« | Home | »

Overpowering

Tags: |

Jenny Turner on Paul Ryan’s lodestar, Ayn Rand (LRB, 1 December 2005):

…But really, storytelling was Rand’s talent, and it is in her novels that her vision takes its truest shape. In Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, power, greed, life’s grandeur flow hot and red in thrilling descriptions of urban and industrial landscapes, all ‘girders, cranes and trusses’ and ‘glowing cylinders’ and ‘fountains of sparks’ and ‘black coils of steam’. She’s good at sublimes, in other words, physical and elemental, the awe and terror as great as in any Romantic view of rocks and hills. But Rand is not interested in natural beauty, or even in the industrialised and modern sort of sublimity Marshall Berman found in Marx. It’s overpowering that really excites her, depredation and destruction and nature being despoiled.

Comments on “Overpowering”

  1. Bob Beck says:

    There’s a science-fiction story, probably from around 1970, about environmental degradation. (My memory of all this is probably faulty. I’d thought it was one of “100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories,” edited by Isaac Asimov; but that’s readable on-line, and I can’t find the story therein. However…).

    A secondary character, kind of a one-person Greek chorus, enthuses on TV about the “roiling pinks and golds of clouds at sunset” — colours attributable to air pollution — being “symbols of man’s triumph.”

    She rejoices in the name of Ona Ransome. I didn’t get the reference when I read the story, but the penny eventually dropped.

  2. eknm says:

    Capitalism’s Barbara Cartland.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • Higgs Boatswain on Cold War Ghosts: Although the paranoid fear of the Russian East is undoubtedly a deep-seated nightmare in the psyche of the liberal West, it is not quite so cliched as...
    • Stu Bry on Trump and the Doomsday Machine: Surely the death knell for MAD was the US withdrawal from the ABM treaty in 2002? Reagan had Alzheimers and was under the influence of Teller. Bush...
    • Jeremy Bernstein on Trump and the Doomsday Machine: Let me endorse "The Atomic Cafe'. The test that is described was one of the ones I saw in 1957 in which soldiers were marched the "ground zero" and so...
    • IPFreely on Trump and the Doomsday Machine: So what about a remake of Dr. Strangelove before reality closes in on us? For a very good summary of the nuclear arms race viewed from the American...
    • streetsj on Trump and the Doomsday Machine: Ironically Trump's irrational unpredictability improves the deterrent effect of nuclear weapons. Putin has successfully anticipated that the West woul...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement