Monday, October 01, 2007

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1957)

The eagle-eyed groovy gal Barb Williams from Memphis, Tennessee (who is becoming one of our regular contributors to the blog) recently sent me the following email:

I was just looking over the site to see if you had the Scranton reference in 'Atlas Shrugged' accounted for. I'm rereading it now to find it. I'm pretty sure it's in the last third of the book, so it may take me a while to get there. My best recollection is that it comes in a quote fom heroine Dagny Taggert saying something about how important it was to get coal moving from Scranton."

First published in 1957, the classic novel Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand's last work of fiction before concentrating her writings exclusively on philosophy and politics. It tells the story of a powerful railroad executive, Dagny Taggart, who struggles to keep her business alive while society is crumbling around her. According to a joint survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club, Atlas Shrugged is the "second most influential book for Americans today" after the Bible.

Scranton is mentioned on page 836 (the book totals 1168 pages):

"Miss Taggart," said Eddie, in a resonant tone of severity, the tone of slapping the man into the manners of a drawing room he had never entered, "may I present Mr. Meigs?"
"How d' do," said the man without interest, then turned to Eddie and proceeded, as if she were not present: "You just take the Comet off the schedule for tomorrow and Tuesday, and shoot the engines to Arizona for the grapefruit special, with the rolling stock from the Scranton coal run I mentioned. Send the orders out at once."

A film version of Atlas Shrugged is in preproduction and is slated for release sometime in 2008, with Angelina Jolie currently in talks to play the role of Dagny Taggart. Only a year to wait and see if Scranton will be mentioned in passing in the film.

To place a hold on the novel Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, click here.

Much thanks again to the incandescent Barb Williams for this Scranton reference. Keep 'em comin'!

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