Myths, legends, and stories infiltrate our collective and individual consciousness, and the same holds true for the visual arts. The myth of Icarus, who flew too high then crashed and burned, was mentioned by Apollodorus around 150 BC and has since shown up countless times in visual art.
Icarus Landing, Phaethon, and Ayn Rand
An interesting twist in the legend comes with my 2000 version. The concept was inspired by Ayn Rand, who rewrote the myth of Phaethon in Atlas Shrugged. In the ancient myth, Apollo gives the reins of the sun chariot to his son Phaethon, who is unable to control the flying horses or escape his destiny. Phaethon and the chariot threaten to crash and annihilate Earth. Zeus, watching, kills Phaethon with a bolt of lightning, forcing Apollo to retake the reins and right the sun chariot’s course.
In Rand’s version, her character, Richard Halley, composes an opera in which Phaethon brilliantly succeeds to steer the sun chariot to a glorious course. I loved the concept of taking a tragic myth and changing the outcome to reflect my absolute inner belief that magnificent experiences are the stuff of living. The chariot thing was too archaic for my modern sensibility, but with some thought I landed on the...
Read Article : Icarus: How Visual Artists Such as Myself and Bryan Larsen Steal, Borrow, and Originate
Reading the novels of Ayn Rand for the first time is an unforgettable experience.
The moral clarity of her characters, tightness of her plot lines, and insights into the human condition combine for some incredible page turners.
Unfortunately, there's only so much fiction that Rand wrote. Once you've powered through Atlas Shrugged,The Fountainhead, We the Living, Anthem,The Night of January 16th, and her Unpublished Fiction, where do you turn for similar stories, plots, and characters?
Is there anything else that compares?
Well, not entirely. But if you loved Rand's Objectivist fiction you'll be sure to like these five other compelling authors and novels.
1.Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini
Sabatini wrote swashbuckling historical fiction in the early part of the 20th century. Of his many books CaptainBlood is probably the most famous. It tells the tale of Peter Blood, an honest doctor who is sentenced to slavery after trying to help a wounded rebel soldier during the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685. He soon escapes, and begins a life of derring-do and piracy on the Caribbean Sea of the late 17th century.
Blood himself will be of the most interest to fans of Rand. His steadfast morality and ruthless rationality...
Read Article : Like Ayn Rand's Fiction? Five Other Novels You'll Enjoy
As written in the January 1st Poetic Justice Warrior Year in Review,
Supremely independent, he was able to integrate his sense of the human condition, both heavenly and terrestrially inspired, into magnificent compositions that inspire human flourishing.
Six days later, on January 7th, we lost an exemplar of individualism’s virtues, the inspiring rock and jazz drummer, author, poet, and Poetic Justice Warrior Neil Peart. He is most widely known as the rhythm master and wordsmith for the classic Canadian rock band Rush, and as a principled champion of hard rock as a unique art form,
It’s about being your own hero. I set out to never betray the values that 16-year-old had, to never sell out, to never bow to the man. A compromise is what I can never accept.”
In the micro sense, Peart honored the musical innovators that preceded him. In the macro sense, he understood that we stand on the shoulders of civilization’s giants. He found his own inspiration in the philosophical principles of natural and humanistic beauty,
Art gives a spiritual depth to existence. I can find deeper worlds in music, paintings, and books. I...
Read Article : The Introverted Drummer and Philosopher of Progressive Rock: Neil Peart Was His Own Hero
If Rush’s epic rock songs “2112” or “Anthem” are massaging your brain at high volume right now, then you know how great a loss the death of songwriter and drummer Neil Peart is to rock and roll...and to liberty. Peart, who died today of brain cancer, wrote “2112” in part as an homage to Ayn Rand’s 1938 dystopian novella Anthem.
Ayn Rand was a major influence on Peart’s early career. He told Rolling Stone that her philosophy, for him, was “an affirmation that it’s all right to totally believe in something and live for it and not compromise.” In a Guardian interview he singled out Rand as “a very brilliant woman, an excellent writer, but a brilliant thinker as well. She has a great clarity of thought.”
Both the words and the music of “2112” capture the soaring vision of Rand’s fiction. Here is the hero of the song reflecting on man’s greatness: “I stand atop a spiral stair/An oracle confronts me there/ He leads me on light years away/ Through astral nights, galactic days/ I see the works of gifted hands/ That grace this strange and wondrous land/I see the hand of man arise/ With hungry mind and open eyes.”
And Rush’s “Anthem”: Live for yourself, there's no one else/More worth living...
Read Article : Neil Peart 1952-2020
We note with great sorrow the loss of David Mayer, who died November 23, 2019 at 63, of a lengthy illness.
David was a professor of law and history at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, from 1990 to his retirement as emeritus in 2015, teaching courses across a wide range of topics in his field, especially in the history of the Founding Fathers and their work in creating the U.S Constitution. Previously, he taught at the Chicago-Kent College of Law and worked in private practice. He earned his law degree from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia.
David’s special interest was Jefferson; his book The Constitutional Thought of Thomas Jefferson (1995) is the authoritative work on the subject. He also published a seminal work for the Cato Institute, Liberty of Contract: Rediscovering a Lost Constitutional Right (2011), and was working on a magisterial book on the Constitution until his untimely death.
David was a great friend of The Atlas Society, as he was to many other organizations. He was a generous donor, a member of our Board of Advisors, and—most of all—a regular speaker at our conferences. From his first appearance at our annual Summer Seminar in 1996, and for the next 20 years, he gave many talks at that Seminar and other events. He was one of our “stars,” invariably earning top ratings from participants along with comments that convey his charm, enthusiasm, and breadth of knowledge:
“David's knowledge and...
Read Article : RIP, David Nicholas Mayer, 1955-2019