Flannery O'Connor on Ayn Rand


  1. I would never read Ayn Rand. O'Connor, however, has always profoundly disturbed me. Her stories are definitely religious in tone, but they are often incredibly unsettling. As a Roman Catholic, I tried to get into O'Connor in college where she was required reading. Even to this day, her stories haunt my memories. I have respect for those who can read O'Connor and find the beauty - my sister, for instance, is an avid O'Connor reader. As for me, though, I am not a fan.

  2. Ah, one of my favorite quotes by one of my favorite authors.

    XKCD had a comic recently about Rand:

    The alt text of the image was funnier than the comic itself: "I had a hard time with Ayn Rand because I found myself enthusiastically agreeing with the first 90% of every sentence, but getting lost at 'therefore, be a huge asshole to everyone.'"

  3. Justin, if you ever decide you'd like to try to get into her work again, pick up a copy of the collection of her letters (from whence the above quote), as well as "Mystery and Manners", which is a collection of essays and lectures given by her. She is one of the few authors who discusses her work and themes quite openly. I enjoyed her work much more after gaining a bit of an understanding of the themes that she is dealing with by her own admission. Her work is not religious merely in tone, it is deeply religious to the bone, and frankly more haunting for that reason.


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