Book Tag

Of late, I’ve begun to feel there’s nothing I can post about. Opening the newspaper everyday sickens me so much that I stick to the crosswords and Su-Doku, apart from the Forecast, which is easily the most believable section of the newspaper. And blogging about what I had for breakfast is not going to happen unless and until it’s prepared by Sanjeev Kapoor or Tarla Dalal or Mallika Badrinath.

I can of course vent my ire on the various ills perpetrated on a majority of us by the Congress government, but such a post will suffer one of two undesirable fates – it’s either going to be read by a maximum of two people, or it’s going to be read by a variety of folks, who will all suppose I’m just another Raj Thackeray or Godse wannabe. While that will bring out a few interesting comments, it certainly is not going to lead to interesting discussions. More of a troll-haven such a post will be, as anyone can see on any right-of-center blog. That’s not to say I’ll never write something like that; just that I don’t feel upto it now.

While I’m not imagining there are thousands of people waiting eagerly for my next post who’ll lapse into chronic depression and slit their wrists if I don’t keep up my quota of atleast one post a week, I do have reason to believe I stay sane if I put up atleast one post a week… it’s become quite an addiction. It gives me a (possibly) false reassurance that there’s someone out there who has an infinite capacity to put up with my supposed jokes, opinions, ideas, raves, rants and the like.

When at a loss for blogging ideas, turn to tags!

This one’s a book tag. I just combined all the different tags I’ve come across.

Total Number of Books I own: Hard to gauge. I once tried a census, but it erupted into arguments of which belonged to me and which to my sis, and whether comics counted. And some of my books have been borrowed and never returned, which makes it all the more worse. And a few folks left their books with me and moved house without telling me, so I technically don’t *own* those books…

My bookshelf after a clean-up operation.

My bookshelf after a clean-up operation.

BLEG: If by any chance you’ve borrowed my “Odyssey – From Pepsi to Apple” by John Sculley, this would be a good time and place to tell me it’s with you. Thanks.

Last Book I Bought: My Country, My Life by LK Advani. Propaganda, yes (can as much as call him the Ad-vaNi for BJP.. he surely is the poster boy for the BJP… why, even his wife is called Kamla!), but it’s that side of the story that has been suppressed for simply too long. Either suppressed or been drowned out for too long. It is quite a good read. Well-written. The chapters on the Emergency are very passionately written. I’d recommend reading this book along with Shashi Tharoor’s Great Indian Novel coz the sarcasm of one and parody of another bring out the facts really well and give you a deeper insight and understanding into the history of India than what you would have got from reading either alone.

Last Book I Read: The BFG and The Witches by Roald Dahl. And got into a Dahl frenzy after that… since I’d always hated Dahl due to his depressing short stories, these books were a very pleasant surprise. I then read his My Uncle Oswald… it isn’t great. Comes close to disgusting quite a lot of times. Boy – Tales of Childhood is technically the latest book I’ve read. It’s a very endearing book, more so since we were used to reading extracts from the same book every year in school as part of English Literature. It sure did feel good to see all those stories together in a book, along with relevant context.

Five Books That Mean A Lot To Me:

  1. English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee. It’s more than just a cynical novel; it’s a philosophical journey. Or so I felt when I read it. I read it, reread it, and again, and again, and each time I find something new.
  2. My Country, My Life by Advani. He asks in the book, when the countries of Europe, which had brooked animosity against each other for more than half a century and had fought the bloodiest wars in history can live together in peace and co-prosperity, why can’t the Subcontinent do so, more so when we have millennia of shared history and culture and language. He talks about what exactly is India’s problem, in a more articulate and erudite way than anyone I’ve read ever.
  3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: I can reread it a million times (I’m sure I have) and still not get bored. It’s easily my favourite in the series. The number of conversations the book opened was simply mind-blowing… easily, everyone and his brother seem to have read the book.
  4. Malgudi Landscapes, a collection of RK Narayan’s works. It contained quite a lot of his short stories and essays and extracts from most of his novels and non-fiction. It offers a glimpse into his world. It’s the sort of book that nudges and eggs you on to want to read all his works. My neighbor borrowed this and then went on to have a feud with my family. In the ensuing melee, everyone forgot about asking for the book. *Sigh*
  5. The Sun’s Seventh Horse by Dharmvir Bharti. It means a lot to me for reasons other than mere literary merit.

A book that made you laugh: Ogden Nash’s Candy is Dandy. And some passages of English, August.

