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Ayn Rand’s romantic realism now in Greek

03 July 2011 / 19:07:19  GRReporter
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Ayn Rand’s (1905-1982) moral beliefs of human freedom can be summarized in the following phrase: “People exist for themselves, they are neither obliged to sacrifice for the others, nor should they demand sacrifice from the others.” Her own work, which is highly praised by some and qualified as rubbish by others, she describes as “romantic realism.”

Ayn Rand belongs to a category of writers who enjoy devoted admirers and avowed enemies. Even today her books, which have sold more than 20M copies, provokes literature and ideological arguments. She is one of the most controversial and talked about personalities in the USA of the last century.

The American artist of Jewish descent was born in St. Petersberg to a wealthy family and left the city in 1917, when she was 12, - in the year of the October Revolution, when Bolsheviks nationalize the property of her father, a Jewish pharmacist.

When she arrives in the States she develops her own personalized philosophical views, a perspective on the world that she calls “objectivity,” which she embeds in her art and activities throughout her life- from publishing magazines to her political activities on the side of the Republicans and the anticommunist front at the time.

She announces herself to be an ateist, defending logic and knowledge as opposed to religion and faith. She supports the “rational egoism” an criticizes the “moral altruism,” claiming that only the capitalist free market may defend people’s individual rights and more specifically private property. She despises collectivism in all its forms together with public planning and control, rendering force immoral.

“Okeanida” publishing house, who has already marketed two of Rand’s books translated in Greek – “We, the living” (1936) in 1996 and the classic “The fountainhead,” (1943, in two volumes) in 2007- is about to start a sequence publishing her philosophical novel “Atlas Shrugged,” (1957), the fourth and last one that she wrote. The long anticipated movie to the book was recently released in the USA.

“We were thinking about the things that took place in the past.” In the past two centuries many writers used to publish novels with sequels every day, in newspapers and other periodicals. New technology provides us with the opportunity to accomplish that in a new, easier and more practical way. therefore, since June 25 every day at 7 AM we publish new volume of the book to read online, free of charge, with daily sequels until October,” explained the publishing house PR Vasilis Kimulis.

“Okeanida” publishing house is expected to issue and publish arguably the most successful novel of the author in three volumes during the last three month of 2011- October, November and December. “Ayn Rand has a vast readership in Greece. Readers do support the life philosophy of the artist, but I believe interest is mainly triggered by her ability to tell a story in her own, capturing manner,” adds Kimulis.

Telling stories with sequels originates from “One Thousand and One Nights,” where every night Sheherazade tells king Shahriar a different tale in order to evade her execution the next morning. Examples of writers who have published their novels in this way are countless and include Charles Dickens and Stephen King. “This was a huge dream of ours. We are proud of our success, although that we did have certain reservations of hat would the worth of such endeavor be. The English original has over 1000 pages,” concludes Vasilis Kimulis.

Christiana Samara, who translated the giant work, stresses that “it was a tiring activity, due not only to the size, but the style of writing, carrying Ayn Rand’s philosophy.” “Atlal Shrugged” is considered to be the writer’s magnum opus. In a fictional anti-utopia in the USA, the most prominent members of society – entrepreneurs, scientists, artists- protest in an unusual way. The retire in a secluded mountain area and create independent free economy.

John Golt, the protagonist, describes the movement as something that “stalls” the world’s engine. Rand aimed at revealing that a thing of this sort would bring social decay. “Ay Rand has a completely unique perspective on the world. Capitalism is not overruled in general, the book is to show that an alternative road “may lead to something good, in case those following it know that.” She adopts an Aristotelian view of the human being and society, a heroic dimension for personal improving towards productivity,” says Christiana Samara.

She has, of course, created her art in a different period, when money could be controlled, unlike today, when the morals of the system have changed. Some may consider her a “reactionist”, but environment has changed. Rand believes that communal benefits are not a priority any more; she dreams of a free market of mental property and freedom of choice. It may sound idealistic, but that depends on everyone’s personal manner of reading. In any case, she is a good narrator, the book is full of action, it is captivating and full of life,” pints out the interpreter.

Tags: Ayn RandAmerican writerOkeanida publishing houseAtlas Shrugged
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