Fiction Reading

I’m not really a big fan of fiction. I’m a big non-fiction kind of guy. I like my economics from textbooks, my ethnographies under 200 pages, my political theory in thick books, my history riddled with theory, and my law in blog form. If I do read fiction I normally pick up something by a Nobel Laureate or a popular foreign work rather than whatever is in fashion at the moment here in the States. Over the past four months, though, I’ve found myself delving in to some stuff I never thought I’d be interested in. I recently read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and have just begun reading George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series.

Rand’s book was excellent. The speech at the end was weird, though, but it was not enough to keep me from putting Atlas Shrugged on my “to do” list. I know many of the Notewriters have issues with Rand’s non-fiction work, and many of them have clashed with Objectivists over the years (libertarians and Objectivists are old enemies, largely because the latter are a cultist bunch), but I found myself unable to put down The Fountainhead. I have a tendency to put a work of fiction into the context of the time period it was written in, so for me Rand’s work is all the more compelling (The Fountainhead came out when news traveled slowly and uneven reports of communist atrocities in the USSR and China were derided as ‘political’ by Western Leftists).

Martin’s book is equally excellent. I have never tackled a fantasy book before, but I have so far been pleasantly surprised. Fantasy books are looooong, but I am enjoying the plot line so far. I like the Night Watch guys the best (I am only in Chapter 17, of 72, so nobody spoil anything!), and I do not like the Lannisters.

Nobody leave any spoilers!

3 thoughts on “Fiction Reading

  1. I have not run into the confrontation yet between Objectivists and Libertarians, but that is problably because, perhaps, that I am not sufficiently engaged in either camp. For that reason, I currently fly both flags. I am half way through Atlas Shrugged and have read most of Capitalism, both by Ayn. I have a moderate understanding of Objectivism, I believe, ignorantly or not. I also subscribe to the basic principle of Libertarianism, the non-aggression principle, or the non-initiation of force. I have so far agreed with everything in Ayn’s books, and the basis of Libertarianism. I have not found them to be conflicting. If anyone would like to add their insight into this, I would appreciate hearing it.

    • Fly ’em both, baby! And fly ’em high.

      If you scratch a libertarian or an Objectivist, you will find that animosity between the two camps runs deep. Murray Rothbard and Ayn Rand went at each others’ throats for years (the latter banned the former from her circle for not complying with the oath-taking she required of acolytes), and Ludwig von Mises was rumored to have called Rand “an ignorant little Jewish girl” during one heated conversation (both Rand and Mises were Jewish).

      There are a couple of Rand quotes on libertarians here, and our own Dr Bean has written a number of articles on Objectivism (try here and here for starters.)

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