A book that made you cry: Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead. For the sheer hopelessness of the writing and unreadability that ensued.

A book that scared you: 1984

A book that disgusted you: The Mammaries of the Welfare State by Upamanyu Chatterjee. Sequel to English, August, but lacks any subtlety. Very in-your-face, so much that you hate the practiced cynicism the book radiates.

A book you loved in elementary school: The Adventurous Four series of Enid Blyton – the one with Andy, Tom, Jill and Mary and their boat.

A book you loved in middle school or junior high school: Malory Towers and St. Clares by Enid Blyton.

A book you loved in high school: The English Teacher, Grandmother’s Tale and Harry Potter.

A book you loved in college: I read too much in college, and most of it was pulp-fiction or pop-literature that it refuses to stick. I’d say Catcher in the Rye.

A book that challenged your identity: How to Win Friends And Influence People. It’s the only self-help book I have any respect for. Oh, and English, August, too.

A series that you love: Lots – all of Enid Blyton’s schoolgirl series, all the Blandings books by Wodehouse. I like Blandings much, much better than Jeeves.

Your favorite horror book: World’s Greatest Ghosts. The book became a major rage in school, with everyone asking to borrow it, including snooty seniors who probably didn’t know of my existance till then. The popularity of it can be gauged by the fact that it came back to me in four pieces.

Your favorite science fiction book: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. I liked the first three, but the other two became too much for me. Sure, there are brilliant ideas introduced, and alternative explanations offered for so many everyday occurrences, but when these become the essence of the book and not the story, for five long books, it gets trying. Asimov’s I, Robot is aeons better and comes close to being put on a pedestal by me, though his Foundation and Elijah Baley series weren’t all that great. I liked his Nightfall: Brilliant concept, but after a while it gets unreadable.

Your favorite fantasy: Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. I like the no-nonsense attitude of it all. I like Foaly the centaur and his innoventions (word I coined – innovative inventions. Propagate it, do.). But above all, I liked it that the lead character was not a loser-who-gets-lucky, but an astute plotter and planner whose plans worked, and not just due to luck. I hate most other fantasy series.

Your favorite mystery: Feluda. I also like short stories featuring Miss Marple. Perry Mason rocks, but more for astute grandstands and manipulations than for any detective work.

Your favorite biography: The last book I bought. And also, Satyajit Ray – The Inner Eye – Biography of a Master Filmmaker.

Your favorite β€œcoming of age” book: English, August. And to a lesser extent, Swami and Friends.

Your favorite classic: Gone With The Wind. And though I haven’t read it fully, Ponniyin Selvan.

Ebooks vs hardcopies: For availability and easy of obtaining, ebooks. Yes, I’m aware they are illegal. But Rupa and Penguin can bring down prices, can’t they? And bookstores can be better stocked? I can’t justify paying big bucks to read stuff I’d like to read only once. And… ease of stocking is certainly more with ebooks; I don’t have mum and dad yelling that my eBooks folder needs maintenance. But the thing with ebooks is, out of sight and out of mind. I see Back On The Road Again peeping out of my crowded bookshelf, and am reminded I should read it sometime. But The Hunchback of Notre Dame has been languishing on my laptop for four years now.

And who do I tag?
Anyone who wants to do this tag. Just anyone.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
This entry was posted in Blogging, fiction, Pottermania, Priya's Travails, Reading, Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

40 Responses to Book Tag

  1. sg says:

    hey…nice post..abt books πŸ™‚
    does the 5th book in ur favs remind me of the rite person πŸ˜‰

  2. wanderlust says:

    you prove time and again that Bond is always right.

  3. Logik says:

    Considering the admiration for the works of advani and Tharoor,what’s your opinion about ‘The Discovery of India’. I read a few chapters, then coudln’t put myself to read the rest. Seemed too long. Although I did see some of the television episodes of the same. This one’s not a cynical view, but a thoroughly researched one.
    And speaking of advani, does the recency in the read contribute to it moving so high up on the list?

  4. wanderlust says:

    i haven’t read discovery of india. the title is very off-putting for one thing. and you don’t see it cited much, atleast not as much as gandhi’s autobiography (which i couldn’t finish) that you are moved to reading it… it’s pagerank comes down. maybe i should try reading it once sometime when i have nothing else to do.
    actually the list is in no particular order. if i had to put some order to it, advani would probably finish last, and sun’s seventh horse the second.

