| Speaking of "sponges," I know you're talking about university experiences, but thought you might appreciate some of Peart's personal experience while working in London, as printed in his book Traveling Music. (Incidentally, after reading it over, his experience sounds an awful lot something out of Jeff Riggenbach's In Praise of Decadence, It seems that book would be a good reference for your project, seeing as it deals with Rand, Libertarians, Anarchists, etc...|
"Music and life taught me a lot during those few years, and what a cast of teachers I had. It is said that the man who claims to be self-educated has a fool for a teacher, but I have learned from literally hundred of people, in music, in reading, and in life, and they became part of a continuum that continues to inspire and drive me onward and upward."
"I was also continuing to read books, following recommendations from some of the other kids I worked with, becoming entranced with the Lord of the Rings trilogy and reading through it twice…I ended up with a good selection of English Lit from writers like Cyril Connolly, Kingsley Amis, William Trevor, Graham Greene, and Somerset Maugham, and a few great exotics, Like Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Luis Borgis, introducing me to the powerful Latin-American style of 'magic realism.' Another Canadian I worked with…gave me a copy of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. So at least my 'liberal arts' education was continuing.
"On my way home from work one day, I stopped at the small tobacconist by the Oxford Circus tube station for the Evening Standard, and noticed a book I remembered from high school, The Fountainhead. It was one of the volumes the 'Junior Intellectuals' at Lakeport High used to carry around (on 'display,' I realize now), along with the Lord of the Rings and James Joyce's Ulysses.
"To a 20 year-old struggling musician, The Fountainhead was a revelation, an affirmation, an inspiration. Although I would eventually grow into, and largely, out of Ayn Rand' orbit, her writing was still a significant stepping-stone, or way-station, for me, a black-and-white starting point along the journey to a more nuanced philosophy and politics. Most of all, it was the notion of individualism that I needed-the idea what what I felt, believed, liked, and wanted was important and valid.
"As Nietzsche said, "Self interest is worth as much as the person who has it. It can be worth a great deal, and it can be unworthy and contemptible."
(Edited by Joe Maurone on 6/06, 3:16pm)
(Edited by Joe Maurone on 6/06, 3:17pm)