Skip to comments.FReeper Book Club: Atlas Shrugged, The Face Without Pain or Fear or Guilt
Posted on 05/23/2009 7:14:53 AM PDT by Publius
Dagny returns to her Manhattan apartment after her one month absence. Looking over the fogbound city, she yearns for the presence of that One Man she has never found, the man she yearned for the night the mysterious stranger lingered at the entrance of the John Galt Lines offices.
The doorbell rings and its Francisco; he wants to talk to her about what happened and to convince her to leave the railroad to the looters. But she cant; as long as theres a railroad to run, shell be there to run it. Francisco tells her she will stop running the railroad the day she discovers that her work has been placed in the service of the One Mans destruction. Dagny intends to force the looters to make terms with her, not the other way around, but Francisco tells her it wont work. She believes she may come to beg Franciscos forgiveness on her knees some day, but he says it wont be on her knees. Until then she is his enemy; he will be working to destroy the railroad and her, not Jim or Wesley Mouch, and he will be working in the service of the One Man to whose purpose he has pledged his life. Francisco tells her the road to understanding leads to Atlantis, and Dagny now understands that Francisco is in league with The Destroyer.
Then Hank Rearden arrives. Hank is furious at Franciscos presence in the apartment of his lover, and Francisco struggles to maintain the famous dAnconia courtesy. Hank accuses Francisco of trying to add Dagny to his list of conquests. He is willing to accept Hanks reproaches, but not in Dagnys presence. Hank tells him to stay away from Dagny. Francisco is willing to give his word, and at that moment Hank realizes that Dagny was the women that Francisco had loved all along. Hank slaps Francisco, and it takes all of Franciscos self control not to kill Hank Rearden on the spot. Dagny realizes in that moment that she is witnessing Franciscos greatest achievement. As Francisco leaves, Hank wishes he could retract the last few minutes.
Dagny admits that Francisco was her only lover before him, and Hank reels from the knowledge. Dagny expects in that moment to be killed by Hank, or at least beaten, but instead he takes her brutally, as though to drive Francisco out of her body.
The building superintendent comes to deliver a letter to Dagny that he has been holding in her absence. Its from Quentin Daniels, and it prompts her to grab the phone and call Utah in a panic. Daniels will not work under Directive 10-289, will not work for the looters, but intends to work on the motor for his own pleasure without accepting further remuneration from Dagny. She tells Hank that The Destroyer probably has Daniels and that she has met one of his agents. Then Daniels picks up the phone at Utah Tech. Dagny wants to meet with him in person and gets him to promise not to leave until she has spoken with him. Dagny calls Eddie Willers and asks him to place her private car on that evenings Comet. Hank agrees to meet her in Colorado.
Eddie comes over to Dagnys place to coordinate. He informs her that the railroad building effort is going well, even though it has been difficult to find the necessary men. Eddie had even asked Dan Conway to come out of retirement from his Arizona ranch, but he had refused. As Dagny packs, Eddie notices Hank Reardens robe in her closet and is floored; for a second he is afraid he will speak of his secret love for her.
After seeing Dagny off, Eddie sits down to dinner with the Anonymous Rail Worker in the corporate cafeteria and brings him up to date, to include Dagnys mission to Utah to beat The Destroyer to Quentin Daniels. After hinting of his own feelings for Dagny, he lets slip that Dagny is sleeping with Hank Rearden. The Anonymous Rail Worker bolts from the room without further word.
Ping! The thread is up.
FReeper Book Club: Introduction to Atlas Shrugged
Part I, Chapter I: The Theme
Part I, Chapter II: The Chain
Part I, Chapter III: The Top and the Bottom
Part I, Chapter IV: The Immovable Movers
Part I, Chapter V: The Climax of the dAnconias
Part I, Chapter VI: The Non-Commercial
Part I, Chapter VII: The Exploiters and the Exploited
Part I, Chapter VIII: The John Galt Line
Part I, Chapter IX: The Sacred and the Profane
Part I, Chapter X: Wyatts Torch
Part II, Chapter I: The Man Who Belonged on Earth
Part II, Chapter II: The Aristocracy of Pull
Part II, Chapter III: White Blackmail
Part II, Chapter IV: The Sanction of the Victim
Part II, Chapter V: Account Overdrawn
Part II, Chapter VI: Miracle Metal
Part II, Chapter VII: The Moratorium on Brains
Part II, Chapter IX: By Our Love
Atlas shrugged a long time ago when he created NAFTA, brought China into the WTO and moved most of our non-defense factories overseas.
