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Rand was not a great novelist, and her novels were not garbage either.

Carol, if you say this 100 more times you'll believe it. (Trust me.)

--Brant

Big Brother

oh, do you think Orwell was a great novelist?

(feeling away around Carol in the dark)

Carol had fun, fun, fun--until Daddy took her iPad away!

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Daddy...try Sonny! Even worse.

on Orwell I will invoke the Century Rule of Greatness and he hasn't been dead long enough. I have read his other novels and certainly Keep the Aspidistra Flying was hardly Ulysses. but 1984 has such a spare humanity and pitiless truth , I think it will remain a classic.

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From curiosity, what other novelists do you consider great? (Warning I cannot read Portuguese!)

Carol,

Too many to name, starting with a slew of classics.

But I want to hone in on that word "great."

I think "David Copperfield" is a piss-poor spy novel, although it is a great coming of age novel. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is another great coming of age novel. But it is a piss-poor science fiction novel.

And so on.

I'm not a big fan of sweeping generalizations, even though that was a habit of Rand's.

Michael

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Neither am I a fan of SGs. I am not really a fan of genre assignment either, and I am not much of a Dickens fan, but I take your point about David Copperfield. (Emma btw was a pretty good mystery as well as a good romance) But as you know some novels arejust so good that they are great, however their original marketers cram them into niches. I particularly detest the. "If you loved Author X you will love Author Y" complete with extorted testimonial from Author X.

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Hey! SGs give you something to like and dislike at the same time! They make the neurons dance!

--Brant

if not for me OL would go completely to hell (and likely stay there)

I only stick around because I'm an altruist

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James Clavell wrote great novels.

And I don't give a shit about what Perigo says about Lord Of The Rings and the Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote amazing novels including the creation of elvish language both written and verbal. As far as fantasy novelists go he would be hard to beat. Oh no I may be excommunicated now!

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Don't worry. Excommunication is the least of your worries. I invite you to take a little trip, with--moi!

--Dante Alighieri

going down--step back from the doors please!

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Do not pay any attention to Adam and his silly long memory , Manhattan Mike. Respectable Widows do not flirt as he well knows, especially not on Objectivist websites where proof exists that you can contrary to popular belief, take it with you.I am still in the dark if Rand expressed any self analysis of her achievements as a novelist.Ellen? if anyone has any recollections, she might!

Rand (end of life quote [spurious?]): "I cast pearls of literary genius and didn't even get a pork chop back."--Brant

That is so funny that I hope it isn't spurious, though I suspect you made it up.

What did she need pork for anyway. her fame and money and the adoration of hunky young Branden (badly as it ended) were hardly chopped liver.

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James Clavell wrote great novels.

And I don't give a shit about what Perigo says about Lord Of The Rings and the Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote amazing novels including the creation of elvish language both written and verbal. As far as fantasy novelists go he would be hard to beat. Oh no I may be excommunicated now!

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a Creation Myth, The Silmarillion which is the "back story" for Lord of the Rings. It is a much better creation myth than the Book of Genesis or any of the comogeny stories either of the Egyptians or the Greeks. Tolkiens creation story is very much informed by Tolkien's Catholicism but that does not spoil it in the least.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I'm climbing out on that limb with Carol. I've never thought Rand was a great novelist, either.

By the way, Carol, welcome back! I'm so happy you're with us again.

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I'm climbing out on that limb with Carol. I've never thought Rand was a great novelist, either.

By the way, Carol, welcome back! I'm so happy you're with us again.

Chop, chop. Saw, saw.

--Brant

"They know nothing!"

Rand was not a great novelist for women--that's what the sexist thinks

Men make the world go round; women make the men--as did Ayn Rand, btw

I always thought making men was great--as well as making women who would make men

Hence, as a great liar Ayn Rand was a great novelist as all great novelists are great liars (that's why they call it fiction)

(I slipped in a tautology--haha--catch me if you can!)

there are no great novelists for women, just women pretending there are great novelists not named Ayn Rand; you see, women know a man wouldn't know a great novel if it fell on his head, but if they think so little of us why do they adore us so, especially as little babies?

I'm going to write a truly great novel, either for women or about women--the opening line will be, "'Waw, waw!' said John Galt" (the rest of the story will be told in flashbacks)

(trying without much success to counter oncoming dementia: not mine, others'; I'm honoring what I got)

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You just can't please some people.

It's men falling at the feet of women in Rand's books as the women burn through the men, one after another.

Yet it's the real-life women who don't think she's a great novelist.

Hmmmmm...

:smile:

Michael

Opps. I didn't know they were "real life." I thought it was Victor Pross working two IDs.

--Brant

my apologies to everyone!

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I'm climbing out on that limb with Carol. I've never thought Rand was a great novelist, either.

By the way, Carol, welcome back! I'm so happy you're with us again.

Chop, chop. Saw, saw.

--Brant

"They know nothing!"

