My friend Dean Esmay is reading Atlas Shrugged, out of a misplaced sense of due diligence. To stay sane, he’s blogging it. I actually read and even enjoyed The Fountainhead, but Atlas is pure literary masochism. I mean, come on:
Her leg, sculptured by the light sheen of the stocking, its long line running straight, over an arched instep, to the tip of a foot in a high-heeled pump, had a feminine elegance that seemed out of place in the dusty train car and oddly incongruous with the rest of her. She wore a battered camelâ€™s hair coat that had been expensive, wrapped shapelessly about her slender, nervous body. The coat collar was raised to the slanting brim of her hat. A sweep of brown hair fell back, almost touching the line of her shoulders. Her face was made of angular planes, the shape of her mouth clear-cut, a sensual mouth held closed with inflexible precision. She kept her hands in the coat pockets, her posture taut, as if she resented immobility, and unfeminine, as if she were unconscious of her own body and that it was a womanâ€™s body.
It’s like someone wrote an entire book out of Bulwer-Lytton contest entries.
I’m not interested in debating the merits of any philosophy so pretentious as to label itself objective – to me, Atlas is a work of literature, and should be treated precisely as such, nothing more and nothing less. However, since the Randians roam the internet like the Burning Legion, laying waste to blogs that dare refuse to prostrate at Ayn Kiljaeden Rand’s throne, I can’t resist a little visual defiance, hence the admittedly rude image above for which I humbly beg my regular readers’ forgiveness.