Civilization Teeters on Brink as Long-Feared Film Version of "Atlas Shrugged" Premieres



1 comments
Paul Harvey

Just a brief note to recommend David Bentley Hart's hilarious take-down of the new Atlas Shrugged movie (high on my list of film-adaptations-of-novels that the world could best do without). Big HT to Janine.

A brief taste:

The world survived the filming of The Fountainhead (if only by the skin of its teeth), and it may yet survive this. And Ayn Rand always provokes a rather extravagant reaction from me, and probably for purely ideological reasons. For instance, I like the Sermon on the Mount. She regarded its prescriptions as among the vilest ever uttered. I suspect that charity really is the only way to avoid wasting one’s life in a desert of sterile egoism. She regarded Christian morality as a poison that had polluted the will of Western man with its ethos of parasitism and orgiastic self-oblation. And, simply said, I cannot find much common ground with someone who believed that the principal source of human woe over the last twenty centuries has been a tragic shortage of selfishness.

Still, I like to think my detestation of Rand’s novels follows from more than a mere disagreement over differing visions of the universe. What’s a universe here or there, after all? I prefer to think it’s a matter of good taste. For what really puts both Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead in a class of their own is how sublimely awful they are. I know one shouldn’t expect much from a writer who thought Mickey Spillane a greater artist than Shakespeare. Even so, the cardboard characters, the ludicrous dialogue, the bloated perorations, the predictable plotting, the lunatic repetitiousness and banality, the shockingly syrupy romance—it all goes to create a uniquely nauseating effect: at once mephitic and cloying, at once sulfur and cotton candy . . .

Continue reading here


1 comments:

Randall at: April 21, 2011 at 6:05 AM said...

Thanks for the link and excerpt. I sympathize with Hart. Read Rand on people with disabilities! Could be paired up nicely with Herbert Spencer.

newer post older post