Ayn Rand's Deranged Scribblings On View At Chapman University!

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You had Anthem foisted on you by your junior high school English teacher and later, as a pretentious college student, you slogged your way through The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged. Somehow you never woke up to the fact that Ayn Rand is a terrible writer and a bogus intellectual whose chief claim to fame is coining the term "Objectivism," which is a fancy, faux-philosophical term for a range of personality disorders such as "greediness," "selfishness," "piggishness," "narcissicism," and "psychopathy."

What does this make you? A complete tool? A proud member of the target audience for a brand new exhibition of Rand's actual notebooks, which will be on display for the next few months at the Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives at Chapman University's Leatherby Libraries?

If you answered "both," you're right!

According to the rambling, preposterously detailed, five-page press release titled "Ayn Rand at Chapman: An American Warning from a Russian Author," the exhibit "commemorates the 75th publication anniversary of Ayn Rand's first novel, We the Living (1936) and the 50th publication anniversary of Rand's first nonfiction book, For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (1961)" and it "features a display of historical editions, reproductions on paper, realia and original manuscripts."

There will be special screenings of two films--We the Living (1942) an Italian adaptation of Rand's first novel, and the 1997 documentary, Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life. But apparently, the highlight of the exhibit is Rand's so-called "Airtight" notebook, which the press release says "contains Rand's earliest handwritten notes on her novel" and is being "displayed in public for the first time."

The novel to which the notebook pertains, the twice-aforementioned We the Living, has been described by Rand as "near to an autobiography as I will ever write." It concerns a young engineering student in Communist-ruled Russia who "feigns a love affair with an idealistic member of the Communist party in order to save her actual love, a self-destructive son of a Tsarist Admiral."

What's really exciting to the diehard Rand fan about these notes? The curators are going to turn the pages of the notebook over the course of the two months the volume will be displayed, meaning that you can drop by every day of the week in the hopes of finding new pages to gaze upon.

The title of the exhibit is "We the Living and For the New Intellectual: Celebrating the Drama and Philosophy of Ayn Rand." Exhibit hours are Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free.

You've been warned.

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36 comments
Kate Smith
Kate Smith

"Somehow you never woke up to the fact that Ayn Rand is a terrible writer..."  Not much unlike yourself.  It's called a run-on sentence.  Look it up. 

Bill Miller
Bill Miller

Everybody says there is this RACE problem. Everybody says this RACE problemwill be solved when the third world pours into EVERY White country and ONLYinto White countries.

The Netherlands and Belgium are just as crowded as Japan or Taiwan, butnobody says Japan or Taiwan will solve this RACE problem by bringing inmillions of third worlders and quote assimilating unquote with them.

Everybody says the final solution to this RACE problem is for EVERY Whitecountry and ONLY White countries to “assimilate,” i.e., intermarry, with allthose non-Whites.

What if I said there was this RACE problem and this RACE problem would besolved only if hundreds of millions of non-blacks were brought into EVERY blackcountry and ONLY into black countries?

How long would it take anyone to realize I’m not talking about a RACEproblem. I am talking about the final solution to the BLACK problem?

And how long would it take any sane black man to notice this and what kindof psycho black man wouldn’t object to this?

But if I tell that obvious truth about the ongoing program of genocideagainst my race, the White race, Liberals and respectable conservatives agreethat I am a naziwhowantstokillsixmillionjews.

They say they are anti-racist. What they are is anti-White.

Anti-racist is a code word for anti-White.

FishWithoutBicycle
FishWithoutBicycle

I would argue most religious texts are "deranged scribblings"...a matter of opinion, no? Sigmund Freud has been widely discredited, but his work is still studied by psychologists. Socrates was condemned to death for "corrupting the youth" but is now widely respected and discussed by scholars young and old. (Thanks, Plato!)  The point is, one man's bullshit is another man's gospel truth. I haven't read any Ayn Rand yet...but now I really want to! HAH HAH! :-D

Edward Cline
Edward Cline

A commentary worthy of The New York Times. Nick Schou is qualified to write for that paper. Failing that, for The Washington Post. He's used a variety of snide smears that should meet the "journalistic" criteria of either paper. He should apply for a writer's position with those papers and send this article in as a sample of his skills. Oh, yes. Mr. Schou has had a college education. A modern one. It shows.