  5. AJ says:

    Wow.. That is a very impressive list. And a lot of books I have not read yet but should.

    Though I will disagree on your comment on Foundation series, I agree with your opinion on the Hitchhiker…

  6. rsg says:

    wh ati sthe bookt oth elef tof wodeh ouseno thew ordswo rthcl ass ics.

  7. wanderlust says:

    left of wodehouse is Huchback of Notre Dame.
    or if you meant the slim yellow one, it’s called ‘role call again’, by Poile Sengupta. it’s a really delightful collection of columns about schools and schooling written by an ex-teacher.

  8. Vikram says:

    Have you read Maximum City by Suketu Mehta ?

  9. wanderlust says:

    haven’t…. it’s about mumbai, right?

  10. Vikram says:

    Yes, a very personal account of a city than can be very impersonal. You should check it out if you have the enthu.

  11. Shreevatsa says:

    Book porn! Great post.

    I’m always startled by people who consider the Hitchhiker’s book science fiction! (Unless you happen to read them before having read any SF, in which case…) Great books though, even up to the (clearly less great) last ones. You won’t hear many people say this, but the moral from Mostly Harmless, that “there are times when you do not go back for your bag and other times when you do”, has been a great influence on my life :P. (Sure beats the other famous moral from the books anyway, that “one should never throw the letter Q into a privet bush, but unfortunately there are times when it is unavoidable.”) Also read the Dirk Gently books for similar, but less popular, books based on the detective novel genre. (They are also more boring, but I feel that’s intentional.)

    And Nightfall is a short story, please πŸ™‚ [I am aware of the novelisation, but…]

    And you mention Wodehouse (and I too like his non-Jeeves stories better)… I’m always trying to get people to read Saki! Why is Saki so unread? “Saki can do more in seven pages than PG Wodehouse did in his entire career” — he packs his punches and I admit it can be too much for some, but I don’t understand why he is mostly unknown, except for a couple of stories like The Open Window and Mrs. Packletide’s Tiger and Dusk. Here’s an example story that to me reads like a Wodehouse novel in two pages, only better πŸ˜› And that’s only the most ordinary example…

  12. the Monk says:

    @Shreevatsa: Oh, I’m with you on Saki. He. Is. God. Wodehouse is very highly overrated, I think, especially when you have other British comic geniuses like Saki, Oscar “the One” Wilde, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman and finally, the vastly underrated (and virtually unknown) Sellers & Yeatman of [i]1066 and All That[/i] fame, the Best History Book Ever.

  13. the Monk says:

    Oh, this is tragic. How could I forget Jonathan Stroud, Evelyn Waugh and the brilliant Alexander McCall Smith, whose writing, as a friend of mine once described wonderfully, washes over you like a gentle wave on a warm summer evening? And I do not use the word genius lightly here, these are men who deserve it thoroughly. It’s sad, really, that these writers are virtually unknown outside the United Kingdom.

  14. wanderlust says:

    i’ve only read the novelization of nightfall.
    I prefer O Henry to Saki. Either ways, I am not big on short stories.
    @the monk:
    what i like about wodehouse is the mindlessness of his stories and novels. his verbosity is endearing in itself.
    i think you praise alexander mccall smith more than he deserves. his books are nothing new, or great. yeah, maybe his portrayal of life in botswana is great in The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Tears of the Giraffe, but there is little else you can love those books for.
    also, no one has botched up a book preface like he has… his introduction to RK Narayan’s My Days reads like a horribly researched wiki article.

  15. Arjun says:

    28 tags-aava? What a voracious readership of India.

    I am more curious about the Dilip M Salwi, Paro Anand and Chitra Jafa books on your bookshelf. They seem fascinating. Especially Paro Anand’s book. “Impossible?” it asks, in bold, red font. I’m afraid to say “yes.”

