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Post 20

Thursday, September 8, 2005 - 6:33pmSanction this postReply
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Oh, is that how you saw Ayn Rand's words, Dennis? Really.

That's what I mean by removing the orcs from the frame. Branden is feeding her lie after lie, folks, if you haven't read the book that Dennis does not want you to read. Branden spins lie after lie about his "sex problem" while holding out hope for a relationship in which he has sex with Rand, oh, say, X number of times per year while bedding a hypothetical mistress simultaneously, for example, and Rand actually suggests an affair with another woman might be the solution for him (jealousy-crazed psycho that she was), but because she has suspicions about the woman who has already been carrying on a secret four-year affair with Branden (Rand's suspicions about her turned out, incidentally, to be TRUE, of course) that makes Rand... what? Really perceptive about people who are trying to pull the wool over her eyes? Or irrationally trying to keep Branden for herself? Rand's efforts to make sense of the hash of lies Branden cooked up are magically turned into her own "rationalizations" for keeping the affair alive. What the quotes prove to any objective reader is that she was REMARKABLY UNJEALOUS. How many women would suggest an affair with an exciting "Emma Peel"-like woman to solve her lover's made-up "sex problem?"  Her "rationalizations" were efforts to make sense of lies, and even then led to her own rejection of Branden, not to some blind attempt to resume a relationship, for heaven's sake! What book did ya read, there, Dennis?

There are moments when Rand's anger is palpable. But what's the reality outside of Rand's emotional state? Three people, two of whom she trusted deeply and who were no doubt destined to be the heirs of her legacy and fortune, were conducting an ellaborate charade around her concerning a romantic relationship Branden proudly proclaims was always initiated by him, and they are conducting this charade only to prolong the status they enjoyed from Rand's endorsement, by their own admission.

As for the substance of the book, it hasn't been addressed by any of the critics, neither here nor anywhere else. Sciabarra himself has stated that his review did not address most, much less all, of the issues that the book raises.

This book continues to have an impact. For example, it has gotten independent scholar Wendy McElroy to question the evidence for Frank O'Connor's alcoholism, just for starters. The book has certainly not been discredited on this site, where tiptoeing around the content of the book qualifies for Olympic consideration as a new sport; and indeed I urge interested readers to actually go back and read the threads referred to and how they concluded.


Post 21

Thursday, September 8, 2005 - 6:29pmSanction this postReply
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Name-calling is all that any critic here has accomplished, and this hardly amounts to "discrediting." And, "I'm older and wiser, but can't quite communicate my evidence" is just an argument from authority.

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Post 22

Thursday, September 8, 2005 - 7:25pmSanction this postReply
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I question Frank O'Connor's alcoholism too. I never saw it. None of the students of Objectivism I knew in NYC ever mentioned it. A young lady met him in the street and had a nice conversation with him; didn't mention he was drunk. I don't, however, get the impression he produced much art after the 1960s.

--Brant


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Post 23

Thursday, September 8, 2005 - 7:31pmSanction this postReply
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Brant,

It's a step in the right direction for Rand scholarship. I take it you agree, to that extent, at least, and thanks for the honest reportage here.

Of course, the movie "The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics" depicts poor Frank being discovered by Nathaniel Branden passed out drunk in a phonebooth -- with no evidence at all.

Casey


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Friday, September 9, 2005 - 12:22amSanction this postReply
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Well, apparently the idea is that the alcoholism most manifested itself while the Branden/Rand affair was at its height. I didn't know those days. But why haven't other people come forth to testify that he was a drunk then or later? I can understand going to a bar and getting drunk while and because X, Y and Z was going on in your home and you were not welcome, but that's not in itself alcoholism. It seems strange, however, that he would be drinking heavily while all and sundry were agog at the soon-to-be-published Atlas Shrugged and he was getting his sea legs as an artist. He was a part of this tight but powerful clique around Ayn Rand and he must have fed on that as the others did, reading the novel in manuscript and meeting regularly in her home to discuss ideas and the novel as it progressed. On the other hand it's sad if he thought of himself as Mr. Ayn Rand, even humorously.

