Her sentences are too long for a writer in 20s and 30s.
She advocates self-interest and egotism.
For the past couple of weeks I have been reading Ayn Rand. I have heard her name plenty of times in Filipino Freethinkers meet-ups so I decided to try reading her. And now I think my officemates are tired of hearing me complain about my bitter-sweet experience reading two of her novels.
So far, I have finished reading We The Living and The Fountainhead and I think I have enough of Ayn Rand. Not that I really really loathe her as a writer but her philosophy is just too hard to masticate.
I find it too hard to just swallow her philosophy (which I don’t really get but somehow I do understand some parts of it) and she is really firm about it to the point that it seems like she is forcing it down on your throat. Her protagonists are her heroes depicting man as he should be– a man whose primary actions are for his own benefit. Nothing wrong about that but it seems to me that she has the tendency to think towards anarchy. I may be wrong about it but it is what appears to me.
Advocating selfishness explicitly makes me think that she might not have friends when she was living. She was really really lucky to find herself a husband! I mean, here is a woman who thinks that her primary purpose in her life is to build up herself and herself alone. She does not believe in relying others or working for others to the expense of herself. As far as I have understand her, she might not even want to work with others! Now, who wants to be friends with someone like that?
What is ironic though is that as much as I convince myself not to swallow her philosophy as is is that I seem to predict the subsequent actions of her character. It is as if I can identify with them. In retrospect, I was thinking if I am that selfish. To cut it really short, Ayn Rand does make sense to me. SHE DOES– and that is what I somehow hate.
So now I am in the middle of a tension between the opposites– of liking her because she makes sense and of hating her because I do not want to be like her. I am actually guilty of judging her before reading all of her works. Before reading We The Living, I told myself that I am going read all of her fictions but I decided not to read Atlas Shrugged. It is hard to read her: too long are her sentences and too deep are her words.
With all fairness to her, she writes well. She establishes her character quite profoundly and she makes her plot very clear. For now, I decided to take a rest from reading her– it can actually get exhausting. I will still read her works after this though; but for now, let me experience Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and take a break from Ayn Rand’s philosophical works.