Today I noticed on Twitter that a movie based on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is soon to be released. At least the first part of the book in the first installment of the movie.
And it’s pronounced like the letter “I” with an “n” tacked on.
By coincidence, I am in the midst of rereading it. Boy… did she need an editor. Her endless descriptions of meaningful looks and more than likely some personal fantasies make some sections real “page turners”, and not in the good sense.
That said, I think Atlas Shrugged is one of those books we should all have read at some point. Given the fact that the movie seems to be coming soon, it might be hard to get it from the library. But you also could find it at a used bookstore… and through Amazon by that link I gave above.
Keep in mind that her main accomplishment is her ability to make the unwary or slightly-informed reader feel superior to every one else he knows or meets. Thus, for young people, this book can produce bothersome results…. for a long time.
And… it is uncanny how some of the economic and social lines of the plot describe our own time. And given that it was written in the 50’s, it has some pretty good science fiction riffs.
I had read Ayn Rand’s book when I was in my first year of university and was – in my youthful way – impressed by her notions concerning excellence and her criticism of altruism. Her “objectivism” is … interesting. Interesting … in the way we Minnesotans often use the word.
There is something flawed at the heart of her thought, however. I can still resonate with her fierce blasting of cringing altruism, the self-satisfied sort. I can still resonate with her exaltation of the excellent.
That said… aside from the objectivism and some of her more turgid prose, her book reads as film noir ought to feel.
Given that this movie is coming out soon, it would be interesting to have some discussion here about Atlas Shrugged from an informed Catholic perspective.
The first thing one has to get past, of course, is her near reduction of the divine to the human and exaltation of the human to nearly godlike status.
Come to think of it, how else could her characters pick up 20 different thoughts and conflicting emotions from the mere side-long glimpse of the side of the face of a person across a room. C’mon Ayn.
My friend Greg DiPippo alerted us in the combox, below, to the Youtube video of Wm. F. Buckley interviewed on Atlas Shrugged.
Also, I found the trailer to the new film, part 1. It is very slick and updated. I wish it was more of a 1950’s period piece in the film noir style it deserves.
And do read Acton Institute’s comment on the new film: Atlas Shrugged – See the Movie, Skip the Book.
An essay on the not exactly conservative Salon called How Ayn Rand ruined my childhood.
My parents split up when I was 4. My father, a lawyer, wrote the divorce papers himself and included one specific rule: My mother was forbidden to raise my brother and me religiously. She agreed, dissolving Sunday church and Bible study with one swift signature. Mom didn’t mind; she was agnostic and knew we didn’t need religion to be good people. But a disdain for faith wasn’t the only reason he wrote God out of my childhood. There was simply no room in our household for both Jesus Christ and my father’s one true love: Ayn Rand.