Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Atlas Shrugged

Sunday... went to Kinokuniya with a definite purpose in mind... quite unlike most other weekends when AG and I walk down to Borders and browse in their aisles, laze with some books on their commodious sofas and then sit in their cafe outside, enjoying the sun and sipping on some Italian sodas.

Have been reading a friend's blog where he has made numerous references to Howard Roark and has in many a posts been ruminating over the practicality and correctness of considering Roark as the perfect Man. This triggered the urge to get my hands on Fountainhead and give it a thorough reading again. I read Ayn Rand in the wrong order... I mean, I started with 'Atlas Shrugged', moved on to 'Fountainhead', then 'We the living' and finally 'Anthem' while I have since felt the correct order would have been to start with 'We the Living', then 'Anthem', and only then graduate to Fountainhead' and cap it with 'Atlas Shrugged'. But what I did do right was... I read Ayn Rand at the right phase in life. In college, at 16 when you are still quite idealistic, untouched by cynicism, Ayn Rand's Objectivism seems like the gospel. I was an instant and fervent convert.

I read A.S in one sitting, well almost. The colossal 1200 pgs novel, I devoured in a day and a half and a sleepless night. And after that for the next couple of months I went around reading excerpts from it to whoever I could corner into listening... family, friends, Dad's visitors, strangers in the train, bus lines, libraries. I would bring the book to the dinner table every night and proceed to read from whichever section I was analysing then. Finally my dad had to put his foot down and forbid me to drag the book to our family dinners. But since my 1st love affair with it, I have always greedily grasped at the smallest of opportunity to be able to discuss or discourse on it.

After 'Atlas Shrugged', 'Fountainhead' was too tame and I accorded it 2nd rung status and after reading it once went back to A.S. In fact I remember how bowled over I was when I read the significance behind the name of the book.

Coming back to the present, after reading all those posts on Roark, off I went and bought both Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged... my 2nd set of copies. My 1st I had to give away when I moved and I still mourn the loss. And now I am waiting to finish my current books to then devote my reading time wholly to Rand.