Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nat Taggart Statue From Atlas Shrugged

Exalted quote by Ayn Rand from Atlas Shrugged:

Dagny regretted at times that Nat Taggart was her ancestor. What she felt for him did not belong in the category of unchosen family affections. She did not want her feeling to be the thing one was supposed to owe an uncle or a grandfather. She was incapable of love for any object not of her own choice and she resented anyone's demand for it. But had it been possible to choose an ancestor, she would have chosen Nat Taggart, in voluntary homage and with all of her gratitude.

Nat Taggart's statue was copied from an artist's sketch of him, the only record ever made of his appearance. He had lived far into old age, but one could never think of him except as he was on that sketch—as a young man. In her childhood, his statue had been Dagny's first concept of the exalted. When she was sent to church or to school, and heard people using that word, she thought that she knew what they meant: she thought of the statue.

The statue was of a young man with a tall, gaunt body and an angular face. He held his head as if he faced a challenge and found joy in his capacity to meet it. All that Dagny wanted of life was contained in the desire to hold her head as he did.

Tonight, she looked at the statue when she walked across the concourse. It was a moment's rest; it was as if a burden she could not name were lightened and as if a faint current of air were touching her forehead.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, p. 63

1 comment:

  1. My favorite line in the book: "He held his head as if he faced a challenge and found joy in his capacity to meet it."

    Who doesn't want to be able to do that?