Zamyatin Feedback

2001-12-13

Moira likes my Zamyatin essay and suggests that I explore more fully the similarities and differences between We and Anthem (perhaps through a chapter-by-chapter summary) as well as what I call Rand's "heroic symbolism" (as opposed to this mealy-mouthed "Romantic Realism"). I really do think there is a strong symbolist strain in her writing, and from what M. reports Rand was quite touchy about the subject, insisting that her characters were not symbols but quite realistic -- which seems off the mark to me (esp. in her later fiction, as I discuss in my dialogue Why Is John Galt?). Since Rand thought that her characters were not free-floating symbols but abstractions derived from reality (perhaps even the paradigmatic examples of abstraction for her), there are some fascinating epistemological implications here. Hmm...


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