• entries
  • comments
  • views

Ayn Rand Sightings -- The Fountainhead in LA Review of Books



I was alerted to this review by one of the folks I follow on Twitter, Robert Tracinski:

A small excerpt from the offending review with a bit of Rand news that I missed highlighted:


You can see why some readers — especially younger ones — might find Rand’s work exciting.

As for her ideas: Rand is one of the few popular writers (L. Ron Hubbard is another) to have developed her own school of philosophy. She called this intellectual movement “Objectivism,” and it came complete with an articulated metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and aesthetics. Her fiction, which contained this philosophy in embryo, enshrined the lonely nobility of the individual, the value of selfishness, the fraudulence of altruism, and the depravity of collectivism:

Men have been taught that their first concern is to relieve the suffering of others. But suffering is a disease. Should one come upon it, one tries to give relief and assistance. To make that the highest test of virtue is to make suffering the most important part of life. Then man must wish to see others suffer — in order that he may be virtuous. Such is the nature of altruism. The creator is not concerned with disease, but with life. Yet the work of the creators has eliminated one form of disease after another, in man’s body and spirit, and brought more relief from suffering than any altruist could ever conceive.

I haven’t read a lot of Rand, so I have to trust my companion’s word that Toneelgroep Amsterdam’s four-and-a-half hour theatrical adaptation of The Fountainhead, which recently finished a run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music as part of the 2017 Next Wave Festival, is faithful to its source, even bizarrely so. Most responses to Rand are split between reverence and ridicule; the extremity of her beliefs and her rhetoric demand more than mere agreement. 

-- I am half-convinced that we already noted the Amsterdam theatre group's adaptation in an earlier OL post, but my attempts to find that note are foiled by the search facility, which has gremlins at the moment.

[Edit: gremlins vanquished:; the link goes to Michael's note of the earlier sighting ... ] 



Recommended Comments

Not quite a sighting, but.  The 'talking books' folks at Audible have made Atlas Shrugged available for no charge.


Hat tip to the Ayn Rand Institute, via email ...

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged Is Currently Available for Free Streaming on Audible!
“For as long as schools are closed, we’re open,” announced Amazon’s Audible. “Starting today, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids. All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. Explore the collection, select a title and start listening. It’s that easy.”

Not all of the audiobooks on offer are just for kids; Atlas Shrugged is among the available titles. If you are housebound during this coronavirus crisis, now is the perfect time to listen or re-listen to Ayn Rand’s magnum opus!


Link to comment

The current Skeptic magazine almost cites Rand in the article "25 Fallacies in the Case for Christianity."

Number 23, Stolen Concept.

Skeptic is a bit of an old warhorse, but a libertarian ethos is well-saddled at times, and not just in editor Michael Shermer's weighty pieces. Like the old horse it seems to have trodden deeply on a few routes, one of which is god claims and arguments. Most of the time, it's straight-up small-o objectivism.

And Skeptic leaves almost all the Bigfoot trails clear for Skeptical Inquirer, which is even more venerable and habituated to ancient battlefields ...


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now