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Wednesday, September 21, 2005 - 6:03pmSanction this postReply
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People have been at this game for longer than they've been casting Atlas Shrugged, but, since SOLO is in a literary mode these days, we might do well to start again.

 

Rand often used recognizable celebrity or public-figure images in creating her characters.  A full list, in one place, would be worth keeping.  My conjectures are below; I'd be interested in seeing more.  * indicates a borrowing that she acknowledged.  These are all public figures, not just people she knew personally (though she did meet a few of them).  Most get a mention in her published writings or her letters or journals at one time or another.

 

IDEAL

Kay Gonda                                           Greta Garbo

(the flashy preacher)                          Aimee Semple McPhearson

 

HER SECOND CAREER

Winston Ayers                                   Noel Coward

(the star she trades places with)      Any of a number of silent-era stars known mainly to historians.  Leatrice Joy?  Clara Bow?  Louise Brooks?

(the director)                                        Ernst Lubitsch, Erich von Stroheim; more likely the first, because she was a self-professed fan

 

THE NIGHT OF JANUARY SIXTEENTH

Bjorn Faulkner                                    Ivar Krueger *

 

THE FOUNTAINHEAD

Howard Roark                                    Frank Lloyd Wright

Ellsworth Toohey                              Harold Laski*, Lewis Q Mumford (footnote: Mumford was the Librarian of Congress who wrote her in the 60s to ask for the donation of her manuscripts)

Austen Heller                                     H.L. Mencken

Gail Wynand                                       W.R. Hearst, Henry Luce*

Lois Cook                                            Gertrude Stein

Henry Cameron                                  Louis Sullivan

Peter Keating                                      Raymond Hood*, Henry Peterkin, various others she mentions in her preparatory notes

 

THE FOUNTAINHEAD outtakes

Vesta Dunning                                    Katherine Hepburn

 

ATLAS SHRUGGED

Mr. Thompson                                    Harry Truman*

Kay Ludlow                                         Greta Garbo

Writer/fisherwoman                           Ayn Rand

Robert Stadler                                     Robert Oppenheimer*

(Edited by Peter Reidy on 9/21, 6:05pm)

(Edited by Peter Reidy on 9/22, 12:16pm)


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Sunday, October 2, 2005 - 4:04pmSanction this postReply
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I think there are some notes in Atlas that would be of help in filling out the Atlas cast. There are also obvious references in Capitalism the unknown Ideal.

Specifically I think She gave pretty solid reference points for Hank Reardon (Rockafeller?), Nat Taggart, And Fransisco (Annaconda Copper?).

---Landon


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Tuesday, October 4, 2005 - 1:01pmSanction this postReply
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Yes, I think you could point out strong parallels between Nat Taggart and Hill or Vanderbilt.  Rearden / Rockefeller is too abstract - they were in different industries and lived in different centuries.  Anaconda isn't a particular person.

Peter


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Friday, October 14, 2005 - 11:45amSanction this postReply
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Well, I never thought of Rearden as Rockefeller before, but once mentioned, it's a pretty good fit. I've thought for a long time how Rockefeller was THE paragon of a brilliant businessman whose life - first his private life, then his business life - was marred by religionist morality. Yet, as Rockefeller is the paragon, do you think Francisco could have converted him? Rearden is basically a benevolent sense of life guy who's been deceived by society and his family. Rockefeller was - as far as I read about him - pretty much of a churchgoing religionist from childhood on. Not sure if such people can be fixed. (I tried to fix one or two, but no luck.) I guess Rockefeller would have thrown Francisco out of his office being afraid god will strike him with a lightning bolt if he listens to Francisco. BTW, they may have been in different industries, but both names begin with an R... ;)


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Sunday, March 19 - 6:25amSanction this postReply
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In the book, there was a character representing a politician who wanted go up to California. He was with his mistress (an actress) and an english writer. This scene happened right in the accident inside of the tunnel.

I bet that the english writer who Ayn Rand explain about Orient  ideas was in real life Somerset Maughan, cause he had published a book "The Razor's Edge" some years before, where he wrote about a guy who found himself in India's hinduism.

I've never found any connection about its character and Somerset Maughan but Maughan's ideas are opposite of Ayn Rand's philosophy in many points.

Other link is the Jimmy Taggart's final and the main character of The Idiot from Dostoevsky: the mental collapse is quite similar.



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