I disliked the movie. For one thing, Nathaniel Branden is manifestly more powerful than depicted, so was Ayn Rand. The tacked on sex scene was gratuitous. The ideas--what ideas? I don't think, however, that such are the responsibility of Barbara Branden; she didn't write, make or edit it.

--Brant


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Post 25

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 11:43amSanction this postReply
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Casey,

I do not expect us to agree ever, so I am not writing this to convince you of anything (except at the end - about the project itself). I just want another side to be registered (once again).

And I do want two false dichotomies promoted in the Valliant book to stay out in the open.

The first false dichotomy in Valliant's book (and arguments like the ones you present) is that it presumes - states clearly, actually - that because Nathaniel Branden and Barbara Branden lied about one thing for a period of time to Ayn Rand, and have made a few memory-based mistakes in their books, then he and she lie about everything and are completely motivated by malice.

That is plain silly.

The second false dichotomy is that since Ayn Rand had a wonderfully benevolent spirit, then she NEVER experienced jealousy or any emotion like that and completely fell outside the metaphysical nature of the human mind (probably through a superhuman exercise of volition).

That also is plain silly.

(There are others, too. For example, your judgment of the mental capacities of normal readers is way, way off. People are much more intelligent than you make them out to be. They simply do not turn away from Ayn Rand's ideas because she had an affair. Nor do they do so because she was painted as less than perfect in a memoir and a memoir/biography by two people who knew her intimately. The impact of her ideas is being felt all around us. I even remember Barbara stating here on Solo that she was working on a book about that impact on the world with James Kilbourne. Dayaamm! She sure is an evil Rand hater, ain't she? Just because she left Solo due to a disagreement with the owner does not mean that anything in the present debate has been proven. I also think you started this thread in itself as a fishing expedition looking for that particular fish.)

Valliant is one hell of a good researcher and I profoundly lament that all his good qualities were used in the service of hatred of the Brandens. (I think I have covered some of his weaknesses and failings pretty extensively in other posts.) When I think of what a wonderful book he could have written with his highly competent capacity for uncovering facts, even books about other stages of Rand's life, it is simply frustrating.

He prefers the hatred. Well so it goes. You can refine taste but you can't teach it.

I do not see the cultural impact you are claiming for the book at all. OK, Wendy now questions the alcoholism of Frank issue. I saw another lecturer cancel her scheduled TOC lecture in order not to encounter Nathaniel Branden. The typewriter did not exist. There has been some Internet activity on low traffic sites.

What else? I simply have not seen much else. Sorry.

Where I do not forgive this project is not even in the hatred and pettiness of the presentation. It is in the sheer incompetence with which it was carried out. A few comments on this.

Valliant (and you apparently) had access to the journal entries. All other people outside the ARI inner circle were and are denied access. You want us to take you at your word that that's all there is. I know what I personally think. I think "Where have I seen this film before?" If you want the real truth out there, then get out of the way. Standing in the middle and enjoining everyone to trust you is sheer incompetence - if it is the truth that you are really after. If it is bias, then stay there. You are only preaching to the choir, though. You are not really convincing anybody else of anything at all (except about typewriters and the like).

Then there is the matter of the pitiful book sales. This is due to three things, from my view, all reflecting extreme incompetence.

1. All of Rand's unpublished works have sold better than this thing. That is because they were presented as Rand's works, not as Rand's works through the eyes of another. Rand has the readership, not Valliant. He has to ride on her back sales-wise, not the contrary. That is why the journal entries should have been presented unedited (except for the standard factual matters) and essays included - with maybe an introduction. Instead, Valliant gave half a book of his own writing, then her works were presented chopped up and interspersed with his own comments - and many of the comments were snide. Not taking the nature of the market value of the authors and the nature of the material into account cannot be called anything but incompetent.

2. Valliant used Rand's unpublished material to advance an extremely biased approach. I believe people do not want to be told what to think. They want to see for themselves. They can be nudged maybe, but not bludgeoned into thinking anything. The free market sure is making its own appraisal, isn't it? I will not buy that this is due to the "evil Brandens," either. They simply do not have that much power. The fiasco is due to incompetent initial planning - not taking the readership into account. (Preaching to the choir is not taking readership into account and the poor sales are proof enough of that. Ignore it if you wish.)