  16. wanderlust says:

    i like your comment a lot for some reason.
    been ages since i read/heard a sentence that ends in “of india”.
    ahhhh i’ve been waiting to talk about those books for ages. here goes:
    they are published by this place called ‘TeenStorm’. a really nice series of books they are. they are meant for kids between ten and fifteen. of course, they came out in a day and age when kids that age did not watch friends and read sidney sheldon, so they are far more… meant for kids.
    dilip salwi writes sci-fi in an indian context. he is no arthur c clarke, but his stories are certainly new thought, though most of them end on the same note – either condemning war or asking for a greener planet. you can’t grudge him; back then, that was what was hep with kids.
    chitra jafa isn’t that great a writer. that book there was ‘adventures of princess antlina’, a story about -you guessed it- an ant colony. well plotted, but not that well written. though it sounds preachy at times… values that you want kids to imbibe.. do not be taken in by appearances, work hard, don’t laze around….
    paro anand.. now there’s a children’s writer. her books were not preachy at all. they seemed more real, and mostly written in the first person, and you’d feel the protagonist was some kid just like you!
    ‘impossible? Tales of the unknown’ was a book that gave me nightmares for a week. it has a sequel, ‘Ghosts Everywhere’, which features a few friendly ghosts.
    but her best collection (in the same series) was this one called ‘school soup’. it had school stories that ran through a whole range of situations kids face… copying, being late for school, pets, new school, trying to win races, competing for parts in plays, disabilities… all this without being preachy.
    if you used to read children’s magazines like Gokulam or Children’s World ten years back, you would have come across one or two paro anand stories in them. there was a very nice horror story called ‘who is it?’ about the ghost of a red-haired british lady tormenting a young girl… it’s the brilliantest i’ve read.

  17. the Monk says:

    Oh, I haven’t read any of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books or Tears of the Giraffe. I have, however, read all The Sunday Philosophy Club books and those are just wonderful.

  18. Shreevatsa says:

    The Nightfall not-so-short story: see e.g. here.

    And you can’t really compare Saki to O Henry! Their most famous stories — Saki’s least bizarre ones, and O Henry’s most respectable ones — are both unrepresentative samples of their work. O Henry has written probably a dozen or two of the greatest short stories ever, but on reading an entire book with hundreds of his stories, I became convinced that he was entirely a hack, churning out repetitive stories, and only occasionally rising above (rather clever) mediocrity… but they were still stories, trying to capture real life or whatever it is that American writers aspire to do.

    A Saki story on the other hand, typically consists of two characters insulting each other πŸ˜› (The Talking-Out of Tarrington comes to mind), and they are entirely mindless and of no artistic value, just incredibly enjoyable πŸ™‚ You can compare him to Wodehouse (for his expert wielding of the English sentence and perfect word choice), Oscar Wilde (his characters, certainly) or Jerome K Jerome (not so much, I guess), but his more out-of-the-world stories have nothing to compare them to; certainly no one could write them today and get away with them!
    [Well I’ve worn out a Saki book *twice* so I’m obviously not an unbiased source…]

  19. Akshay N R says:

    Oh My My!
    I am terribly surprised and at the same time disappointed beyond belief!
    I can’t believe you found The Fountainhead to consist of ‘sheer hopelessness of the writing and unreadability that ensued.’
    I am simply dumb founded.
    WHY??? REally, why?? Exactly what??? “Sheer hopelessness” is a really generalized statement. TEll me exactly what it was that made it “unreadable!”

    MY GOD!

    I have read it god-knows how many times and I go back to it everytime I need inspiration.

    Was it just the philosophy that you didn’t agree or was there something else? I for one, can definitely say the book is extremely well written!

    PLEASE do make your reply sound plausible (as highly unlikely as I may eventually find it to be)…

  20. Akshay N R says:

    And my Thumbs Up to Catcher in the Rye!

  21. wanderlust says:

    i don’t know whether it’s a firewall or what, but i’m not able to access that link.
    to me, all short stories seem the darned same… the same old twist in the end…. unless of course the themes differ greatly. and if you read an entire book of short stories by the same author, you can even start guessing what’s coming next. i prefer novels… they offer deeper character sketches, subplots… and more or less stuff that keeps you occupied and offers food for thought.
    @akshay NR:
    it’s been too long since i read fountainhead, so it won’t be a wellformed reason i’m putting forward here. i can talk only about the impression that remained.
    basically, it feels like she took five hundred pages to just get to those four pages of roark’s incessant yapping in the court in the end.
    the story isn’t much to marvel either… it takes effort to move from one page to the next, and it doesn’t make you WANT to know what’s gonna happen next.
    sometimes the only saving grace of such books is the language and the choice of words used. but no, fountainhead fails there too. it reads like a translation from some european language.

  22. Akshay N R says:

    I guess there is a fundamental difference in the motivation behind me reading the book and you reading the book. I guess you didn’t really comprehend the whole Idea and the purpose behind the book in the first place. All those points you have made above seem completely and wrongly inferred and I am sure to the thousands of FOUNTAINHEAD fans all around the world.

