Re: The Fountainhead (influential work?)

From: David P. Hayes
Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies.past-films
Date: Sunday, January 11, 1998 7:11 PM

>In article <>,
> (FilmGene) wrote:
>> <<Despised by the Liberals, Ayn Rand is nonetheless one of the greatest
>> philosophers and novelists ever. >>
>> Thankfully, a minority opinion. Aside from doctrinaire right-wingers, she is an
>> embarassing footnote to American literature. A purple prose pseudo-intellectual
>> whose sole remaining appeal is her support of the far right. As a novelist, she
>> is mostly forgotten.
>> Gene Stavis, School of Visual Arts - NYC wrote in message <>…
>One of my pet peeves is people who state rumours, guesses, and
>assumptions as if they were fact, without providing corroborating detail.
>Rather than break my own rule, I decided to doublecheck what I had said
>just a second ago. Ayn Rand's books are still in print and can be
>ordered through provides space for people to give
>reviews of books. Atlas Shrugged, for example, has tons of reviews, some
>laudatory, some scathing. …
>Nevertheless, I think it is safe to say that Ayn Rand is not forgotten as
>a novelist.

I too found odd Gene's statement that Ayn Rand was forgotten as a novelist. Then Gene's implication that Rand's influence was limited reminded me of the survey conducted on "books that made a difference" in peoples' lives. The Library of Congress did this in conjunction with the Book-of-the-Month Club, and the results were published in many newspapers. The findings:

#1: The Bible

#2: Atlas Shrugged (novel by Ayn Rand)

#14 (tie): The Fountainhead (novel by Ayn Rand)

Doesn't seem to me that she is forgotten, neither as novelist nor as thinker.

This survey was conducted in 1991. Perhaps Gene has knowledge that I don't have that so many of her admirers have died since then that were the survey to be conducted again, her books would not even have been among the 935 books cited.

And, Gene, in my efforts to be fair to your point of view, perhaps you figured that a book had to be #1 in influence for it to have been not forgotten, and that anything listed from number two on-down constitutes being forgotten. Please, Gene, tell us what your cut-off line is if we are being unfair to you.

A web search revealed these sources for the above information: "Los Angeles Times," Monday December 2, 1991, Section: Calendar, Page: 9, Pt. F, Col. 1; "The New York Times," December 1991.

-- David Hayes


Return to Table of Contents

Go to next article