3. The choice of publisher was a disaster. Durban House Publishing Co. started out as a vanity press. It might still be, although I cannot state that for certain (but see below). Apparently there are several unsatisfied people who were still publicly complaining about the $ 25 k up-front fee, among other matters typical of vanity publishing, the last time I looked. 

One indicator of the health of a publisher is its inclusion in the Writer's Market, published by Writer's Digest Books. Durban House was included in the 2005 edition, but the 2006 edition is now on the market and I bought it. I did not find Durban listed, so I looked at the back - the General Index. There I found the following entry (p. 1147):
Durban House Publishing Co. (ED)
When I looked up what "ED" meant at the head of the General Index (p. 1135), I found the following:
This index lists every market appearing in the book; use it to find companies you wish to approach. Markets that appeared in the 2005 edition of Writer's Market, but are not included in this edition are identified by a code explaining why the market was omitted: (ED) - Editorial Decision...
Several other codes then are listed.

The possible reasons for a publisher (or agent or other market) not being included in Writer's Market are given on page 3:
When looking for a specific market, check the index. A market may not be listed for one of these reasons:

- It doesn't solicit freelance material.
- It doesn't pay for the material.
- It has gone out of business.
- It has failed to verify or update its listing for this edition.
- It hasn't answered Writer's Market inquiries satisfactorily. (To the best of our ability, and with our reader's help, we try to screen fraudulent listings.)
[my emphasis]

Remember the "other codes" I just mentioned above? Well there are codes in the General Index for every one of these reasons except the very last that I emphasized. There is no code for "fraudulent listing." But there is "ED (Editorial Decision)."

I will not state outright that Durban House is engaging in fraudulent monkey-business, but it sure as hell did not satisfy the minimum requirements of a standard market reference tool like Writer's Market. They decided to take its listing out and simply stated that they decided to do so. Period.

They did not make use of any of the many reasons for which there were codes. That strongly implies monkey-business to me.

But bashing Durban is not what I wish to accomplish. I want to reach the originators of this project and try to talk some sense into them. My point is, with all the respectable publishers in the USA who would jump at the chance to publish a new work by Ayn Rand, why on earth choose an extremely young one with a very recent history of vanity press activities from its start-up days?

My answer. Incompetence.

Another reason might be that the work (and/or Valliant's biased approach) was submitted to several publishers and rejected on the basis of being unsound business. If that were so, then why were such publishers not listened to and an untested newbie engaged - with a hot-selling name like Ayn Rand?

My answer. Incompetence.

(Please don't compare Rand's own publishing rejections to this story - the essentials are completely different, starting with the fact that Rand's name already was a hot publishing product when Valliant undertook the project.)

I want to make a practical suggestion, but I have no doubt that it will be laughed away. Gonna make it anyway. I love Ayn Rand and wish to see her work presented correctly. I don't believe there is much of a chance you guys will listen, but if I don't give it a shot, I will never know if an opportunity had been missed.

I suggest that Valliant (and whoever else is part of this thing) start off by writing off the monetary loss and publishing fiasco. Pull the book off the market. Now.

Then Valliant completely rewrite the book. Make an introduction stating clearly what he intends to accomplish. Then present Ayn Rand's words - all of them, as she wrote them and in chronological order - with no biased edits or snide comments. Then put Valliant's essays at the end - rewritten or not. 

Cut that "soul of a rapist" crap, though. Valliant is a lawyer and knows he is skating on thin ice in terms of a libel suit. If the book had been successful, he would have had a major headache if Nathaniel went to court. He still could. (Deny it if you wish, but that is the reality. I already know that it would be "great publicity" and all that - but Ayn Rand's name on the market really does not need publicity stunts like that to sell, and the cost of losing a libel suit would be extremely heavy. Frankly, as it stands at the present, if I were Nathaniel I would sue.)

I would also put in essays from people like Chris Sciabarra presenting other arguments, but I know that you guys will not even consider that.

And then - please please please - find a decent publisher. I have no doubt that one can be found for a much improved work like that. Did I say "much improved?" That is being generous to a fault. And if you can't find a decent publisher (which I doubt), then try to find a rich sponsor or something and try to use some proper business sense. The sponsors are out there. Just knock on doors until one opens. You can't grow business sense if you don't have it, though. Not overnight. So a business consultant or publishing consultant (preferably one not from the Objectivist world) would be in order.

