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Ajith Rajan

Fountainhead/ Atlus Shrugged with a painter as protagonist

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In either case you wouldn't have a story recognizably like the one Rand wrote.

Painters don't typically open offices or take jobs in them. A painter works entirely alone most of the time, with nothing comparable to clients (except in the case e.g. of a commissioned mural) or to cooperation with lenders, insurers and contractors. Much less concern (hardly any, I should think) with the client's budget.

The case of Rearden is even harder to imagine. No Rearden metal. No John Galt Line. No Equalization of Opportunity bill. Probably no meeting with Dagny, since she didn't know any artists. Probably no Lillian, since few painters are wealthy enough to interest her, and thus no discovery of the meaning of sex.

One might ask What if Rand had written a novel about a painter? Not having her imagination, I don't know. She did write a painter in Ideal, and he's an unsympathetic character.

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5 hours ago, Reidy said:

Painters don't typically open offices or take jobs in them. A painter works entirely alone most of the time, with nothing comparable to clients (except in the case e.g. of a commissioned mural) or to cooperation with lenders, insurers and contractors. Much less concern (hardly any, I should think) with the client's budget.

After your comparison of Donald Trump to James Taggert, what leaps out here is the question of what if lenders, insurers and contractors took the role of art in the same spirit as conveyed via The Romantic Manifesto? Perhaps it is too soon for such a story to be conjectured, yet she did write one, albeit a short, non-fiction version.

The starving artist, the loner, the misunderstood, the under-appreciated soul seeking to capture a single still moment on canvass in order to convey his particular perspective of the essence of life, has been vanquished to the basement society's life. The painter is treated as the red-headed stepchild. A step lower than the good being hated for the good, the field of painting along with the artist,  has been castigated—almost as if the castigators were fully cognizant of the repercussions of such a deed.

As you point out past the selected quotation I included, the concretes would be much more difficult to ascend to. It is much more than the peculiar mixture of pigments and the selection of a brush with which to apply it.

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All of which is just what I said: a novel with a painter as protagonist would not be Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead or anything close.

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