    It definitly didnt make me want to know what happens next-but that was simply because I was too engrossed and absorbed in what was being conveyed-the philosophy and the description of her HERO- at any stage in the book.It is definietly not a book filled with stories or plots that simply makes you want to know what is up next or how it is all going to end. The story here in fact takes a back seat with the message in the book taking all the highlight. I hope you were able to understand that. But if you inferred that the whole book is just a build up to the courtroom speech, then I am not in any doubt that you have really misunderstood the entire purpose and the idea behind the book.

    As much as I would like you to read it again, I am somehow sure you wont do it now. πŸ™‚
    But nevertheless, it has been one of the best books I have ever read in my life- it gave words to everything I always believed in.

  23. Tuna Fish says:

    Heres why I dint read Fountainhead…
    The whole deal of a philosophy/ a way of life / whatever being conveyed , the frenzy of fans following and deriving inspiration from a book gives me the jitters…
    It gives me the feeling of another much publicized, rather differently publicized, self-improvement book. Some book which tells you, that defines “success” for you, and an elaborate formula to achieve that set “success”. Something like You Can Win/ Monk Who Sold His Ferrari/ Who Moved My Cheese? or such others…

  24. Shreevatsa says:

    You are right, a short story offers limited scope for story, plot, and character development. (In principle, a good short story might offer as much “food for thought” as many novels, but I can’t claim to know any that do.) So it follows that one can appreciate short stories not for their subplots or depth of character, but only for things that are possible within the confines of the format — say, for how much they have by way of these, in comparison only to other short stories, but, for me, just more mundane things like how funny they are and how juicy the dialogue is. πŸ™‚ [I am also a reader “in the small”, of sentences and words, and individual words in Saki’s stories are hilariously chosen…] His “stories” also cheerfully free themselves from any obligation to have an actual plot or characters, because those only get in the way. πŸ˜€ [Monty Python did a similar thing when they decided against having punch lines because they would often be not as good as the rest of the sketch and simply let the whole thing down.]

    Nightfall: Maybe that site is flaky; try others — my usual trick to search for a known phrase; try this. Anyway, even Asimov didn’t consider it his best story, it just somehow acquired a reputation of being a (or *the*) classic SF short story.]

  25. Akshay N R says:

    You Can Win/ Monk Who Sold His Ferrari/ Who Moved My Cheese? are all books that are properly branded as SELF HELP because they offer you advice on how to lead your own life. And they suck!

    The Fountainhead on the other hand, never really GAVE any advice or even SUGGESTED what one SHOULD be doing. And moreover, when I read the book, I wasn’t even aware that it had a big fan following. But I guess the reason why I liked the book was because it said the exact same thing I had always believed. ANd so it means a lot to me…

  26. Arjun says:

    Where can you get the Paro Anand books now? I now badly want to read her books. You’ve made her sound like Harper Lee. “you’d feel the protagonist was some kid just like you.” Exactly how I felt when I read Mockingbird.

    I used to read Gokulam, yes. Along with Champak and Chandamama. I’m afraid I don’t remember this Paro Anand story you’ve mentioned here but they did have good scary stories. Chandamama had a story once about Lord Dufferin, one of the British governor-generals. It scared me really badly as a kid. And then, I read some stupid Sidney Sheldon book in which he’d stolen this same story. I’m not saying he read Chandamama, but he put a real-life incident as-is into a story of his.

    And for some reason, when you said “…day and age when kids that age did not watch friends and read sidney sheldon,” I relapsed into nostalgia much as Aadaraneeya Advaniji relapses into Emergency memories. We did have books and television programmes much more…normal, if you will. As in, twelve year old boys and girls did not talk like they were forty. Maybe we grew up slow. But it’s better than growing up too fast. I’m beginning to sound like an old fart, I know.

    And I must say I’m amazed that Akshay N R here has read the Fountainhead ‘god-knows how many times’ and goes back to it for inspiration. Kudos, sir, for your patience. The Lord of the Rings is the only book that size that I would read. (I’d also add the Hitch-hiker’s guide omnibus here, but I realise I have the wrong crowd for that.)

    Heh, a couple of friends and I do that whole Vadivel-esque “-aava” and “What yea amessing collections of India!” thing when we talk. Not all the time, but it’s very funny.

