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Ayn Rand's Ideal being published by ARI

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A full page ad appeared announcing the publication of the "lost" novel , Ideal, by Ayn Rand.

I am surprised that no one else has noticed this.

Noticed what Gulch?

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Anne Heller reviews Ideal in the July 20 issue of Time Magazine.

As Rand's biographer, I came to appreciate certain things about her: her willingness to persevere as an outsider.; her hard work; her ferocious drive to formulate and articulate what--like them or not--were ideas, not dictums or even policy papers. Yet reading Ideal today, I can't help glimpsing Charleston gunman Dylann Roof and his lethal ilk in the undoubting fanaticism of Johnny Dawes, and I am appalled.

Ugh!

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Anne Heller reviews Ideal in the July 20 issue of Time Magazine.

As Rand's biographer, I cam to appreciate certain things about her: her willingness to persevere as an outsider.; her hard work; her ferocious drive to formulate and articulate what--like them or not--were ideas, not dictums or even policy papers. Yet reading Ideal today, I can't help glimpsing Charleston gunman Dylann Roof and his lethal ilk in the undoubting fanaticism of Johnny Dawes, and I am appalled.

Ugh!

I see the standard apologetic grease for acceptance for writing anything about Ayn Rand for a magazine like Time. This is pandering to the editors and likely her imagined pandering to the reading public. Ironically, Time is a nothing magazine. If you've got brains you'd not be inclined to read it. My Spanish prof step-father decades ago told me it read so authoritatively until he read something he was the expert in and then all he could see was the mistakes. The magazine used to be in the habit, maybe still is, of finishing up its stories by blatantly telling you what to think as in a logical conclusion to its truth and objectivity. An old family friend--of my mother's anyway--Jack Scott, used to work for Time and reported directly to Henry Luce in written reports after travelling around the world talking to its bigwigs. He was the son of the famous Nearings and maybe some kind of Soviet agent as he had spent time in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. In his day the publisher had higher aspirations to quality than the photo-rag it devolved into.

If you see it on sale think of all the toilet paper you could buy with that money.

--Brant

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Review of Ayn Rand’s Ideal for Time Magazine, from Annecheller.com. It is, as Merlin's excerpt highlights, a slagging.

In 1928, just two years after Paul Ryan’s favorite writer Ayn Rand arrived in the U.S. from Soviet Russia and settled in Los Angeles, she made notes in her brand-new language, English, for a stunningly harsh and antisocial short novel she called The Little Street. Its protagonist, one Danny Renahan, is modeled on a then-notorious 19-year-old murderer of the period named William Hickman, who strangled and dismembered a twelve-year-old Los Angeles girl in a kidnapping-for-profit gone awry. In her notebooks, Rand makes a hero of both Hickman and the fictional Renahan, who murders a church pastor instead of a child, and extols the killers’ beautiful souls that rise and set without a trace of “social instinct or herd feeling.” Renahan “does not understand,” she writes quite rapturously, “because he has no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people.” In the end, her hero, like her most famous protagonists to come, will be condemned to judgment by “fat, shabbily dressed,” homely, insignificant, snickering, “boot-licking” onlookers and jurors, members of “the little street” and of “the human herds … who have but one aim: to ruin all individuals and individuality.” These squalid American types, based in part on her reading of Nietzsche and of Sinclair Lewis and in larger part on a Russian-Jewish horror of social and political majorities of any kind, filled her novels and essays until her death. “A strong man can eventually trample society under his feet,” she writes of her early inspiration, Hickman. “That boy was not strong enough.”

[...]

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Review of Ayn Rand’s Ideal for Time Magazine, from Annecheller.com. It is, as Merlin's excerpt highlights, a slagging.

