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A funny thought...

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When I was reading the Letters of Ayn Rand a few months ago, I came across one from the late 40s or early 50s in which she says she won't have any women riding in any train engines, or insert herself, in her next novel (Atlas Shrugged). I found this funny, because not only does Dagny ride in the engine of the first train of the John Galt Line, but also because of something on page 660...

John is showing Dagny around the valley and this (unnamed) woman comes up to them to say hi. Dagny asks John who she was, and John says she was a novelist on the outside who couldn't get published because 'she believed when you deal with words, you deal with the mind.'

This quote (and the detail that the woman's hair was brown) leads me to suspect that this was a self-insertion by Ayn Rand. What do the rest of you think?

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The first I just shrug at and say: Guess she changed her mind.

The second I find to be an amusing coincidence—I don't think it necessarily indicates sefl-insertion. During that portion of the book, she was going through a whole roll-call of professions and describing the way their rationality prevented them from thriving in the world as it was; and there are only so many colors of hair one can have.

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I would have really liked to have seen Roark make a cameo in galt's gulch.

Also, does anyone know if the actress in galt's gulch is a reference to marilyn monroe?

Thanks.

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When I was reading the Letters of Ayn Rand a few months ago, I came across one from the late 40s or early 50s in which she says she won't have any women riding in any train engines, or insert herself, in her next novel (Atlas Shrugged).  I found this funny, because not only does Dagny ride in the engine of the first train of the John Galt Line, but also because of something on page 660...

John is showing Dagny around the valley and this (unnamed) woman comes up to them to say hi.  Dagny asks John who she was, and John says she was a novelist on the outside who couldn't get published because 'she believed when you deal with words, you deal with the mind.'

This quote (and the detail that the woman's hair was brown) leads me to suspect that this was a self-insertion by Ayn Rand.  What do the rest of you think?

I can't find it right now but I remember that Rand cut out a piece in Atlas Shrugged that she described an author that was staring longinly into the windows of a bookstore in New York city and John Galt comes up to her and says something akin t "Your books will never be here, come join us" but she cut it out. It was a series of montages of people like Stadler getting "recruited" into the strike.

I know the reference is somewhere here but I can't find it right now.

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I find the evidence to be circumstantial at best. It just seems to me that Rand's whole philosophy of writing was that a great novelist "puts oneself into" every character, act and description in terms of one's values and ideals. So what is gained by overliteralizing such a brilliant aesthetic premise by creating a character that resembles the author?

Although she does reference the fishwife's legs, and Rand was very proud of her legs.. hmmm.

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I would have really liked to have seen Roark make a cameo in galt's gulch.

... or to have Richard Halley say something about being taught all the wrong things in school, but upon breifly meeting a red-haired achitect, he discovered the strength to pursue his craft.

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I would have really liked to have seen Roark make a cameo in galt's gulch.

Also, does anyone know if the actress in galt's gulch is a reference to marilyn monroe?

Thanks.

If she would have put Roark in there she might as well put Kira and Prometheus in there too. As far as the actress, I can't find the page she is referenced on but it could be Kay Gonda.

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