Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Who is John Galt?

John Galt is a Scottish novelist, active in the 1820s. His novel The Entail is superb, and The Provost is almost as good. I want to write more about Galt later, but here I just want to express my resentment at the misappropriation of his name on this idiotic anniversary.

"The tall fellow came up with her cape and settled it on her shoulders as the admirers surged forward and the rest of us stood and stretched and began putting on our coats. All of us but one. Still waving his arm, Jaspers finally cried out, Miss Rand! Miss Rand! The room went quiet and she looked at Jaspers and he asked the question he’d been dying to ask. She jerked her head back as if she’d been slapped. All the dark-dressed men and women turned on him in utter loathing – a court of ravens about to eat the eyes out of the whey-faced, homesick boy with his chewed-up fingernails and puppyish need to be in on everything, who in his need had asked Ayn Rand the very question I had been itching to ask and probably would’ve if she hadn’t skunked me for mentioning Hemingway.

Who is John Galt?"

Tobias Wolff, Old School, pp. 87-8.

1 comment:

  1. I just want to throw in, here, a little story from college. My roommates Julia and Christie and I had a rule, which turned out to be prescient. Forthwith, The Rule:

    It does not matter how much you think you like a guy; if you go to his apartment or room and there is a copy of "The Fountainhead" or "Atlas Shrugged" or "We the Living" or especially "Anthem" prominently displayed, you need to leave. You need to leave right. that. minute. Do not pass Go, do not collect 200 dollars.

    Also, beware if the guy is really into Rush's album 2112, for similar reasons.

    Anyway, you can send a ridiculous Ayn Rand e-card to someone if you feel like it, thanks to this kook:

    I'm with you. It's a shame that John Galt is viewed as a footnote, or as an icon of something that he most assuredly would have found tiresome.