Are you guys listening? Do you want to make a real difference in the world, however small or large it may be? Deal with truth? Or do you prefer charging at Branden windmills like Don Quixote on the steed of a start-up publisher with the lance of poorly presented Ayn Rand journal entries?

The choice is VANITY or REALITY.

And reality, especially reality like book sales and publicity, is a bitch.

Michael
(Edited by Michael Stuart Kelly on 9/09, 1:14pm)


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Post 26

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 1:11pmSanction this postReply
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In post 14, Fahy cites Peikoff's promise that he'll let the rest of us see the journals when he feels like it and no sooner.  Is Peikoff really that oblivious to his credibility problems?  After his (failed) legal harassments, his piecemeal sales of Rand's papers and his refusal to show the remainder to anyone he can't trust to toe the line, he's going to have to do better than that.

Sciabarra has documented the estate's (also failed) attempts to keep him from seeing Rand's college transcripts.  Donald Leslie Johnson, an architectural historian outside the ARI orbit, has told a similar story.  (By the way, The Fountainheads, the upshot of his researches, is a dreadful book, but it wouldn't have been any worse if they'd let him in for a look around, and they would have avoided a needless hit to their reputation.)

Sciabarra has also documented several discrepancies between the journal excerpts that ran in The Intellectual Activist and the official version that came out later as a book.  I had a similar experience with the Wright/Rand letters several years ago.  The Getty Center in LA has his archives on microfiche, and I compared the originals to Berliner's version.  They differ at a number of points.  Some of these differences are neatenings-up of Wright's syntax, and others are simple editorial carelessness.  None are philosophically significant as Sciabarra's findings might be.  Just the same, if 100% of the estate-independent sources (n = 2, a statistician would add) conflict with the official text, you have to approach that text skeptically.

This doesn't prove that Valliant misquotes the journals, deliberately or otherwise, but it shows that "trust me" is way short of doing the job.

Peter

(Edited by Peter Reidy on 9/09, 1:25pm)


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Post 27

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 2:44pmSanction this postReply
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Speculation: Valliant's book was published by Durham House because if it's sued its practical liability is the worth of its assets: none. Or, no big name publisher would touch it because of the possibility of being sued. I wonder if Valliant put that "rape" crap in the book because he wanted to be sued? Maybe he wanted to libel, but not be sued. Regardless, all he accomplished was to make people like me permanently pissed off at him. Leonard Peikoff did the same thing to me when he announced over 35 years ago that if anybody even THOUGHT about buying NB's Basic Principles of Objectivism course to scram. What a twirp! Valliant is a twirp's twirp. (As a policy I don't call people names, but there can be exceptions.)
 
--Brant





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Post 28

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 3:27pmSanction this postReply
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I would urge everyone to read Dr. Sciabarra's post on this matter, especially those who are splashing around in the shallow water to discredit the publisher, which is 1) not a vanity press 2) never was 3) that canard* has long been exposed as a libel*, 4) the publisher is thrilled at the sales that have exceeded all expectations, which, as a nonfiction hardback of this sort of book is astonishing and the publisher is eager for subsequent editions and the paperback to be released  5) the book was, of course, rigorously edited by the publisher's editors and 6) Valliant never paid the publisher a dime for anything. And of course all of this has let the "Critics" avoid any of the content in the book, yet again.

None of the critics have addressed any of the actual substance of Valliant's argument, here or anywhere else. Despite Mr. Kelly's twisted account neither I nor Valliant's book ever argue that simply because the Brandens' lied to Rand that everything they say is to be distrusted. Their books are filled with errors, falsehoods, contradictions, exaggerations, and most importantly suppressed information and suppressed sources. There are NUMEROUS examples. When I mentiond earlier that Ayn Rand had suggested an affair with a new Miss X for Mr. Branden, for example, this was something that both Mr. and Ms. Branden could only have known and chose not to share with their readers. This is the sort of evidence that Mr. Valliant cites and that I have just cited on this thread. It is the sort of thing that none of the critics has yet to address! There is no doubt that at some point in her life Rand felt jealousy. But the idea that she was insanely jealous about Mr. Branden is refuted by the evidence of her notes. That was the issue, hwoever much anyone wants to twist and distort that now. Any time journals, letters, notes whose availability or access is restricted  becomes published we must alas take the editor and the publisher at their word. We must for example take Mr. Reidy's word for it about his comparisons of the published version of Rand's letters with Wright. Valliant's book analyzes the degree to which we can take THE BRANDENS word for such things.

