Sotoleon's Reviews > The Passion of Ayn Rand

The Passion of Ayn Rand by Barbara Branden
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M 50x66
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Jun 13, 07

really liked it
Recommended for: literary gossip (and bio) enthusiasts
Read in January, 2007

_The Passion of Ayn Rand_ is fascinating. I remember reading Rand's The Fountainhead when I was eighteen and though I liked Howard Roark's and Dominique Francon's erotically charged relationship and the symbolic values that both characters represent, I was too young to appreciate the economy of words, the intricate plot structure, and the tightly focused narrative arc which brings in all the main characters at the end and throws into relief each of their philosophical worldviews, which have been developing from the novel's beginning.
. . . providing a lot of insight into Rand as a human being and how her psychological traits influenced her writing. Although I am not the genius she was, I can say that what most people found offputting about her, I like and identify with. I could easily spend hours studying and reading and writing without social interaction. But because I know that I do need people, I force myself to get better at social interaction and to be more friendly. It's hard to transition from intense study to light interactions with friends, and I think Rand did not see the value of small talk or of cultivating non-intellectual relationships. She never apologized for this. Sometimes I feel like have to apologize for my interests and wanting to discuss ideas regularly because I think people will think I'm pretentious or a snob (which a friend has referred to me by) . . . Nathaniel and his wife were followers of Rand for a while (25 years?) and she met him when he was a twenty-year-old UCLA student; he had read all her books and knew them by heart. He's also a smart guy. I learned of him when I googled something unrelated to Rand. I stumbled upon his writing which I found to be subtle and complex, and much more humanistic than Rand's.

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