I recently posted on Facebook and in an online writing group that one of the only books I ever abandoned midstream was Atlas Shrugged, as much because of Rand’s philosophy of objectivism as for how hard it was for me to plow through her writing and get hooked.
While I’m no Rhodes Scholar, I can read my way into some pretty heady text and come away with at least a small sense of what the hell the person was talking about.
Had I read Rand’s philosophy before I took on Atlas Shrugged several years ago, I might have been interested enough to hang on, learning how her life in Communist Russia informed her to write a fiction piece that became the cornerstone for the philosophy of objectivism is worthy of some patience. Instead a quarter way in I threw it off as a failed attempt to check off one of my “must read” classics.
But some classics are perhaps meant to be skimmed and some are meant to be set aside until our life and the messages inside the book call us back for one reason or another.
Or maybe I was just too lazy to take her on.
At the time my beliefs about the Great Questions were still looking for a place to land and Rand’s philosophy wasn’t feeling particularly warm and yellow and funny and hopeful, and that’s what I wanted at that time in my life. Her point felt dark, and robotic and pessimistic, mechanized, selfish and hopeless. Read more…