  27. wanderlust says:

    different people look for different things to enjoy in a piece of writing. now i don’t like meaningless irrationality for the sake of it, walking-metaphor characters and bad writing, and i like it even less when the three meet.
    whereas, you seem to have different tastes and don’t seem to mind the above three things.
    ayn rand doesn’t put across her philosophy well… you need to read it some three-four times to understand what she’s getting at. i would have probably done so if her writing was more readable, or held some sort of an appeal to me in occasional flashes of brilliance atlest. but it failed there to hold my attention.
    the philosophy didn’t strike me as anything that might change me positively.. i’m wary of any philosophy that idolizes the individual as well as those which annihilate the entire concept of an individual… both seem crazy extrapolations to me.
    ayn rand seems to be a repressed individual who was totally enamoured by the difference in individual freedom between russia and the united states and went on to write some hyperbole due to that. she took five hundred pages to say ‘i’ll do what i want. screw you all, losers’.

    i understand Tuna Fish’s jitters at the cult of ayn rand… it feels like mass-hypnosis. even paulo coelho’s works don’t give advice, but fall in the same league…. it’s fine if people are taking inputs from books and forming their own philosophy about life, the universe and everything,… but people culling moral guidance from a book is a tad unnerving.

    ayn rand does not ‘give’ advice, but makes it seem idiotic to want to follow anything else.

    oh, no clue, none at all… been ages since i saw any of her books in a store. though methinks nagasri’s at jayanagar 4th block might just have some… they seem to have everything.
    and kids these days… scary speaking to them. little girls insult each other with “you’re so fat”… WOE (what on earth)?
    i admire your patience for LoTR. I found it too verbose for my liking… and the songs, sweet lord.
    pseudo-bangalorean accent, i laikeseet in moderation. a bunch of us say ‘aes’, ‘whataaae’ (practically whole of nitk), ‘personal self-suicide’, ‘jesht you off this’, suffixing ‘-and all’ to every sentence (‘what and all is this and all?’). it beats valspeak anyday.

  28. karthik says:

    Thus far, the comment thread has been as interesting (if not more) than the original post.

    Two interesting essays apropos of the topics discussed:

    Ayn Rand’s cult and why it took off

    The ambition of the Short Story

  29. Logik says:

    Found Paro Anand and Saki short stories in Higginbothams. Only one title they had of each.
    Didn’t buy them though, I was searching for a book by Pratchett, and didn’t find the title there.

    As for Fountainhead, I haven’t read the book yet, and all my impressions of it are from the movie, and the cult phenomenon that ensued from the book.
    I find it a tad ironic that the idea of the individual opinion, and your right to put it forth without caring about current hierarchy or the Order of thought practices, finds acceptance with a whole group of people who have taken it at face-value. If anything, this defeats the very purpose of Individualism. Shouldn’t the anarchist order always be the minority in a stable society?

    Objectivism is something pretty akin to Capitalism, which is fine by me. But combining that with individualism, makes very little practical sense.

    P.S: I loved the scene which showed the various forms of architecture and why it is being followed without rational reasoning even today, just to conform to established practices.
    Through most of the movie, I slept, waking up for the court scene, which I liked. Overall, a wonderful movie.

  30. Logik says:

    @n.r- maybe i didn’t like fountainhead so much because i’m not a civil engineer or an architect…it probably had that niche kinda appeal to you, even without considering the philosophy bits.

  31. Akshay N R says:

    I thought my part in this comment chain was over but apparently it is not.
    I am yet to complete reading the essay link about Ayn Rand but of what I have read, it seems to be an unbiased essay.

    I just hope this comment chain doesnt become like the CB book review..

    Yeah maybe being a civil engineer did have its role in me liking Fountainhead. But reading Atlas SHrugged was an even more phenomenal experience.

    And just so I make it clear, I have so far interacted with 2-thats right two- Fountainhead fans about the philosophy. Now then i would hardly call myself involved in a CULT! My belief in the philosophy has been steady even without any form of interaction or involvement in any Ayn Rand group. Like I said, the books gave words to everything I always believed in.
    So I really dont get this whole all Rand fans being part of a cult thing….

    And i also hope this comment chain ends here. Seriously I wouldnt want another CB

  32. wanderlust says:

    you hit it on the head!
    @akshay nr:
    ayn rand fans flaming? now that’s something i can look forward to…. im in need of a good laugh.

