November 21, 2008


Yesterday I happened upon a private reading We The Living. I got this indescribable excitement and wanted to grab him and talk his ear off. Of course I didn't. I stared holes into the top of his head, but I couldn't even get him to make eye contact. Still, it kinda made my day.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:38 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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1 Have you read We the Living? I read it after my second reading of Atlas, and I barely remember it after almost twenty years. I might have been more impressed if I had read Rand's work in chronological order. It'd be funny if it turned out that the private was reading We the Living to understand "the other side" like this guy.

Posted by: Amritas at November 21, 2008 06:35 AM (+nV09)

2 I love that book for so many reasons. It is brief enough to be manageable to most people, other than diehard Rand fanatics who love the longer ones, it is semi autobiographical which gives us at least a peek into her own history, and the ending is so powerful. Just reading your post makes me want to go to the library and check it out...again.

Posted by: Amy at November 21, 2008 09:36 AM (I9LMv)

3 Amy, Good points. I recommend Anthem for those who think We the Living is too long. Anthem and Yevgeny Zamyatin's similar, earlier novel We should be made into movies. CGI technology could effectively depict their sterile, collectivist dystopias. I read We the Living shortly after I read Barbara Branden's The Passion of Ayn Rand, so I knew the real story before I saw the fictionalized version. I wonder what it's like to read We the Living without that background knowledge, or without having read Fountainhead or Atlas first.

Posted by: Amritas at November 21, 2008 10:13 AM (+nV09)

4 I think "We the Living" is far better, judged as literature, than Rand's other works. Amrita, there actually *was* a movie made of WTL...oddly, it was made it Fascist Italy, and the censors approved it because it was anti-Communist...later to change their minds when they realized it was anti-totalitarian in a more general way. It's very well done, although there are a couple of minutes missing. I thought the Leo character in the book came across as fairly obnoxious, and Kira's passionate attachment to him seemed a bit strange, unless it could be put down to pure physical attraction...but in the movie, he came across as much more human, even though I don't think his dialogue changed at all.

Posted by: david foster at November 21, 2008 02:33 PM (ke+yX)

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