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Humanities 2018, 7(4), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/h7040121

Peculiarities of Nostalgia in Ayn Rand’s Novel Atlas Shrugged

Independent Researcher, Kazan 420000, Russia
Received: 29 September 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 17 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Nostalgia)
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Abstract

Quite a number of Russian writers could not accept the October Revolution in 1917 and left the country. Their nostalgia for their motherland in emigration is a well-known fact. The Russian-born American writer Ayn Rand (1905–1982) was also driven out of Soviet Russia by a hatred for communism, yet her nostalgia is of a different kind. The purpose of this study is to describe the nature of Ayn Rand’s nostalgia. Discovering, on arrival in the U.S., a reality different from the image she bore in her mind, she did not start missing her homeland but continued longing for her ideal—19th century America. This ideal is fully reflected in her self-made philosophy known as “objectivism”, which underlies her novel Atlas Shrugged. Though philosophically substantiated, the ideal appears to be embodied in trivial myths of the American mass consciousness. The study highlights four of the most popular national myths in her novel. As a result, Rand’s literary works represent popular literature that are not within the mainstream of the Russian émigré literature of that period. View Full-Text
Keywords: émigré writers; lost ideal; nostalgia; myths; popular literature émigré writers; lost ideal; nostalgia; myths; popular literature
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Mirasova, K. Peculiarities of Nostalgia in Ayn Rand’s Novel Atlas Shrugged. Humanities 2018, 7, 121.

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