so much. I read one article which claimed she wrote the whole thing using Meth to get through it. I believe it.

    But... it grabs you, somehow, if you can muddle through it. The world she paints is so damn attractive to quite a lot of people, and I can see why. It's a world where your productivity is a measure of your true value, where karma is absolute, and where the height of enlightenment comes from realizing that one does NOT have to submit to tyranny. That living free of unrealistic expectations, societal or otherwise, is the only way to achieve true happiness.

    Rand is at her noblest when she speaks to empowering oneself. She is it at her stupidest when she turns around and condemns charity and kindness. One does not prevent the other. Some find empowerment by helping others, and are as necessary and vital as those who do not need to do so.

    In that, she reveals her own flaws so intensely that it hurts. This author had emotional problems, was wrestling with demons so hard that she built up an enormous strength, and turned it to purposes both foul and fair.

    In the end, I enjoy it for its fervor, but scorn the notion of translating its ideas to the real world. Many who call themselves Objectivists would actually hate living in a Randian world. Nor could they survive for long, if forced to do so.

    Every couple of years I go and reread it. Checking it out of the library, because I find irony in that. I'll never own a copy, but I'll read it as I please. It seems fitting.

    And every year, I come to the same conclusion: It is fiction; let it remain so.
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  2. #127
    Even the sphinx has eyes O_O Spooky's Avatar
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    It is an experience I'll say that much, she has a way of piecing things together that astounds me sometimes, I'll never forget those pages where Ayn is describing the first run of the train along the john galt line, truly spellbinding journey 'watching' that sucker purr along.

  3. #128
    practical experience, FTW Zoe R's Avatar
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    I loved her books, and often said Atlas Shrugged was one of my favorites, but it's been many years since I read it, and I was not coming at it from a political perspective, so I wonder if my feelings on it would change. I think I can enjoy books that have philosophies I disagree with if they have interesting plots and strong characters. Ayn Rand gets demonized too much lately because of Paul Ryan! It's a shame.

  4. #129
    practical experience, FTW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe R View Post
    Ayn Rand gets demonized too much lately because of Paul Ryan!
    Actually, it's closer to Paul Ryan gets demonized by Ayn Rand.

    caw
    Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.

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  5. #130
    Techno-Cathar Perfect Diana Hignutt's Avatar
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    If you must read Rand, just read The Fountainhead. It's a lot shorter, it's a better book, and there's no 150 page speech to read towards the end. That's my advice.
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