Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ayn Rand And The World She Made


Anne Heller's much awaited new biography is scheduled for February 09. For a flavour of Heller's style, which appears to be a refreshing change from the fervid toadying of likes of James Valliant, try this New York Observer piece.

(Hat tip to Neil Parille)

10 comments:

Neil Parille said...

The cover photo really captures Rand, although it makes her a bit grumpy.

Neil Parille

Ellen Stuttle said...

The photo -- one I'd never seen before -- indeed does, for me, "really [capture] Rand."

I'm not, however, keen on the the "New York snide" tone of the linked piece by Anne Heller. I'm hoping and expecting that her researches since that piece was written will produce straight talk -- i.e.,, neither hagiographic (which I'm sure Anne won't produce) nor slanted toward denigrative (which I hope she won't produce).

Ellen

Neil Parille said...

Heller's lecture at the 50th anniversary of Atlas Shrugged was quite favorable.

Neil Parille said...

I haven't seen any mention of the book on any of the several ARI-oriented blogs I check. It will be interesting to see what the reaction of ARIans will be.

Dragonfly said...

Well, I find the style of the article a breath of fresh air, compared to the fawning adoration you usually find in Objectivist articles, where Rand invariably is described as a "genius" and a "hero".

Now I understand from a discussion on Solo that this is an older article, with the vague suggestion that her attitude would be more adulatory today. Let's hope that this isn't true.

Ellen Stuttle said...
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Ellen Stuttle said...
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Ellen Stuttle said...

[Sigh; can't type right this morning. Third try at correct spelling.]

[Reposting to correct a typo.]

The issue isn't one of "more adulatory" -- as if the only choices were between adulation and snide denigration -- but one of fair.

Anne Heller isn't adulatory. I know that from exchanges I've had with her. The article, though -- apparently written before she got the idea of doing a biography -- is pretty typical of the tone adopted about Ayn Rand in New York (City) publications: obligatory snide. Not so heavily ladled snide as in many such articles, but present.

Ellen

Dragonfly said...

Well, whether it's snide or not, I like that tone very much.

Neil Parille said...

Rand is an unusually polarizing figure. I hope that future biographers have some sympathy for her ideas and try to be fair.