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Ayn Rand: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

If Wednesday blogging belongs to the radical agnosticism of Robert Anton Wilson then Thursdays can go to the radical certainty of Ayn Rand.

by
Dave Swindle

Bio

January 24, 2013 - 5:00 pm

New Year’s Resolution #4 — Develop more Hobbies

New Year’s Resolution #5 — Read the “Five Big Books of Anti-Marxism”

When I began my first semester of college in August of 2002 the path forward looked clear: English major, creative writing emphasis, learn how to write novels. This had been my plan since about third grade.

But it didn’t happen. Instead George W. Bush invaded Iraq and I added on a political science major. At a moral level, with questions of life and death hanging in the balance, to change the world by writing great literature seemed almost irresponsible. How could I waste my time dreaming up fantasies when I could be using my skills to try and affect the decisions our country made?

And so it’s remained for almost seven years, since I graduated in 2006. My political ideology might have shifted as I emerged out of the academic bubble and discovered the joy of learning how to create value in the free market, but my reading habits stayed the same, mirroring what P. David Hornik described in his thoughtful “Goodbye, Literature” essay.

I realize now that I’ve consumed an unbalanced reading diet — not unlike my unbalanced eating diet (now recently corrected). Perhaps novels have made up only 10% of my book intake. I’ve focused so much on getting caught up on political books and reviewing the new non-fiction ones that I’ve neglected the literary world.

No more. Yesterday I decided to declare my intent to blog on the humorous philosophical writings of the radical agnostic novelist Robert Anton Wilson, to analyze his ideas and separate the wheat from the chaff. And so it seems fitting that on the day following it I’ll do the same with his opposite, the very serious and very certain Ayn Rand. The Thursday Book Shelf recommendations and excerpts will come from her works. I welcome any suggestions on passages of note — email me at DaveSwindlePJM@Gmail.com. I’m hoping that this can ignite my passion for the novel. Someday I do hope to get back to it again…

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More on Ayn Rand and Objectivism at PJ Lifestyle:

Time to Read Ayn Rand?

10 Badass Moments from Bosch Fawstin’s The Infidel #2

The Distinction Between Sin and Crime

David Swindle is the associate editor of PJ Media. He writes and edits articles and blog posts on politics, news, culture, religion, and entertainment. He edits the PJ Lifestyle section and the PJ columnists. Contact him at DaveSwindlePJM @ Gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @DaveSwindle. He has worked full-time as a writer, editor, blogger, and New Media troublemaker since 2009, at PJ Media since 2011. He graduated with a degree in English (creative writing emphasis) and political science from Ball State University in 2006. Previously he's also worked as a freelance writer for The Indianapolis Star and the film critic for WTHR.com. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their Siberian Husky puppy Maura.
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