Prompted by a new GQ article about Ayn Rand (The Bitch is Back with this great illo by John Ritter), our friend Richard Metzger wrote about his relationship with her writing and ideas.
Via mail order I collected single issues of The Objectivist and The Ayn Rand Letter until I had them all and I kept them in bound cases like holy relics. This is what can happen when bright kids read Ayn Rand, they get obsessed, but hopefully, like me, they will grow out of it. Discovering Lenny Bruce, Marx, Marcuse, Crowley, Burroughs and the Firesign Theatre deprogrammed my teenage ass but good and by that time I was 14 and I soon stopped caring about Ayn Rand altogether.
It's Rand's dialogue that seals her reputation as an author you just can't take seriously. To be fair, she was writing in her second language, but the problem with her books is that no one actually speaks to one another, they just make speeches at each other. Hectoring, long-winded speeches. It's fine to read stuff like that as a teenager, but when I crack open one of her books today, I shake my head in disbelief at how bombastic and horrible her writing is.