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…).