Brant, I think you especially should read Dr. Sciabarra's article:

http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/000740.html

*Thanks to Michael Stuart Kelly for spelling edits.


(Edited by Casey Fahy on 9/10, 1:44pm)


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Post 29

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 4:50pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Casey, for your efforts on the project and for your efforts here. I think that the nature of the attack speaks for itself, my friend, and that those who have, for legitimate reasons, found value in the Brandens other work are naturally loath to see flaws in their biographical works on Ayn Rand however obvious those many flaws may be. This is inevitable, if also unfortunate.

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Post 30

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 12:49pmSanction this postReply
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Valliant's book argues that Branden dishonesty is to be found in many, many ways--not simply their overt and admitted and multi-year dishonesty to Rand about so much in the 1960s. So much so wrong--and so long-winded. They suppress vital evidence, for one thing. Take Casey's example: Rand's suggested new affair with new "Miss X." The Brandens knew this. They chose not to share. This is just one the many, many examples of suppressed sources, suppressed information, self-contradiction, exaggeration, etc., demonstrated in Valliant's book and by Rand's notes.

All of this substance of Valliant's book has yet to be even addressed by any of the critics, including Sciabarra. Oh, and Brant and Michael might find the most recent post from Sciabarra at Notablog of interest.

The "plain silliness" is your bizarre reconstruction of what you think is being said.

The attempt to recast and oversimplify the actual argument is absurd. Valliant does believe that their dishonesty to Rand should be factored into the equation, however. Do you?

As for Rand's jealousy, like anything else, it needs to be shown. The Brandens cannot be relied upon in this matter given their biases and demonstrated penchant for suppressing vital information (see above.) That, too, is all that Valliant said. As Casey observes, using the evidence, Rand's notes show her to be non-jealous. Of course, she may have been at some time, but, evidence is needed...

Obviously, you are not privy to the same privately expressed thoughts of many, many Objectivists on this matter that Casey and others are. Too bad.

And, once again, with regard to Linz, Ms. Branden spreads vile calumny on "former friends" involving alcoholism and anger problems--and still claims to "love" her victim even as she protects herself...

You read hatred from Valliant? Do you even possess the capacity for moral judgment yourself?

(Edited by The Magenta Hornet
on 9/09, 6:10pm)


Post 31

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 7:29pmSanction this postReply
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After giving Chris's Notablog article a quick once over, I don't see anything to argue with up front. I'll have to go over it more carefully.

--Brant


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Post 32

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 7:50pmSanction this postReply
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I wish I were just splashing around in shallow waters to discredit a publisher, since what is being discussed is some writing by Ayn Rand. Unfortunately, this is not merely an opinion. I am going on things I read on the Internet.

I mentioned the removal of Durban House from Writer's Market. That's not an opinion, that's a fact. Anyone can consult the book and the page numbers and check for the accuracy of what I reported.

Here is an appraisal of Durban by an online service called Preditors and Editors. I will quote it here:
Durban House Publishing: Poor contract. Strongly not recommended. A small publisher located in Dallas, Tx. Research indicates this to be a vanity publisher.
I got a little interested when Durban popped up on a list of vanity publishers listed by a popular writer, Lee Goldberg. His links on this appear to be broken right now, but I kept a copy in my files. Here is a brief summary. On March 7, 2005 Goldberg listed Durban House as a vanity press on his "typepad" blog. On March 29, 2005 John Lewis, the publisher, stated in a letter to Goldberg that from 1999 to 2003, Durban requested some authors (some represented by his wife, who is a literary agent) to pay for the promotional costs of their own books, but that the costs were reimbursed over time. Since 2003 Durban has not needed this type of collaboration. I have the full letter on finle and can post it, if need be. On April 12, 2005 Goldberg reversed himself and wrote:

I'm willing to take him at his word. I've also heard from a number of DH authors who say they haven't been asked to pay a penny to anyone and that they have been treated professionally. So I will strike them from my list of Vanity Presses masquerading as publishers.

