I never get tired of these.
The conservative-attack-on-Ayn-Rand essay isn’t anything new, and I don’t know if anyone will ever top Whittaker Chambers’s classic review of Atlas Shrugged, but The New Criterion’s Anthony Daniels has made another entry in the genre.
It is not altogether surprising that Roark lacks taste; Rand herself did, too. She called Bach and Mozart “pre-musical,” preferring Tchaikovsky and even Lehár. She thought that Victor Hugo was the greatest novelist who ever lived. She ridiculed Rembrandt’s “visual distortions.” These judgments show her to have been seriously deficient in sensibility and discrimination across a wide range of important human activities: in fact, I cannot think of any field in which she showed proper aesthetic or intellectual judgment.
I can’t completely endorse Daniels’s reading of The Fountainhead, but I still enjoy this kind of essay.