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Post 0

Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 12:56amSanction this postReply
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Manfred, I recently read STAR MAKER after hearing that it was a seminal science fiction book, and rather liked it. I really enjoyed your article as well. And since you mention that ATLAS SHRUGGED is sci fi, you may find joy in the fact that the Seattle Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame included ATLAS in a video montage. And kudos to you for following the lead set forth by Ronald Merrill.

Shine On.
(Edited by Joe Maurone
on 7/30, 1:07am)




Post 1

Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 5:57amSanction this postReply
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Interesting article.

Some of things you mention here as fact have been disputed by others.

"It is known that Rand wrote Anthem as the antithesis of We..."
 
In an article in JARS Peter Saint-Andre argues to say that there is no evidence, apart form circumstantial, that We was the inspiration for Anthem.

"The first letters of Alissa Rosenbaum’s pseudonym (Ayn Rand) are the same as those of her real name."

That has been disputed in Valinats book, The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics.

"Galt's strikers never destroy anything..."

Not according to Marotta.

I am not saying that you are wrong about these things, a lot of it is speculation anyway. Also, it seems that Rand was reluctant to name what inspirations for her own work she may have derived from works she considered inferior. Maybe she wasn't even always conscious of it?

Anyway, thanks.
I very much enjoyed this article.




Post 2

Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 8:01amSanction this postReply
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Marcus, you wrote:

"The first letters of Alissa Rosenbaum’s pseudonym (Ayn Rand) are the same as those of her real name."

That has been disputed in Valinats book, The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics.
That's not correct. There is a related item disputed in Valliant's book, but it is the next one on Manfred's list: " Rand uses the name of a famous typewriter she carried at her arrival in New York as part of her pseudonym." The typewriter legend is disputed not only in Valliant's book, but several other places -- as it should be since it is untrue. It is impossible for Alissa Rosenbaum to have brought a Remington-Rand typewriter with her from Russia (as the legend claims), because there was no typewriter with that name in 1926, because Remington Typewriter had not yet merged with Rand Kardex.

There is more on this subject in the Ayn Rand Biographical FAQ on my website.

--
Richard Lawrence
Webmaster, Objectivism Reference Center




Post 3

Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 8:31amSanction this postReply
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Richard,

Thanks for pointing that out.

Yes, I did post the wrong quote ;-)




Post 4

Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 1:26pmSanction this postReply
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"Galt's strikers never destroy anything..."


What about Ragnar?



Post 5

Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 1:35pmSanction this postReply
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Rearden’s gift of a ruby pendant to Dagny recalls the Biblical quotation: “Who can find a virtuous woman? For he price is far above rubies.”


This ruby mysteriously disappears for the rest of the novel. Dagny packs her jewelry before joining the strike, but Rand doesn't mention it among her belongings.




Post 6

Monday, August 1, 2005 - 2:38amSanction this postReply
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To Joe Maurone: Thank you for the kudos and I promise that I’ll do my best to continue sending my sunny rays of thought to the SOLO fraternity. “Star Maker” is really one of the best sci-fi novels of all times, on a par with the works of the Greats of the Genre: Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and, of course, that poet of science fiction by the name of Ray Bradbury. Glad to hear that you liked “Star Maker”. Try “Odd John”, which is the dystopia of “Atlas”. I didn’t know that the Seattle Science Fiction Museum has included ATLAS in a video montage. This is great news.

Speaking of news, though you surely don’t speak German, I must tell you about something that hit me hard and fast a couple of months ago. Ayn Rand is almost unknown in Europe, particularly in the German speaking countries. Now here in Austria we have a professor of history, a very famous historian of European history, WWI and II, etc in the German speaking countries. He produces TV programs and acts as moderator in cultural-historical TV-programs (TV in Austria is state owned and controlled). Now, beginning of May this year he was interviewed on a radio station (Sender Ö3) on his likings and, oh, surprise, this almost 70-year old man started to speak enthusiastically of “Atlas Shrugged” and recommending all Austrians to read this book as the great solution to the problems humanity is facing since thousands of years! I almost couldn’t believe it, but it’s there, available to every listener. Miracles seem to happen, for in his position and at his age he really doesn’t have any need to stick out his neck. This is one of those things that, were it not for the language, should be part of Objectipedia. I’m always on the look-out for such treasured items. Though you may not understand it, due to it being in German, the link is: http://www.liberalismus.at/Blog/portisch.mp3 (no typed-out record or translation available).

I’ve read most of Merrill’s articles and, of course, his book “The Ideas of Ayn Rand” takes up a prominent place in my library, and I intend to keep it in what I call “The roll of Honor of my books”.

Thanks again for your kind words in regard to my article.

To Marcus Bachler; Thanks very much for enjoying my article. I hope to be able to collaborate further writings.

To Richard Lawrence: Thanks for supplying the Ayn Rand Biographical FAQ link. It provides excellent information on the subject.

To Mark Plus: (What about Ragnar?) You’re right but the situation differs completely. Odd John uses theft and murder to establish a communist or similar society. Ragnar is fighting AGAINST communistic societies. He is fighting against collectivism and altruism, which are enemies of society. Hence, he is applying self-defense against mankind’s enemies. Odd John is precisely after the opposite to what Ragnar is doing. By the way, this might interest you: In my country of birth, Buenos Aires, Argentina, there is a bar to which the owner gave the name of “Ragnar Danneskjöld”. Since the bar is located in a central part of the Argentine capital, Americans visitng Buenos Aires often visit the bar to find out why does it carry the name of one of Rand’s heroes, which renders opportunity to make new friendships and acquaintances. It would surely be a good idea if bars and restaurants, etc. in different countries, were to carry the names of Rand’s heroes. A whole chain of food places, etc. could be created by some imaginative millionaire (are there any available?). It would be a great way to promote interest in Objectivism, wouldn’t it?

To all in general: My article triggered precisely what was the intention of it:: To find out as many interesting items related with Rand’s life and books. I consider that it is precisely strange facts like these that can move uninterested people to read Rand’s works. My wife and I have a personal joke: We say that the (in)famous Rand-Branden affair moved more people - who would never have read any of her works - to be interested in them, due to the “healthy morbid interest for scandals” existing in all of us.
From what would all those tittle-tattle gossip magazines live if it weren’t because we’re all interested in lurid chatter (else, who would go to see “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” if it weren’t for Angelina’s sex toys and Brad’s infidelity, ain’t I right? Ha, ha, ha…).







Post 7

Thursday, August 4, 2005 - 8:23pmSanction this postReply
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Glad you mentioned Zamyatin's We, one of my favorite dystopian novels. 

Though I have heard that Anthem is supposed to be a response to or refutation of We, I think the two books and their authors, though very different philosophically, are very similar in sense of life, and in the feel and focus of their projects.  They both show what (in their disparate views) goes wrong when a group tries to create a utopia, a 'perfect world', through centralized control and group thinking, and they both in turn present individualistic, anti-authoritarian themes.  We, though it rejects absolute reliance on what Zamyatin sees as 'Reason', also rejects Christianism and the collectivization of the soul.  Good stuff.




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