Edward Cline
Edward Cline

A commentary worthy of The New York Times. Nick Schou is qualified to write for that paper. Failing that, for The Washington Post. He's used a variety of snide smears that should meet the "journalistic" criteria of either paper. He should apply for a writer's position with those papers and send this article in as a sample of his skills. Oh, yes. Mr. Schou has had a college education. A modern one. It shows.

Nikolai
Nikolai

This vacuous rant barely even deserves the response "u mad bro?"

Brian 0918
Brian 0918

Nick - what is the point of your rambling? Why do you insist that people accept your warnings, and not investigate for themselves her writings? Are you afraid that... they might be convinced?

Justin Templer
Justin Templer

Nick,

We're used to the smears by the liberals of your ilk. You're just jealous that your deranged scribblings aren't on the reading list in the government schools.

Cooper
Cooper

This is the absolute worst criticism, generally speaking, I think I've ever read in print.  I take it you don't like Ayn Rand's writing or philosophy.  Right?  I hope you grow up into a thinking adult or stay up late writing wall posts on Facebook.

Steve Henderson
Steve Henderson

Thanks for the free publicity.  "The title of the exhibit is "We the Living and For the New Intellectual: Celebrating the Drama and Philosophy of Ayn Rand." Exhibit hours are Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. "

1000Steps
1000Steps

Yeah, like any teacher would ever require Rand as reading material. Howard Zinn though would be.

frediano
frediano

30 years in the ground, and still she's giving what's left of the left a hairshirt.

Meanwhile, the newest generation is eating up the glaring anti-totalitarian themes in "The Hunger Games" by the millions, while you are with futility waving their parents off of Ayn Rand.

Like this was 1969.  What a hoot.

It's got to give one pause when this latest popular culture pop-corn tsunami Che is fighting against tribal utopian nightmares and not for.    But keep up the good work; there is going to be a lot more to do, and the snarky paternalistic megalomania is working so well for you guys.

Quick!  Go tell the little crumb crunchers not to devour 'Hunger Games' by the stadium full.    It's not too late! 

180 weeks on the NYTimes best sellers list kind of snuck up on you beekeepers, didn't it?

Can hardly see the finger nail streaks on the table top of history, and that's a shame, because their kids are going to want to see something at the museum, some day.

I mean, other than old prints of "Grapes of Wrath" and the kindly old government camp administrator, and fading pictures of the last train out of FDR Station.

PragmaticIndividual
PragmaticIndividual

Its hard to imagine a world where religious morality and ethics don't rule the day. And as an INJT I have always found it hard to relate to people emotionally. But quite easily relate to people rationally.  Its awkward living in world where altruism underlies the masses ideas of morality and ethics. I understand that the author of this blog will think I am a "narcissistic psychopath." But I see altruism as philosophy that is the slow death of a species. What happens to us when we have evolved into a species that can't do anything without the help of others. Ayn Rand got a few things wrong. Humans are social animals and greed actually is a flaw. Take greed out of capitalism and you actually have something very honest. But her strong support of the individual taking action and making their own decisions in life, is philosophy and trait that will keep the human species strong.

Nschou
Nschou

909Jeff: That vapid turd of a quote sums up exactly why Ayn Rand is an intellectual fraud. More importantly, since it's coming from you, it reveals why you're not as smart as you think you are. The funny thing is you are funnier than you think you are, but just not as smart. There's still hope for 20ftjesus, who at least has a functioning sense of humor, but the rest of you are hopeless! To the re-education camps with all of you, hahaha...

Sho
Sho

"Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual)." - A. Rand

Another perfect example of this insane lady in action. And there is much more than this! Great job Nick. I for one and more enlightened as to my intellectual state after reading your glorious Rand-trashing. I see a bright fuiture for you working for Al Jazeera as their OC correspondent.

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

You're just jealous they aren't displaying Chairman Mao's Little Red Book.

KaelVarnson
KaelVarnson

Nice even-handed reporting, Nick.  Next time, try smearing Rand with lots of ad hominem attacks and misrepresentations of her ideas. Oh wait, that's what you've done. My bad.

909Jeff
909Jeff

"Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision" -Ayn Rand.

Yeah Nicky... I can see how that might sound like a bunch of gobbledygook to you. 

red47
red47

Are you formerly Sachurator?

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Randbots are almost as laughable as Scientologists...

Nschou
Nschou

I wasn't joking about reading Rand, although it was actually 9th grade. Never been assigned a Zinn book in my life, although I have read him, but thanks for playing! 

