The Early Ayn Rand: A Selection from Her Unpublished Fiction
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This collection of short fiction and plays by Ayn Rand charts her artistic and intellectual growth. It shows her development, in a critical decade, from a 21-year-old Russian emigrant struggling with English to a sophisticated writer of complex philosophical themes and prose.
FLEMING. It has taken all this time to penetrate] Say, you can’t talk to me like that! FLEMING: Huh? FLASH: Who are you to talk to me like that? FLEMING: Skip it. BRECKENRIDGE: [Indicating SERGE] Billy, you remember Mr. Sookin? BILLY: How do you do, Mr. Sookin. SERGE: Good afternoon, Billy. Feeling better, no? You look wonderful. FLEMING: He looks like hell. BILLY: I’m all right. SERGE: You are not comfortable maybe? This pillow it is not right. [Adjusts the pillow behind BILLY’s head]
astonished, even indignant, when they found out. Their objection was not to the story’s flaws but to its essential spirit. “It is so unserious,” the criticism went. “It doesn’t deal with big issues like your novels; it has no profound passions, no immortal struggles, no philosophic meaning.” Miss Rand replied, in effect: “It deals with only one ‘big issue,’ the biggest of all: can man live on earth or not?” She went on to explain that malevolence—the feeling that man by nature is doomed to
was sentenced to Strastnoy Island, those he left behind whispered the prayers for the dead. “I haven’t seen a woman for three years,” said the young convict. There was no regret in his voice; only a wistful, astonished wonder. “I haven’t seen a woman for ten years,” said the old convict. “But this one won’t be worth looking at.” “Maybe she’s beautiful.” “Don’t be a fool. Beautiful women don’t have to do things like this.” “Maybe she’ll tell us what’s happening . . . outside.” “I’d advise
. . . She was gorgeously, stunningly beautiful. Our society was amazed with admiration; they had never seen a woman like this. . . . She was perfectly charming and gracious with everybody, but she had that haughty, disinterested smile of women accustomed to and tired of admiration. Henry looked at her . . . he looked too long and too fixedly. The glance with which he followed her every movement was full of a strange admiration, too intense for him. He danced with her several times. At the end
FARROW: [Looking at her] Why do you ask that? MISS SAYERS: I don’t think she was. FARROW: That, Miss Sayers, is a question I’ve been asking myself for years. She’s a strange woman. MISS SAYERS: She is. FARROW: But surely you can’t hate her so much as to want to ruin her! MISS SAYERS: I do not hate her at all. FARROW: Then for heaven’s sake, help me to save her name! Tell me what happened. One way or the other, only let’s stop these rumors! Let’s stop these rumors! MISS SAYERS: This is