In 1928, just two years after Paul Ryan’s favorite writer Ayn Rand arrived in the U.S. from Soviet Russia and settled in Los Angeles, she made notes in her brand-new language, English, for a stunningly harsh and antisocial short novel she called The Little Street. Its protagonist, one Danny Renahan, is modeled on a then-notorious 19-year-old murderer of the period named William Hickman, who strangled and dismembered a twelve-year-old Los Angeles girl in a kidnapping-for-profit gone awry. In her notebooks, Rand makes a hero of both Hickman and the fictional Renahan, who murders a church pastor instead of a child, and extols the killers’ beautiful souls that rise and set without a trace of “social instinct or herd feeling.” Renahan “does not understand,” she writes quite rapturously, “because he has no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people.” In the end, her hero, like her most famous protagonists to come, will be condemned to judgment by “fat, shabbily dressed,” homely, insignificant, snickering, “boot-licking” onlookers and jurors, members of “the little street” and of “the human herds … who have but one aim: to ruin all individuals and individuality.” These squalid American types, based in part on her reading of Nietzsche and of Sinclair Lewis and in larger part on a Russian-Jewish horror of social and political majorities of any kind, filled her novels and essays until her death. “A strong man can eventually trample society under his feet,” she writes of her early inspiration, Hickman. “That boy was not strong enough.”

[...]

Rand and Hickman needs to be read and evaluated in the context of Rand's life and what she was trying to accomplish and create in artistic expression. She was quite young and still mastering English. That doesn't mean I'm not appalled at what she wrote way back then, but I don't remember any child-butchering heroes of hers either. Even her presidential villain Mr. Thompson didn't bomb foreign cities into ashes killing 600,000 civilians and she had no idea of how to torture a guy except to have him stripped naked for starters. Yep, that's TORTURE101 SOP. (Check your college catalog.)

Hey, Heller: Boy on a bicycle, remember that one?

Someone should tell Heller she's not Rand's biographer, but a Rand biographer. Burns' was much better and Branden's made hers possible.

BTW, what happened to that "authorized" biography whomever is writing? Hung up on Hickman?

--Brant

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I got a copy of the new Ideal.

After I read it, I will comment.

Anne sure misfired on that review, though. She appears to not have groked Rand's notion of sacred. According to this review, to Anne, Randian sacredness is the same thing as religious or ideological fanaticism.

It's close, but it's not the same thing. For instance, a person motivated by Randian sacredness does not go around shooting innocent people. Granted, Steve Mallory tried to shoot Toohey in The Fountainhead, but that was a specific target in a moment of self-defeating weakness, not religious fanaticism. And Mallory didn't think this was such a good idea, he did it again and tried to get others to do it.

Anne is someone I like and I don't want to say she doesn't get it, but she doesn't get it.

I'm going to do some deep thinking about Randian sacredness and write more about it later. I know Anne is not the only one who doesn't get it. And it's not just Rand's critics. Ironically, many orthos don't get it, either.

Michael

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I see the standard apologetic grease for acceptance for writing anything about Ayn Rand for a magazine like Time. This is pandering to the editors and likely her imagined pandering to the reading public. Ironically, Time is a nothing magazine. If you've got brains you'd not be inclined to read it.

I hadn't thought of that. Anyway, I don't subscribe to Time. I looked at the July 20 issue because it has an article about reddit.com, referred to on another OL thread, and spotted Heller's review.

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She is seeking one honest fan. She drops into shacks, garrets, and bungalows asking avowed admirers for shelter and protection, which affords Rand an opportunity to censure some of her least favorite recurring characters: a hen-pecked husband (Hank Reardon before Dagny),

Look at that, she mispelled Rearden! Hey Anne:

59530394.jpg

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Review of Ayn Rands Ideal for Time Magazine, from Annecheller.com. It is, as Merlin's excerpt highlights, a slagging.

In 1928, just two years after Paul Ryans favorite writer Ayn Rand arrived in the U.S. from Soviet Russia and settled in Los Angeles, she made notes in her brand-new language, English, for a stunningly harsh and antisocial short novel she called The Little Street...

The way in which the above sentence was written makes it seem, at least to me, that Heller didn't want the average Time reader to realize that the novel was never written.

Its protagonist, one Danny Renahan, is modeled on a then-notorious 19-year-old murderer of the period named William Hickman...

That's false. Renahan is not modeled on Hickman. Rather, Renahan's demeanor is modeled on Hickman's public display of self confidence.