Then there is this link from a writer's forum, June 7, 2005 by Fantasy Novelist, Victoria Strauss, which I shall quote. She was asked why "Lindsey's Literary Services" received a "not recommended" rating from Preditors and Editors.
Lindsey's Literary Services refers writers to an editing service run by Kay Garrett. It also shares an address and fax number with Durban House, a publisher that has offered contracts requiring authors to pay $25,000. Durban House is run by Richard Lewis, husband of Karen Lewis, who runs Karen Lewis & Co., a literary agency that places books with Durban House and refers authors to a paid editing service run by...Kay Garrett. Can you say "multiple conflicts of interest"?
There is a story in 2004 by a disgruntled author, William Barnes, recounted here. The story is pretty abrasive on both sides, so it is difficult to judge.

There is more in 2004 on this here (including response by Mr. Lewis), but it is interesting because the last post on the page by Victoria Strauss analyzes some of the clauses of Durban's publishing contract, and her judgment is that it is author-unfriendly, even when there is no $ 25,000 price tag for the author to pay. But she notes that the $ 25,000 price tag was not an isolated experience for Mr. Barnes, as she had confirmation of this from another author who was asked for $ 25,000 to publish a book, not directly from Durban House, but through his wife's company instead. (If this actually happened in 2004, then Mr. Lewis's claim that Durban's author subsidy practice stopped in 2003 is not accurate.)

Here is a June 2005 discussion called Vanity, thy name is Durban, by best-selling author Michael Prescott that goes into many of the pros and cons of this issue. His conclusion is that Durban is a subsidy press, at least for some of its published works, since if an author is asked to subsidize his own work, it is a subsidy publisher, period. He states that there is a difference between a vanity press and a subsidy press.

In a publicity blurb, Durban claims in many places, "not a subsidy press."

In light of all this controversy, I am intrigued by Mr. Fahy's comment that:
... that cannard has long been exposed as a liable...
LOLOLOLOL...

What the hell does that mean? Does he mean canard instead of cannard? "Liable," as far as I know, is an adjective and not a noun. So I have a serious problem here with spelling and syntax. But even discounting the errors, I have no idea what this amazing statement means.

I am certainly glad the publisher is thrilled with its astonishing returns on its investment, though. I presume that the book is selling gazillions. I would be interested in knowing just how many books actually were sold (and I know a lot of the tricks used for padding). A cursory Amazon survey is not encouraging. Nope. Not at all. Then I would be interested in putting that figure against comparative figures of Rand's other works (from the time they were released). Hell, throw in Peikoff for good measure. See how it measures up. I somehow doubt that this ever will be done in public by the publisher's side.

Mr. Fahy seems to think that I am claiming that Valliant paid to have his book published. I never claimed that. I expressed (as I still express) surprise and outrage that, with a hot publishing name like Ayn Rand, an outfit with this kind of vanity-subsidy controversy swirling around it, including different agent-publisher-type interests feeding off each other, would be chosen instead of a major player with a reputation for good promotion.

On to another issue. That is the "warts-and-all" image of Rand presented in the two Branden books. Mr. Fahy and Mr. Valliant pretend that, in addition to there being no warts at all (well... maybe a gracious "at some point in her life Rand felt jealousy"), this view is something exclusive to the Brandens or something prompted in others by their respective works on Rand. Barbara and others, here on Solo and in other places, have stated that there are many, many people who personally knew Ayn Rand and have held this view of Ayn Rand waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before Barbara's bio came out. The list includes the Blumenthals, the Kalbermans, the Holzers, Bob Hessen, Kay and Phil Smith, Edith Efron, Bob Efron, John Hospers, Lee and Joyce Shulman, the Hirschfelds, Joan Kennedy Taylor, Alan Greenspan, etc., etc., etc.

I have come across evaluations by some of these people that support this - and even Valliant cites some of them in his book.

Are all these people delusional or time travelers?

