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I just finished "My Years with Ayn Rand". I don't know why it's a big deal. Dr. Branden, in this book, was pretty clear about his position and what he did. There was regret, and learning, and growing. One thing I realized was that people change. I don't understand how one cannot realize that, yes, everyone makes mistakes--- some that really hurt, and I've done my share--, but also that it's possible to learn from these mistakes, deal, grow, not make the same mistakes, and move on. The one thing I saw throughout this book was that people were/are complex--- that our mental lives, our consciousness/unconscious/subconscious, is much more intricate than some would prefer.

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Jenna,

I agree. And, it's just a great read. Nathaniel is a very, very good writer of prose; he has a very unique, flowing writing style.

There have been some comments here and elsewhere that I have found to be on-point regarding how PAR and MYWAR have been treated like sworn depositions, rather than subjective memoirs. Memoirs= GOOD! I assume and expect that the POV will be that of the author. To treat a memoir purely like the oh-so-always-beloved "evidence" is, aside from being the typical lockstep nonsense, an assumption that readers can't recognize the nature of a memoir in the first place. Pedantic and parental treatment.

There is a lot of content, Zeitgeist in MYWAR that is outside of the beloved black 'n white evidential approach.

I am not the only person that has said this, either: Reading MYWAR actually rekindled my ability not only to deal with, but enhance my appreciation of Objectivism, it's community, and Ayn Rand herself- it truly did, because it made AR more real, more human.

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Jenna:about his position and what he did. There was regret, and learning, and growing. One thing I realized was that people change. I don't understand how one cannot realize that, yes, everyone makes mistakes--- some that really hurt, and I've done my share--, but also that it's possible to learn from these mistakes, deal, grow, not make the same mistakes, and move on

Jenna,

Some people understand that, some others can't, because if they admit

that NB was like you and I, they have to admit that AR was a normal person as well.

Thus, NB cannot be other than an evil monster able to deceive AR.

CD

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Actually, thanks to Dr. Branden's book, MYWAR helped me appreciate AR more as an actual human being--- instead of the abstract notion I had in my head. Whether she was really like that? It depends on the person--- a tough talker would be grating to one person but completely normal to another. Dr. Branden's memior was from his perspective and I realize it as such, and it did not put AR in a "worse" light. It made her more 'real', have more depth.

And I enjoy the real, I enjoy depth, and I think there is much more beautiful about the human than the not-human. I do not enjoy abstracted, otherwordly idealizations. I supremely enjoy the real human being, with all their complications--- and I think AR was plenty complicated, challenging, and human. I think that's a great thing.

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Actually, thanks to Dr. Branden's book, MYWAR helped me appreciate AR more as an actual human being---

MYWAR is not a biography of AR, it was not intented as such.

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MYWAR is not a biography of AR, it was not intented as such.

I know. A memoir adds more human dimensional because it is expressed from a human's perspective. It is this engagement of a human, reading another human's words, of their personal experiences with other humans. That is more of what I meant.

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I remember getting into this on SOLO and I said something to the effect that the book "humanized" AR. Simple enough, no?

I remember one person asking me what that meant, that it really had no meaning...

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