...who strangled and dismembered a twelve-year-old Los Angeles girl in a kidnapping-for-profit gone awry. In her notebooks, Rand makes a hero of both Hickman and the fictional Renahan...

Rand does NOT make a hero of Hickman. In fact, the truth is quite the opposite. She clearly states her very negative judgment of him, and that she was only artistically extracting one aspect of his demeanor, his surface pose of confidence. How good of a biographer can Heller be if she is that freaking bad at reading comprehension?

Or is it something else? Is Heller engaged in "boot-licking" and giving the editors and readers of Time the lies and smears that they're expecting? More work for Heller in the future if she sneers and misleads readers in just the right way?

J

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Heller: "Rand hated ordinary people with a vengeance."

This sort of thing is why I stopped reading her biography of Rand when it got to her adult years. Rand ignored ordinary people, she did not hate them. She simply had no use for them. Good guys vs bad guys, no room for in between guys. I too had no use--for an ordinary biography and I have no intention of being a Rand biographer because of my age and interests and not having access to the ARI archives--it would takes years of research and focus on things I'm not too interested in, plus the writing, such as intensive study of Objectivism's philosophical and historical matrix to match up with what I already know, and epistemology. It would be a biography for the ages, but it would not represent the best use of my mind. But I have no intention of degrading what I do know by reading the rest of Heller and, maybe, even Burns. I only write things for myself now--and for feedback. There is way too much second-hand trash coming out presently and it will get worse as Rand becomes ever more important, some of it mine of course. I only don't mind mine these days as I'm trying to make mine a little better. Others may mind mine. I don't mind that. I just wish they would tell me straight up so I can work off the criticism. I do have some first-hand knowledge of Rand, not much, but Barbara Branden had incomparably more, which is the heart of the value of her biography and the heart of the dis-value of Heller, not so much applicable to Burns who focused more on the ideas. I like to think when I write about or evaluate Rand it's off what there is of my first-hand base. Eventually, all us first-handers will be gone and Rand will become more and more mythological joined in myth by Nathaniel Branden. That's okay. People like Stephen Boydstun are working on the ideas x-Rand, although they will naturally enough keep mentioning her name for a point of proper attribution and attachment and orientation. No myths there.

--Brant

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Here's a pleasant surprise:

In Defense of Ayn Rand, Monster Under the Progressive Bed
by Milo Yiannopoulos

Vice

July 13, 2015

No time to quote right now, but the article is very perceptive, especially that part about what would you do if God showed up at your front door just like Kay Gonda?

This guy gets Rand in a very similar manner as I do.

Michael

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BTW, what happened to that "authorized" biography whomever is writing? Hung up on Hickman?

The author of the book you are thinking of is Shoshana Knapp (previously known as Shoshana Milgram). According to a blurb on her faculty page at Virginia Tech, a draft of the first half of 2 volumes has been finished:

I have completed the draft of my book-length study of the life of Ayn Rand up to 1957 (i.e., from her birth in St. Petersburg, Russia, to the publication of her final novel, Atlas Shrugged); my project, which is based on access to primary sources, presents her vision of the human ideal—the individual, rational mind in triumphant action—as the integrating principle of her public and private life.

I think this may not be the deep biography some are hoping for, authorized or not.

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BTW, what happened to that "authorized" biography whomever is writing? Hung up on Hickman?

The author of the book you are thinking of is Shoshana Knapp (previously known as Shoshana Milgram). According to a blurb on her faculty page at Virginia Tech, a draft of the first half of 2 volumes has been finished:

I have completed the draft of my book-length study of the life of Ayn Rand up to 1957 (i.e., from her birth in St. Petersburg, Russia, to the publication of her final novel, Atlas Shrugged); my project, which is based on access to primary sources, presents her vision of the human ideal—the individual, rational mind in triumphant action—as the integrating principle of her public and private life.

I think this may not be the deep biography some are hoping for, authorized or not.

But Ayn Rand already made that presentation.

--Brant

WTF?--iconography in action?