Michael

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Post 33

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 7:53pmSanction this postReply
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MagHorny,

You wrote:
That, too, is all that Valliant said.
All?????????!!!!!!!!!!!

LOLOLOLOL...

(swat)

Michael


Post 34

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 8:05pmSanction this postReply
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I think Chris wrote a fine article. Unfortunately, James Valliant does too (see the Comments section), not that that matters.

Michael, what's the big deal about Durban House? The book was well produced, in spite of what contents I don't like. You sure know how to chew on a bone. You might just call Valliant a "twirp" like I did and be done with that.:-)

--Brant


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Post 35

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 8:18pmSanction this postReply
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I'd bet a buck, even money, that the Hornet and Valliant are one and the same. If Valliant says "no," I'll take his word for it. In either case: SWAT, SWAT, SWAT! (Great idea, MSK.) STOMP, STOMP, STOMP! (That's me.)

--Brant


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Post 36

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 8:23pmSanction this postReply
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Michael,

Thanks for exhaustively footnoting the fact that Durban House is not a vanity press.

And what does LOLOLOL (etc.) mean? Lots of laughs of laughs of laughs (etc.)? Or Laugh Out Loud Out Loud Out Loud? It doesn't make sense, FYI, since you like pointing out typos and that particular typo is practically your signature.

There is so much wrong with the information in your post it's useless to point it all out. Greenspan? What are you smoking, anyway? None of the people you refer to ever said anything about Rand's insane sexual jealousy, because none of them could possibly be witnesses to it even if it happened. If you want answers or to read at least the case against the Brandens' take on all of those "purges," I suggest reading a book called The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics. Heck, you might even be able to get around to critiquing what's, you know, IN the book... Just a suggestion.


Post 37

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 8:09pmSanction this postReply
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None of the folks on Michael's list has ever claimed to be (or really could have been) a witness to Rand's alleged insane jealousy. It is so tiresome refuting nonsense upon nonsense. MSK knows less than half of any story, but name-calling is just as revealing of desperation.

Sorry, Brant. Keep guessing!

And BTW these posts take HOURS to get up! (Edited by The Magenta Hornet
on 9/10, 5:53am)

(Edited by The Magenta Hornet
on 9/10, 6:16am)


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Post 38

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 8:36pmSanction this postReply
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Brant,

Not a BIG deal about Durban. Just documenting another instance of intellectual whitewashing.

They claim that there never has been any vanity-subsidy problem. Lots of other people say otherwise. A standard reference tool delete the publisher from its listings. Readers can judge for themselves.

Also, making a pretty book is not all that a publisher needs to do. Promotion, distribution, advertising, selling rights to other markets. There are lots of things involved.

For Valliant, Durban is a pretty good place, I guess. For Ayn Rand, it is a HUGE drop in publishing prestige and in what has been the profile of her other publishers (even Peikoff's).

They simply took Ayn Rand to a relative beginner. I find the risk factor for laying an egg to be completely irresponsible with a traditional best-selling name like hers.

But, happily, we can probably rest assured. Mr. Fahy has reported that the economic rewards from this book have been simply astonishing and thrilling.

Michael

Post 39

Friday, September 9, 2005 - 8:39pmSanction this postReply
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Hornet: "You read hatred from Valliant." Interestingly, I never got that from Valliant. I think his book is essentially an adversarial legal brief from a narrow-minded prosecutor who got the stupid idea in his head to psychologize Nathaniel Branden ("I know the face of rape") as having the psychology of a rapist. How he thought this crap was going to make Ayn Rand look good is still way beyond me, but under my head.

About any person's psychology: You can posit 100 elements, more or less, and assign each a weight relative to the others and say at this point in time this is this person's psychology, if you were God. Now, five minutes later, the relative weights change. Five months later, even greater changes from the base. And we haven't even mentioned the philosophical aspects including free will or how one's psychology fluctuates in various social and other circumstances. If you describe Nathaniel Branden in terms of essentials you get a brilliant psychologist who wrote a lot of great and good books, a long-time associate of Ayn Rand, founder of the Objectivist movement through his Nathaniel Branden Institute, someone who helped Ayn Rand though serious personal troubles involving depression (she was seriously depressed), who helped thousands of people with his psychoptherapy and self-help books, etc.

--Brant


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