9thdoctor Posted February 5, 2010 Share Posted February 5, 2010 I’m interested in developing a list of references to Ayn Rand from other fiction writers, particularly allusions to her or her work within their fiction, as opposed to listing writers who claim her as an influence. I’ve been reading Thomas Pynchon’s 1963 novel V.,and was surprised to find that Rand is a character in the book. Her character’s name is Mafia, the portrayal is not positive. Such portrayals usually aren’t. Here she’s primarily a sex maniac: His wife was an authoress. Her novels-three to date- ran a thousand pages each and like sanitary napkins had gathered in an immense and faithful sisterhood of consumers. There’d even evolved somehow a kind of sodality or fan club that sat around, read from her books and discussed her Theory. If the two of them ever did get around to making a final split, it would be that Theory there that would do it. Unfortunately Mafia believed in it as fervently as any of her followers. It wasn’t much of a Theory, more wishful thinking on Mafia’s part than anything else. There being but the single proposition: the world can only be rescued from certain decay through Heroic Love.In practice Heroic Love meant screwing five or six times a night, every night, with a great many athletic, half-sadistic wrestling holds thrown in. The one time Winsome had blown up he’d yelled, “You are turning our marriage into a trampoline act,” which Mafia thought was a pretty good line. It appeared in her next novel, spoken by Schwartz, a weak, jewish psychopath who was the major villain.All her characters fell into the disturbingly predictable racial alignment. The sympathetic-those godlike, inexhaustible sex athletes she used for heroes and heroines (and heroin? he wondered) were all tall, strong, white though often robustly tanned (all over), Anglo-Saxon, Teutonic and/or Scandinavian. That’s enough retyping, there’s more, but you get the idea. BTW the above is from pages 131-132. Here’s a little more, a few paragraphs later:“Hey,” called Mafia from the writing desk. “How do you spell Prometheus, anybody.”Off the top of my head, some other references:In Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus! Trilogy a book is referenced called Telemachus Sneezed, with its catchphrase Who is John Guilt? Hard to say what the authors think of her. Crazy books.Christopher Buckley’s Boomsday references Rand by name, the heroine Cassandra Devine is a fan. Altogether a positive reference though in a very satirical novel.William F. Buckley’s novel Getting it Right has Rand as a character, by name. I haven’t read any of it but gather it is a very negative portrayal and that the book is a stinker.Robert Heinlein’s The Moon is a Harsh Mistress references John Galt as a model for the hero. Positive.Kay Nolte Smith's Elegy for a Soprano is reportedly a veiled portrayal of Rand. I've read two of her other novels, Catching Fire and Country of the Heart and liked them.From the Wikipedia Ayn Rand article, the authors Matt Ruff, J. Neil Schulman, and Mary Gaitskill are named as alluding to “Rand or characters based on her”. I’ve heard of J. Neil Schulman but not the other two. From Wikipedia on Mary Gaitskill - The novel Two Girls, Fat and Thin follows the childhood and adult lives of Justine Shade (thin) and Dorothy Never (fat). Justine works through her sadomasochistic issues while Dorothy works through her up-and-down commitment to the philosophy of "Definitism" and its founder "Anna Granite" (thinly-veiled satires of Objectivism and Ayn Rand).I know there was a movie adaptation of a famous book, relatively recently (5-10 years), where a character attempts suicide clutching a copy of The Fountainhead, I can’t remember the name (or author) and don’t know if the reference is in the book. I’m drawing a total blank on this one, guaranteed as soon as I hit post I’ll think of it.Anyone have more references to add? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now