Michael Stuart Kelly Posted February 4, 2006 Share Posted February 4, 2006 Here is a link to a blog by Libertarian, Roderick T. Long, that I stumbled across on another forum. http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/21257.htmlExtremely interesting reading, even the comments. I posted this link in "News and Interesting Articles," but there is a specific esthetic Rand issue that popped out at me, which is why I duplicated it here. The intriguing quote is the following:As for art: in an early draft of We the Living, Rand wrote admiringly of the infiltration of Western abstract imagery into Soviet Russia: “laughing, defiant broken lines and circles cutting triangles, and triangles splitting squares, the new art coming through some crack in the impenetrable barrier.” So it seems she was not always immune to the expressive power of abstract art. Indeed, the entire Fountainhead could be seen as a hymn to abstract art – a fact that reportedly (and unfortunately) led her in later and more rigidified life to repudiate the account of architectural art she had defended in the novel. In short, the young Rand was a good deal less culturally conservative than the later Rand. (In fact, I have the impression that in earlier years she was generally more open-minded; would she have become such a fan of the egalitarian socialist Hugo or the Christian existentialist Dostoyevsky if she had first read them in 1960?)Then later, Long returned to this same idea:(Maybe this is the story with regard to art also. In the 1920s and 30s, when the Soviets were denouncing abstract art as an expression of western decadence, she liked such art and even found it liberating; in later years, living in the west where leftists had embraced abstract art, she came to detest it. Might it really be that simple? Certainly the Rand who wrote The Fountainhead was eminently equipped to answer the objections to abstract art raised by the later Rand.)Over the years, one thing that always bugged me beneath the surface about Rand's esthetics was the modernistic lines and forms of the architecture she admired - and even those in some of Frank O'Connor's paintings - clashing with her rather conservatively stated druthers in art. It is refreshing to see it uncovered like this.Rand's change of heart in plastic art, but continuation of the "modern" esthetic in architecture, is almost an example of the old adage that the best place to hide something is right out in the open.Michael Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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