Quote of the week...please share your favourite line from Ayn Rand's writings

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.”

Friday, August 21, 2009

The power of fiction

There has been a surge in the sale of Atlas Shrugged in the past one year, more than 50 years after it was first published. But a lot of people have wondered why Ayn Rand chose to convey her ideas through fiction.

“If a novel is well done,” Ayn Rand said, “the reader feels the dramatized events of the story on his own skin, so to speak. He is impelled to rage against some injustice. To root for characters he cannot help identifying with.”

Erika Holzer, an associate of Ayn Rand recounts how Rand herself looked at fiction.
“One evening back in the mid-60s, when my husband and I were Ayn Rand’s lawyers [and] the three of us took a break from business . . . Rand drew a fascinating distinction about the impact that . . . fiction, as opposed to nonfiction, has on readers. ‘Reading non-fiction,’ she told us, ‘is mainly an intellectual exercise whereas fiction involves the reader in a personal experience. It’s the difference between reading a technical manual on flying a jet airplane as opposed to experiencing the actual sensation of hurtling through space in one. The manual may be educational, even stimulating, but the plane ride is happening to you.’” (Emphasis Rand’s.)
Erika tells the story of how she and her husband helped track the film version of We The Living, originally made in Italy, during the second world war in "We the Living: The power of fiction".

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