The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Artists in Action #290


Ayn Rand leans back seductively

8 comments :

swac said...

Now just a tad further back...

Vanwall said...

Where's Robert Wagner's Bud Corliss when ya need 'im?

Tom Sutpen said...

You guys are mean.

I mean, if she'd toppled over the side and landed . . . SPLAT! . . . on the pavement below, a full half-century of readers would have been denied the epoch-making, once-in-a-lifetime experience that is Atlas Shrugged.

Hmmmm. Now that I think of it . . .

SomeNYGuy said...

I guess this would be her second-most-typical pose, right after "pulling up the ladder behind her." I suddenly feel an irresistible, uncharacteristic urge to march around declaring myself a collectivist -- or cruelly reminding a libertarian that the only Hayek Americans have ever paid any mind to is Salma (and even SHE may have passed her sell-by date.)

swac said...

The Fountainhead aside, has anyone seen any of the movies she wrote screenplays for?

Richard Gibson said...

Interesting thread of comments here. I must say, many American's I meet have or perhaps had as part of their classes to read 'The Fountainhead'. I must say I find myself somewhat fascinated by her in some ways. On my last trip over the pond I sat with my friend the day after I arrived and re-watched 'The Fountainhead' - he is not an old movie buff per se but even he seemed to enjoy. I like it and when I caught in on the big screen (my first viewing) people were actually laughing out loud!

Atlas Shrugged, okay that book is not so easy to find here. I don't think I would attempt to read that after trying 'The Fountainhead', maybe I'm just not patient reader...

I don't think I knew she had written screenplays. Any good?

Tom Sutpen said...

Stephen:

I've seen You Came Along and Love Letters . . . she might have worked on other films, but if she did I'm unaware of them. They're both more or less standard Romance jobs. Occasionally there'll be the odd line about "man's highest value", etc., but other than that, there's not much in either film to point toward the authoress of The Anti-Industrial Revolution.

Richard:

I'm convinced Rand's novels are best read when one is in their teens; it being the only time when one's general sense of social persecution is in synch with the universe she creates for her protagonists . . . ubermenschen whom no one ever fully understands or appreciates.

Other than that, she knows how to move a story along at a brisk pace (though even that virtue strikes a reef in Atlas Shrugged, where everything halts for page after yawning page as she explicates the finer points of Objectivism). I've always had a feeling this was a priority she picked up while working for Cecil B. DeMille in the late 20s.

Vanwall said...

I read some of her novels as a teen, and I felt no connection with her work at all - in fact just the opposite. She seemed like another megalomaniacal pamphleteer, and it was painful to read, honestly - I had some friends get their heads outta shape for a variety of successive cults, beliefs, religions, whatever, and a few of them spouted variations of Objectivism on occasion, mostly as crutches to prop up their egos. Not my cup 'o tea at all, then or now.