A Cruel Man Delighting in Flowers

...the mildness to which men ... had yielded was only half of the intoxication of beauty, while the other half ... was of such surpassing and terrible cruelty—the most cruel of men delights himself with a flower—that beauty ... failed quickly of its effect... 

Hermann BrochThe Death of Virgil

 

Jeremy Davies is made of ink, but don’t dip a feather in him. It tickles. He once painted a fingernail black and no one really noticed. He was disappointed. He’s also an editor, a religious atheist, a liker of strong coffees, a Shakespeare-lover, a political anarchist and someone who rarely has a pen when he needs one. He has been a PhD candidate, a personal trainer, a life model, a bouncer, an infantry soldier and someone who rarely had a pen when he needed one. He has had words published in a variety of places, in a variety of publications, in a variety of forms, in a variety of moments: Canada, Wet Ink, SMS and twelve minutes past three in the afternoon being some of these. His first novel, 'Missing Presumed Undead', will be re-published by Satalyte Publishing in February 2014. A second is on its way.

Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand I started reading this when I was doing undergrad Philosophy, since Rand's ideas were so oppositional to many of the social/moral philosophies I was experiencing at the time, and I wanted to see what it was about. And I did enjoy it ... for a while. I think I was about a third of the way through (and I don't mind a big book, as you can see in my reading list...) when the woodenness of the characters and the leading-ness of the plot started to wear to me. And the strangeness of the sexual moments…

I got her point, but I think she could have achieved what she wanted to in a shorter span, and it would have been more effective. Those that use fiction to explore ideas, and do it well, seem to be able to let the art of the story have its head, and rarely seem to require the crop. Rand is cropping from the first furlong, and she doesn’t let up.

However…

…while I'm certainly no fan of her work, and have a number of problems with her approach to social ideas, one gets the feeling that much of the negativity written about her work here is purely political in nature. ‘I oppose the practical applications of her politics, therefore I will lampoon her mercilessly and make infantile anagrams of anything to do with her etc etc.’

(And I’m not opposed to either of these activities [and have penned my share of infantile anagrams] but the prevalence of it with this one particular author is kind of bothering… I mean she’s not that bad. And she doesn’t seem that important. Why are there so many ruffled feathers? Is it an American thing?)

Currently reading

Lyrical and Critical Essays
Albert Camus
The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages
Harold Bloom
The Rebel (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
Albert Camus