Monday, September 26, 2011

It Was A Symphony Of Triumph

Dagny Taggart:

She sat listening to the music. It was a symphony of triumph. The notes flowed up, they spoke of rising and they were the rising itself, they were the essence and the form of upward motion, they seemed to embody every human act and thought that had ascent as its motive. It was a sunburst of sound, breaking out of hiding and spreading open. It had the freedom of release and the tension of purpose. It swept space clean, and left nothing but the joy of an unobstructed effort. Only a faint echo within the sounds spoke of that from which the music had escaped, but spoke in laughing astonishment at the discovery that there was no ugliness or pain, and there never had had to be. It was the song of an immense deliverance.

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, p. 20.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What Is My Joy If...?

From Anthem:

What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it? What is my wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and the impotent, are my masters? What is my life, if I am but to bow, to agree and to obey?

Ayn Rand, Anthem, p. 112.

Monday, September 12, 2011

More Sacred Than The Privacy Of A Romance Between A Man And A Woman

Ayn Rand on the sacred nature of writing:

I'm glad if people can grasp the idea of my story. I'm glad if they like the sex. I'm glad if they buy the book at all. But none of this has anything to do with my book ["The Fountainhead"]. All of this is a personal indulgence which I can permit myself after the book is written and published. I can then permit myself to enjoy all those secondary things, if they happen. I cannot think of them when I write the book.

Do you know something else? I cannot even think of them when I reread the book now. I cannot read it and say to myself: "Isn't it wonderful that this was successful?" I can't. Not while I'm reading it. What there is between an author and his book is more personal—and well, yes, sacred—than the privacy of a romance between a man and a woman. Nobody else can enter. No readers, publishers, critics or box offices. I don't know how I can impress this upon you any stronger.

"The Letters of Ayn Rand", Michael Berliner, editor. p. 160.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Psycho-Epistemology And Writing

Judging one's audience when writing:

A "type of audience" is an abstraction. Concretely, you will find evaders and people with dreadful psycho-epistemologies in any audience (including an Objectivist one). The cognitive level of your readers does not determine their psycho-epistemology. Children can make a more intelligent, better focused audience than professors. Therefore, do not give any consideration whatever to the possibility of bad psycho-epistemologies. Once you have projected your audience's level of knowledge, address yourself to the best, most focused mind that you can imagine in that cognitive group.

It is improper to address yourself to a faulty psycho-epistemology. Devising a rational method to address the irrational is a contradiction. If some of your readers are irrational, there are no principles by which to decide what they will choose to hear, what they will not, and what connections they will make. Neither you nor the evader can predict what he will miss and what he will integrate. That is in the nature of irrationality.

Ayn Rand, The Art of Nonfiction, p.21-22.