This commentary is part of The Atlas Society's 2000 online "CyberSeminar" entitled " Nietzsche and Objectivism ."
This may be a bit premature, but I know we will be discussing points of intersection between Ayn Rand and Nietzsche later in the course. Some of those points of intersection are historical, in that Rand seems to have been exposed to some views of Nietzsche distinctive to Silver Age Russia. It seems clear, to me at least, that Rand’s rejection of Nietzsche’s Dionysian side may have a lot to do with how Nietzsche was rendered by the Russian Symbolists (in fact, Aleksandr Blok, a key Russian Symbolist poet, was characterized by Rand as her “favorite” poet). And it is also very possible that Rand was among the last students to be formally taught about Nietzsche in at least one of her courses at the university.
Nietzsche--and instruction on Nietzsche in Rand’s coursework -- is mentioned briefly in my article, “The Rand Transcript,” which first appeared in vol. 1, no. 1 of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. (Speaking of which: I certainly extend this invitation to all of my colleagues here to consider submitting any essays of interest to Rand studies to our double blind review process for possible publication in JARS.) I have now published the Rand transcript online--by “popular” demand--as one means of bringing this very important archival document to a wider audience. Participants here might be interested in browsing the article , especially in conjunction with our later discussions.