Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Kiss me, Objectively!

In noting the passing of Mickey Spillane, Dave Lull points to an excerpt from Ayn Rand's "The Romantic Manifesto". That excerpt follows, but for Dan Schneider's much longer consideration of Spillane go here

Ayn Rand in ‘The Romantic Manifesto’ quotes from MS’s description of New York at night as an example of his skill- ‘The rain was misty enough to be almost foglike, a cold gray curtain that separated me from the pale ovals of white that were faces locked behind the steamed-up windows of the cars that hissed by. Even the brilliance that was Manhattan by night was reduced to a few sleepy yellow lights off in the distance’- and then compares it to a passage by Thomas Wolfe- ‘The city had never seemed as beautiful as it looked that night. For the first time he saw that New York was supremely, among the cities of the world, a city of night. There had been achieved here a loveliness that was astounding and incomparable, a kind of modern beauty, inherent to its place and time, that no other place nor time could match.’ Rand says, ‘there is not a single emotional word or adjective in Spillane's description; he presents nothing save visual facts; but he selects only those facts, only those eloquent details, which convey the visual reality of the scene and create a mood of desolate loneliness.’ Wolfe, she said, used only estimates, ‘and in the absence of any indication of what aroused these estimates, they are arbitrary assertions and meaningless generalities.’

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