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I think the Milgram biography will be good, even if one-sided. Having access to all that material can't hurt.

I wonder when it will come out. Objectivists aren't good at keeping book publishing deadlines.

-NP

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Neil, with the early material you're probably more right than wrong. The research material has to include the Barbara Branden interview tapes. I wonder if she's going to be credited? But if there's anyone best able to separate it all out, it's you, by a country mile.

--Brant

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A few observations on Anne C. Heller. I have had some occasion to see her at three of the Atlas Society's summer conferences, and one sponsored at the CATO Insitiute in Washington, D.C. (with which she shared the podium with Jennifer Burns, author of Goddess of the Market, which was published around the same time) including some opportunity to ask her questions after several of her "presentations" (which in every instance, she deferred to just take Q&A from the attendees). One of these, held in Alexandria, I also had an extended conversation with her, along with several other conference attendees, at lunch.

Not surprisingly for an author on tour to attract interest in her just published biography, Miss Heller's answers in interviews are carefully tailored to the presumptive audience. As far as I could tell, she never contradicted any previous statement, but definitely was quite aware of who the likely audience was. So, for liberal audiences, she would sometimes answer in a manner which could best be described as veiled (or not-so-veiled!) sarcasm about Rand's personality and her books; while with audiences presumably favorable toward Rand, her responses were more neutral.

In at least one case that I recall, she was asked by an interviewer that as Rand's biographer if she would have liked, if Rand was still alive, to have had the opportunity to meet and interview Rand. Her retort was, "Well, NO!" (usually accompanied by laughter from the studio audience) Now, for a biographer searching for as complete a picture as possible of her subject, I found that a rather astonishing, if not incredulous, reply. So, in the Q&A session at the Atlas Society/Free Minds conference in Alexandria in 2009, I asked her. Attendees had been pitching "softball" questions at her, and she seemed startled that anyone would ask her such a thing! Her reply was brief, along the lines of "I had enough information."

Later, during lunch, I asked her what she had thought about the recent article on Alternet that severely condemned Rand for the short story (unpublished and unknown even by Rand's closest associates prior to its posthumous publication in The Journals of Ayn Rand, ed. by David Harriman) The Little House, asserting that it showed Rand's admiration for serial killer, William Hickman, and citing Hickman as the model for her whole philosophy and as the real source of inspiration for her later novels. Heller replied that that was grossly overstating its importance to Rand's later works. But now, however, in her book review of Ideal, in Time magazine, Heller has reversed her opinon and now agrees that serial killer Hickman was the motive force for all of Rand's later works, illustrating her hatred of the common people.

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Here we go...buckle up...

The movie-star heroine of Ayn Rand’s “Ideal” is a legendary, enigmatic beauty named Kay Gonda, paid a fortune by Hollywood for her work and worshiped by the faceless multitudes. Her press agent writes: “Kay Gonda does not cook her own meals or knit her own underwear. She does not play golf, adopt babies, or endow hospitals for homeless horses. She is not kind to her dear old mother — she has no dear old mother. She is not just like you and me. She never was like you and me. She’s like nothing you rotters ever dreamt of.”

In short, Kay Gonda is one of Rand’s Nietzschean protagonists — an über-frau who has fans, not friends, and who thinks that she towers above all the losers and “second-handers” who populate the world. She is also, it turns out, a close relative of Dominique Francon in the early portions of “The Fountainhead” (a character Rand once described as “myself in a bad mood”)— a pessimist radically alienated from a world she regards with disdain.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/11/books/review-ayn-rands-ideal-presents-a-protagonist-familiar-in-her-superiority.html?emc=edit_th_20150811&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=53564225

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This is from the "review" of Ideal from the NY Times

The story is an ugly, diagrammatic illustration of Rand’s embrace of selfishness and elitism and her contempt for ordinary people — the unfortunate, the undistinguished, those too nice or too modest to stomp and roar like the hard man Howard Roark in “The Fountainhead.” It underscores the reasons that her work — with its celebration of defiance and narcissism, its promotion of selfishness as a philosophical stance — so often appeals to adolescents and radical free marketers. And it is also a reminder of just how much her didactic, ideological work actually has in common with the message-minded socialist realism produced in the Soviet Union, which she left in the mid-1920s and vociferously denounced.