Trains are great, but not quite cutting edge.
May I humbly suggest a replacement that is up to date, and fresh off the presses:
... and currently ranked #69 on Amazon's Best Sellers list. Not bad for a book a half-century old.
I love the smell of shameless self-promotion in the morning.
Somehow, I get the strange feeling that Wesley Mouch is right out of Today’s Headlines........
An interesting choice of words, Publius.
The reader knows what is really occurring. That Hank is assuming a sexual conquest was intended is probably a good thing for Francisco. Had Hank known that Francisco is after much more than that, Hank probably would have killed him.
Found him. His title is Regulatory Czar.
I think it's a bad sign when we currently have more Czars than imperial Russia ever had.
Just finished your masterpiece. And I don't use that term loosely. It is a beautiful tour de force, in which you certainly hit all the right notes. Conservatives in America should take to this like the colonists took to Paine in '76.
Endearing heroic characters, tension racked plot that unfolds with surprises right up to the end. The scene where Acorzado turns and joins the rebels is emotional perfection. So many scenes in this book (from Jenny in the ravine, to Carson's "time to act" speech with the flag, Bible and beret) bring that tingling feeling all up and down my spine and the back of my neck. Excellent underlying message between all the lines throughout the entire book. Which Constitution? Yes, indeed, which one will we follow? You write so vividly and integrate all the subtle nuances of the socialist brainwash beautifully with the dialogue. Your grasp of all their pernicious semantic sophistries is so good, which is what drew me to your first two volumes. And you've merely carried that grasp forward with this one in spades.
Also the didacticism of the book is just the right amount, and integrated into the scenes perfectly in my opinion. No long-winded lectures like Edwin Vieiera's recent Crashmaker; but pithy and powerful expressions of what freedom, the Constitution, and America are all about from your characters. They possess the right length and the right emotional note.
This book could be one of the turning points of American history, Matt. I only hope that you can convince someone like Glenn Beck to get interested in it. It is a book that would take off like wildfire if he ever started promoting it. Of course, there is a downside to big recognition and sales. The left will come down on you in full smear mode to try and kill the book and its author if it looks like widespread popularity is coming your way. So be prepared. But then I don't need to tell you how vicious they can be.
Anyway, I enjoyed the book immensely, not just because it is a terrific rendition philosophically and politically of what America's problems are and how the military must be aroused to face the coming crises, but also because it is a crackerjack story. You have combined the two areas of "message" and "plot" together in a most persuasive and entertaining manner. Bravo!
What are your promotional plans? Any ideas on how to get a copy into Beck's hands? Hope you're going to send a copy to Buchanan. Are you going to send out review copies to all the conservative magazines and websites? Also all the radio shows. Have you ever heard of Radio TV Interview Report? It might be a way for you to get noticed with all the conservative radio shows. I used them back in '98 to book interviews for my tax book that I wrote when I was working for Citizens for an Alternative Tax System. Got lots of bookings. The costs of advertising with them will soak up much of your profits from sales, but it is a stepping stone to be "noticed" by bigger shows such as Beck, Savage and Limbaugh. So even if you break even profit-wise with all the interview bookings they bring you, you are still putting yourself out there where the big boys could notice you. They can be reached here: http://www.rtir.com/index.html Also here: Bradley Communications Corp., 390 Reed Road, Broomall, PA 19008; Phone: 484-477-4220; Fax: 610-541-0281.
Just a fantastic book old friend. Let me know how you progress in the upcoming months.
Best as always, (redacted)
That’s back in Enemies Foreign And Domestic. You only have two and a half novels to go!
You didn’t get it yet? All of the pre-orders have been signed and sent. Over 700 of them.
This chapter seems to set up later ones more than anything else. Esp the whole ‘love triangle’ (which kind of morphs into a love Venn diagram with Dagny in the middle).
Ahhhh.... We’re back to the sex again.
You really did a marvelous job summing up this chapter, Publius.
Too bad there was only Charlie’s Angels in her later years, because Rand would have loved The Bachelorette. One woman and several men, all fighting for her! What a fantasy!
She might well have been an honored figure in Russia in the early Nineties.
This chapter is very short and sets up the whole Quention Daniels thing that leads to -- well, we know where that leads. It's an interlude, although perhaps it should be spelled interlewd.