Rand was not a great novelist for women--that's what the sexist thinks

Men make the world go round; women make the men--as did Ayn Rand, btw

I always thought making men was great--as well as making women who would make men

Hence, as a great liar Ayn Rand was a great novelist as all great novelists are great liars (that's why they call it fiction)

(I slipped in a tautology--haha--catch me if you can!)

there are no great novelists for women, just women pretending there are great novelists not named Ayn Rand; you see, women know a man wouldn't know a great novel if it fell on his head, but if they think so little of us why do they adore us so, especially as little babies?

I'm going to write a truly great novel, either for women or about women--the opening line will be, "'Waw, waw!' said John Galt" (the rest of the story will be told in flashbacks)

(trying without much success to counter oncoming dementia: not mine, others'; I'm honoring what I got)

Fiction is not lies. It is untruth told with the intent of entertaining or informing the reader. Lies are intended to decieve.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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... except for the primacy of plot, plot, plot. She employed a limited vocabulary to create startling two dimensional characters...

Carol,

Be careful with what Rand said as opposed to what she actually did. She talked a lot about plot, plot, plot, but if you look into her stories, the metaphors are as thick as quicksand and they suck you in just as powerfully. (Jackhammer pounding against granite, anyone? :smile: And that one is on the surface.)

Also, the limited vocabulary is an illusion. It's easy to go through her novels and just skip over the big words, but they are there in abundance. The illusion of limited vocabulary comes from the jargon she created and used consistently. Since there are not that many words in her often quirky jargon (who called anyone a looter back then?), and these words call attention to themselves, it seems like there are not many words in the rest. But there are.

[....]

My point is it is easy to caricature Rand, but when you dig in and start analyzing her stuff with rigor, you see there is a reason her books (especially her fiction) keep selling in the hundreds of thousands year after year. I know of no work where two-dimensional plot-only-focused characters presented with limited vocabulary have been anything but a temporary fad.

Michael

Reconcilement. Since I have a similar idea to Carol's as to what a "novel" is, I agree that Rand wasn't a great novelist but counter that she was a great mythicist. We the Living is closest to being a "novel"; The Fountainhead is betwixt and between (with features of its own that make it a special statement for many who love it - I didn't react to it that way); Atlas Shrugged is a deliberate presentation of a mythos, and I think it's a stupendous achievement in that regard.

About "plot, plot, plot" - there isn't really altogether that much plot in Rand's novels. The metaphoric symbolism and development, I think, is what provides the sweep and the power.

~~~

I am still in the dark if Rand expressed any self analysis of her achievements as a novelist.

Ellen? if anyone has any recollections, she might!

The only information I have on Rand's opinion of herself as a novelist is the statement from Nathaniel Branden which Peter Reidy quoted in post #35. I think it's safe to assume that Rand didn't disagree with any of the material in Who Is Ayn Rand? :laugh:

Ellen

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I seem to have minority status here (and I don't mean b/c I'm gay).

I think Rand was a great novelist. We the Living (which I reread only recently) The Fountainhead (my all-time favorite) and Atlas are all great novels. In case anyone wonders, my idea of another great non-Rand novel is Stendhal's The Red and the black. Loved GWTW as well. Yes I know she mentioned GWTW, but not Stendhal to my knowledge. I enjoy Stuart Woods stories as well, but I wouldn't say they're great novels.

And while I never heard of Rand's expressing opinions of herself as a novelist, if what Barbara Branden wrote in POAR is true--that Rand spent her final years reading and rereading passages from Atlas--surely, she thought herself a great novelist. Though just how BB knew that, she doesn't say. It may be from her friends (like the Blumenthals) who still had contact with Rand.

Gorgeous day here in NYC. I believe I'll head out and enjoy it.

Michael

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If you want to experience what plot does in powering a novel read Victor Hugo's "Ninety-Three". The climax is __________.

--Brant

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.

Makes for light poolside reading about growing up Italian.

I would believe that "growing up Italian" would be framed by where your ancestors originated from in Italy and where you grew up here in New York.

A...

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Thanks Brant. Haven't read Ninety Three, but will after I finish The Anarchist Bastard, written by a friend of mine. Makes for light poolside reading about growing up Italian.

.

I've only read two of his novels. Les Mis. being the other one. I would only read another if it were a high quality translation. Rand wrote an Introduction for "The Man Who Laughs" attached to a translation sold by NBI, but I never got a hold of a copy. My interest absent that in reading about the spiritual transforming or transcending the physical is nil.

--Brant

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.

Makes for light poolside reading about growing up Italian.

I would believe that "growing up Italian" would be framed by where your ancestors originated from in Italy and where you grew up here in New York.

A...

Do your parents speak Italian in the home? I imagine, but know not, that that'd be "growing up Italian" (in America).

--Brant

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.

Makes for light poolside reading about growing up Italian.

I would believe that "growing up Italian" would be framed by where your ancestors originated from in Italy and where you grew up here in New York.

A...

Do your parents speak Italian in the home? I imagine, but know not, that that'd be "growing up Italian" (in America).

--Brant

A possible criteria, however, not necessarily accurate. For example, even though I grew up in a household that was fluent in "Italian" [here again, it depends on what dialect and whether it was the dominant communications language in the household], that is not definitive.

A...

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