The Conception of Atlas Shrugged

Interesting tidbit here from the archives of the New Individualist:

One evening after the publication of The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand was on the phone, discussing her disappointment over early sales with author Isabel Paterson. Paterson suggested that Rand stop trying to offer her radical ideas in fictional form, and instead write a nonfiction treatise. Rand disagreed.

“No, I’ve presented my case in The Fountainhead,” she said. “If [people] don’t respond, why should I wish to enlighten or help them further? I’m not an altruist.”

But Paterson argued that Rand had a duty to write nonfiction, because people needed her ideas. Rand responded angrily.

“Oh, they do? What if I went on strike? What if all the creative minds of the world went on strike?” She added: “That would make a good novel.”

When she hung up the phone, her husband, Frank O’Connor, said: “It would make a good novel.”

They talked about it all night—and by morning, she had decided that the theme of her next novel would be "the mind on strike."

Posted by: Good Lt. at 09:31 AM


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