  33. the Monk says:

    @Logik & Wanderlust: No, there’s an inherent flaw in your logic (now there’s irony for you). Just because an idea espouses individualism does not mean not more than one person cannot find favour with it. Individualism does not necessarily mean that everybody has to disagree with each other, merely that one promotes the exercise of one’s own goals and desires with minimal interference from external sources. I don’t see any reason why any group cannot espouse this philosophy. Perhaps the mistake you’re making is in assuming that this group comprises of people who are working with each other. Even so, I don’t see any reason why the individualism as a philosophy fails to hold, because if that was the case, no corporation could survive. But corporations do, and this is primarily because of the difference in talent that exists across the workforce.

    I think where Rand’s ideas fail is in the concept of an individualistic society. Society, by definition, requires some sacrifice towards the greater good of the people, and this contradicts some of the principles of individualism. However, it can work if the individuals comprising the society are almost entirely rational in their thinking. This however, is not the case, as evidenced quite plainly by the current financial crisis in the US. Alan Greenspan, who was quite the Ayn Rand fan, was a strong proponent of the laissez-faire or the free market economy, and we all know what happened next.

    I personally feel more people are carried away by Rand’s rhetoric about rationalism and the general (so-called) studness of her characters more than anything else. The irrationality of Rand’s ideas lies in her basic assumption that man is a rational being, which I hardly think he is. He can be rational some of the time and about certain things, but hardly all the time and about all matters.

    Also, on what basis are you making the claim that these people have taken the ideas at face value? I’m not saying they have all subjected her ideas to exhaustive scrutiny, but it is unfair to assume that they have not devoted any thought at all to the matter.

    And Logik, are you a Pratchett fan?

  34. Logik says:

    @the monk- about pratchett. I happened to read a few pages of one his works.and i was mighty impressed. The search for that book continues,however. His series, to read, will take some time though. And i swear to the heavens up above, this is the first time i’m hearing the illogic irony joke πŸ˜€ ya, in the jest of the argument, i let some wrong ‘un’s through. A preliminary mistake. What i meant to say was that, the situation in people embracing her school of thought, would be hardly any different from the non-roark characters embracing traditional norms n practices in her book. I’m talking about this over a time frame since the book was written. You agree that the principle was advocated for a rational man, and that most aren’t. That applies to some of the people taking up her cause as well, right? And where there is fresh opium, the mass tend to flock. Twisting what i suppose , karl marx said when he was utterly high. This was about the face value bit. Individualistic society, is a contradiction in itself, and was never rand’s aim. And when you see the likes of ‘church of ayn rand’ types of followers, i couldn’t help but believe that this was yet another fad, albeit a one that will not wear off soon, as it appeals to the very individual, and his aspirations. People tend to feel all jolly good and cuddly after reading such books, and ayn rand is automaticaly elevated as to the champion of their cause. A situation which is as good as the people taking it up. A similar if not more stark irony lies in the works and fan following of a one mr.or dr. Richard dawkins… We might even see ‘dawkins is god’ graffitied on the walls of london soon. And ,then the universe will implode in a tiny pop. (@priya- and btw, this one’s

  35. wanderlust says:

    i think i cracked the illogik ‘un once… think it went like “you’re quite incoherent when you’re unwell… you’re quite illogikal.
    “studness” of characters… i think that’s the USP.
    @the monk:
    ahhh… WHY do you get so surface-level? anyway logik said all that i wanted to say.
    i remember an article in The Onion which talked about evolutionists flocking to worship a darwin-shaped stain on the wall…. this is sort of like that.

  36. Akshay N R says:

    Dude it wasn’t too long back when I made the “Redundant Logic” comment..
    So you see MONK was not the first one to use the jest…

    I second each and everything you have said!

  37. Logik says:

    @illogical comrades- Man, text based irony is tough. I even gave a smiley at the end of that gaudy statement. You people need to look up poe’s law. Now. I second everything that everyone has can we stop this sub-thread? Aren’t there other books to discuss about?

  38. wanderlust says:

    you’re supposed to give a πŸ˜› smiley, not a smiling smiley.
    i’d like angry ayn rand fans here flaming… makes for a nice laugh. maybe i should inform pondi(of nitk_it_2008 fame) of the existance of this thread… suits both criteria: champion flamer as well as major ayn rand fan.

  39. Arjun says:

    Sorry, wanderlust, but I’ll bring it all to a flaming, ugly end. Fuck Rand, long live Pratchett.

    (You can delete this.)

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