Don't you love how marxist use the language and give asinine choices...so which are you? An adolescent or a radical free marketer?

You know, this insane Iran Accord and war, for example.

A...

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Anyone know if Peikoff responded?

The point throughout much of this novel and play — as it is in much of Rand’s work — is that most people are sniveling fools or sheepish sheep, afraid to pursue their dreams or claw their way to the top: They are hypocrites unable to live up to their professed ideals, cowards who live vicariously through others. There’s a henpecked businessman who throws Gonda over in favor of toadying to his nagging wife and his harridan of a mother-in-law. There’s an artist who specializes in portraits of Gonda but doesn’t recognize her in person. And there’s an evangelist who urges Gonda to confess when she comes to him, seeking refuge.

A...

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I rarely read the comments sections, glad I did:

This guy made a sharp post:

Ned Netterville Lone Oak, Tennessee 59 minutes ago

"It underscores the reasons that her work — with its celebration of defiance and narcissism, its promotion of selfishness as a philosophical stance — so often appeals to adolescents and radical free marketers."

Radical free--meaning not forced or coerced by violent means--marketers are not motivated by selfishness, defiance nor narcissism. Rather they believe freedom is the highest aim and the most rewarding achievement human beings can realize. It is despised by socialists, statists and other control freaks as a threat to their power and their enFORCED tax revenues.

I don't particularly care for Ayn Rand, but I sure as hell would prefer her to Obama, Clinton, Trump, Sanders or any of the candidates for president as my neighbor. I presume Ms. Rand would never seek to tax, regulate, banish or execute me, and she would not accept a job as president, judge or legislator if somehow she was elected. We don't need laws, taxes, regulations, border walls, wars, prisons to cage and torture, nor any of the other fine attributes of government. What we need most and are rapidly losing to the gullet of Leviathan is our precious freedom.

For the edification of this reviewer, defiance of the illicit authority of human laws and men ruling and dominating others by force is a noble calling. However, in the interest of peace, simply ignoring the control freaks and all of their works is a more fruitful occupation.

I like that "if Ayn Rand was my neighbor..." statement and I will use it.

A...

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Amazing...

Trump even intrudes here LOL

Trump's new campaign manager.

Followed by...

I'm afraid Kay Gonda might not be sufficiently narcissistic for Trump and his campaign. If she annoyed him, we'd have to worry about which body parts he was associating with hemorrhaging.

Donald Trump is Ayn Rand reincarnated.

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Absolutely fascinating...

Rand makes some legitimate points, but the exaggerations ruin almost anything. I always liked Howard Roark for this: some character asked R what he thought of him, and R truthfully replied. "I don't think of you." This is not unhealthy.

I wonder whether it was even worth publishing this at this time.

Does ARI have a Twitter account?

A...

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The negatives seem to be at least 8-1 with some on the verge of verbal psychotic breaks...lol

Thank you for referring to Rand's "embrace of selfishness and elitism." Conservatives often accuse liberals of being "elitists," when actually elitism knows no political bounds. How is Donald Trump or any libertarian CEO less elite than some college professor?

At 73, I'm a little past the point of adolescence but Ayn Rand's ideas saved my life a long time ago and I am not willing to sacrifice my life for anyone or anything. I love it too much.

Classic attack lines of anti-Rand arguments...

Ayn Rand personifies the America version of social and economic fascism that so many of the white wealthy continue to believe and practice today. We are currently in the throes of a rise in social and economic fascism exemplified by the over concentration f wealth in the hands of a few who feel entitled to extraordinary wealth while the remaining 99% are left to struggle never seeming to realize (although I believe they do) that their wealth is made on the backs of the rest of us. Without a reversal of this social and economic fascism American is headed for disaster as democracy has been hijacked by those who control the message while the American voter has become no more than sheep being led to economic slaughter by bigger and more powerful sheep (everyone should read George Orwell’s book Animal Farm).

A...

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