Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

Atlas Shrugged 50th Anniversary

Posted by Jerry on April 2, 2007

Atlas at RockefellarThis year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Ayn Rand’s magnum opus Atlas Shrugged. After 13 years of writing, the novel was finally published in 1957. In commemoration, the New York University Objectivist club is hosting a celebration of the event at the NYU Campus and the Empire State building! Details of the event are here.

Ayn Rand moved to the United States at the age of 21 and began writing the first of her major novels We The Living at the age of 26; she gets the novel published by the age of 31. It took her approximately 7 years to write and complete The Fountainhead–the novel that catapulted her to fame and brought her enduring success. At 41 years old and still enjoying the huge success of The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand begins writing Atlas Shrugged. It was to be the most challenging task she had ever undertaken–it was to be a novel mounted on a grand scale, in terms of its characters, ideas, events, and environment. It took Rand 13 years of intensive writing to complete this novel, and its status as the most compelling and challenging work of fiction like none other was corroborated by its rating as the most influential book second only to the Bible. Atlas Shrugged is now in the exclusive canon of epic, monumental, Romantic, and classic literature, with works like The Brothers Karamazov and Les Miserables.

All of Rand’s major novels continue to sell across the world at a steady rate. Atlas Shrugged is slated to be made into a major motion picture, starring Angelina Jolie as the novel’s heroic female protagonist and railroad executive Dagny Taggart. According to IMDB’s page on the movie, the screenplay is nearly complete and the production is scheduled to begin this year.

I am also happy to note that three of my closest friends have just started reading Atlas Shrugged, and another has just completed the book; he says it has dramatically changed his perspective on life.

From NYU’s announcement of the celebration events, I’d like to end this post with the following quote:

Ayn Rand’s manuscripts demonstrate — in the words of Richard Halley, a character in her novel — “what discipline, what effort, what tension of mind, what unrelenting strain upon one’s power of clarity are needed to produce a work of art.”

[Hattip to Noodlefood]  

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4 Responses to “Atlas Shrugged 50th Anniversary”

  1. Luis said

    So it’s on the 50th anniversary that both I and Tyrel will begin reading Atlas Shrugged, eh? Cool!

    T-Bone, get your ass to READING already so we can discuss it!

  2. Luis said

    Oh, that should be “Tyrel and I” not “I and Tyrel.” Wah, woh…

  3. Ergo said

    “Oh, that should be “Tyrel and I” not “I and Tyrel.” Wah, woh…”

    Look at that! Barely a few days in Ayn Rand’s AS and the egoist in you is already surfacing! 😉

  4. Rubicund said

    Hmm… oddly, this reminds me of a line from the film version of West Side Story: “I and Velma ain’t dumb.”

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