909Jeff
909Jeff

A socialist Journo-blogger... But he's alright... I like him. 

frediano
frediano

When frustrated Progressives put away their 'look out for RIght WIng Theocracy! act long enough to drag out the "we are our Brother's Keeper" hymn, where do you think they put the 'Thou shalt not covet?"   I didn't find the answer in Scott Nearing's "Social Religion", but I looked.

Take the gulag out of socialism, and you are nowhere near the reality of the twentieth century and its unfettered tribal war of the we over the I.   Existential terror(the childhood hunger that clearly drove Hitler)is not justification to cave in to our atavistic herd mentality genes and elevate the most energetic paternalistic megalomaniacs among us to tribal emperor wannabees. 

The essence of freedom is exactly 'freedom from each other,' except indeed by free association, not forced association.   We are social beings(not animals to be herded), and  we are social beings that thrive under a model of free association and chafe at a paternalistic model of forced associaiton.   The existentially terrified herd mentality children among us just need to be told 'no, you can't be emperor, no matter how cool the lecture from that Soc.wingnut back at the playground of endless subsidy known as college sounded.'

50 state experiments running in parallel is economic strength; a single point of failure, massively federal imbalanced model is monopolists with guns,  the latest about to fail variant of totalitarianism.   Why we would willingly target a failed centrally planned command and control model of 'the economy' running so soon on the heels of the visible global collapse of the Soviet Union is a lesson in catching the Cold while waging the Cold War.

The path we were on(past tense)could only fail, and still might.   America still has to cough up some phlegm, and then we're done with this tribal nonsense.

Folks are trying to rewrite the end of Atlas Shrugged.   "We agree; capitalism is the way to go, but it must be state capitalism; you folks make this pig fly and take care of the economics, we'll handle the politics..."

Nope.  This tribal nonsense fails, as it must, publicly and undeniably, and -then- it gets fixed.

Nschou
Nschou

I prefer Dr. Seuss myself but to each his own.

KaelVarnson
KaelVarnson

 Reeducation camps sounds about right coming from you, Nschou. Individual rights and independent minds scare the hell out of you, don't they?

Read Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology and then tell me with a straight face that Rand is an "intellectual fraud."

909Jeff
909Jeff

My humor comes in multiple forms... 

Would you call it vapid if a similar quote came from... I dont know... Robert frost? 

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference."

Of course not... He gave the inaugural Poem at JFK's inauguration.

909Jeff
909Jeff

Fanatics in any subject are as laughable as Scientology... Rand, had a great perspective on free market capitalism...  Those who are the most vocal critics generally are the ones who lack the intestinal fortitude to take the risks involved to reap the rewards.  

Nschou
Nschou

You continue to delight by comparing Ayn Rand to Robert Frost.

Without realizing it, you're insulting both the pseudo philosopher and the poet in question. Debate me on the merits of Rand's supposed teachings all you like, but don't try to convince me she's a wordsmith: her books are heavy with the most leaden prose, each volume literally bursting with immeasurable quantities of intellectual dead weight.

Seerak
Seerak

 Debate me on the merits of Rand's supposed teachings all you like

You first.

Ilfettucinni
Ilfettucinni

Dead weight? This writer is very quick with the claims, totally absent with any backup of those claims. Why have common people bought her novels for the last 66 years in record numbers? Is this due to "dead weight?" I think not. Why, in a Book 0f the Month Club poll done over a decade ago, did her Atlas Shrugged come in second to the Bible as the most influential book to Americans taking that Poll? "Dead Weight?" No I don't think so. I think this Nicky is a bit "Complaining too much." 

Nschou
Nschou

Hahaha, that's better!

909Jeff
909Jeff

Well luckily I don't base my sense of intelligence from the opinion of a Journo-blogger... And I'm happy to amuse... 

I will admit that while in college I hated reading Rand... or any other huge books with tiny font for that matter... Nor will I attempt to debate you, as evidenced by your rant above, there is no convincing you otherwise.... 

I'm sorry you dont like Rands work and you find it dry... perhaps if it were filled with bright and happy anecdotes with pretty pictures you might have found it a more compelling read. 

Perhaps if Ayn wrote more in the style of Dr Suess you might like it more...

I do not like them in a house.I do not like them with a mouse.I do not like them here or there.I do not like them anywhere.I do not like Socialists.I do not like them, Ayn-I-am.

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