Atlas inspiration?


BruceMGF

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In the book "Tsar: the Lost World of Nicholas and Alexandra", by Peter Kurth, there is a photo on page

23 showing a figure of Atlas holding up the world. It is at the top of the Singer Building (built 1907) on

Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg.

I saw this quite a few years ago and wondered if this might have been the item from which AR got her "Atlas" imagery and inspiration.

Probably no way to know at this late date. Interesting to speculate, though.

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Now you mention Atlas: I always read in Randian literature about Atlas who is holding "the world" on his shoulders. But if I recall correctly the mythology, he was holding "the heavens" up, not "the world". So when Atlas shrugged the sky must have come down. Who has changed "the heavens" into "the world"?

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Atlas is a familiar image. The one in St. Petersburg is one possibility. The more famous one in Rockefeller Center is another. In fact the NYT Book Review alluded to this in a cartoon shortly after the book came out.

Rand credited the title to her husband. A play by the name of Jupiter Laughed ran on Broadway in 1940, when they both lived in New York. I've wondered if this was somewhere in the background.

Peter

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Now you mention Atlas: I always read in Randian literature about Atlas who is holding "the world" on his shoulders. But if I recall correctly the mythology, he was holding "the heavens" up, not "the world". So when Atlas shrugged the sky must have come down. Who has changed "the heavens" into "the world"?

Interestingly enough, the sky isn't the only transmogrification in the Atlas mythos--the character of Atlas, at least in his encounter with Hercules, isn't exactly Randian.

http://www.loggia.com/myth/atlas.html

RCR

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Atlas is a familiar image. The one in St. Petersburg is one possibility. The more famous one in Rockefeller Center is another. In fact the NYT Book Review alluded to this in a cartoon shortly after the book came out.

Rand credited the title to her husband.

I recall reading (PAR?) that she had already come up with "Atlas Shrugged" as a chapter title and Frank suggested it as a replacement for the always-tentative "The Strike" as the book's title.

A play by the name of Jupiter Laughed ran on Broadway in 1940, when they both lived in New York. I've wondered if this was somewhere in the background.

Peter

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  • 3 years later...

I think the change happened to symbolize humanity's struggle for domination ( not really my first choice of words) of his/her world and the struggles they go through day to day to show how the world is pushing back and making it just as hard for them to succeed i just say shrug atlas shrug interesting thought though

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