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.
The same way he nailed the part in Brokeback Mountain?
Never saw "Brokeback Mountain." Have you seen "The Dark Knight?" Leger deserved the Academy Award for that character portrayal.
- "that he would give his life for he power not to have committed the action he had committed."
Rand obviously didn't get the memo.
Rearden had taken to carrying a gun and according to the current gun control crowd, it would have been impossible for him not to have used it.
LOL - yeah, or it would have just gone off all by itself. I have to get one of those - it would sure save range time.
And you hit the nail on the head for what became for me the first crack in my admiration ( need I say heroine worship !) of Rand nearly forty yrs ago when I first read this chapter.
. It just rang so false. Men don't act like that in real life. Here's a couple of tough guys caught in the same room with a woman both of them have been sleeping with and one of them slaps....not punches, or kicks in the balls....but SLAPS!........the other one and the slapee just friggin walks away. In front of the woman, no less !And for this act of timidity or cowardice or whatever, we are supposed to feel admiration for the guy as a paragon of self control. Give me a break. Nobody I know would do that.
I can't say it better than you:
It is here that Rands sexual theories reach the far shore of adolescent fantasy.
And I agree about the God like references. But when I first read AS I thought she was writing like a modern day Homer, with all those multiple gods interacting with mere humans. I knew she was talking about real men but it had that Greek Pagan quality for me. Maybe because at the same time I was reading Homer for school. Who the hell knows what she was thinking. Except to say she never really could grasp what actual sexual desire is all about...at least from the man's side......and it ain't your mind, cowgirl ! In her fiction or her real life. Witness her Nat Brandon interlude.
Hear, hear. And not an honest punch in the chops, but a slap! Could he get any more demeaning?
Just stay away from the .45mm caliber that authors sometimes mention.
It’s a good start.
It's not about trains.
It just gripes me no end to see conservatives sifting the ashes of that half-century old novel, while ignoring equally good fiction that is up to date in all areas.
And you can't get more up to date than my third novel, published 2 weeks ago.
I agree with your post, ML/NJ.
Trains, cigarettes, chrome, etc., all are props and have modern equivalents.
I find it easy to explicate the 50 year old references as I read.
Who is John Galt?
(Francisco tells her the road to understanding leads to Atlantis - Publius post1)
Where is Atlantis?
These are questions pertaining to a destination or ending, however, the true value of Atlas Shrugged is in the journey. Rand is blazing a trail for us to follow.
That’s right, and I saw someone on here the other day singing the praises of the 0.050 caliber. I think that one and the one you mentioned are actually flechettes.
It was .45mm, and it was a joke, based on common news reporter errors.
I know, although I did see a post the other day where an actual Freeper referred to 0.050 caliber. My flechette comment was a joke as well (this is hugh and series). I’m a little too dry for most people.
I only post this review snippet because it relates to the thread.
Which Constitution?, May 23, 2009 By Nelson Hultberg (Dallas, TX United States) - See all my reviews (REAL NAME) Will America survive as a "sovereign nation," or will the Orwellian dream of one-world government be the fate of our children? This is the ominous issue facing America in the 21st century; it transcends all other concerns. In Foreign Enemies and Traitors, Matt Bracken has created a brilliant Atlas Shrugged like narrative of how this issue might play out amidst the economic meltdown now consuming us. Conservatives and libertarians throughout America will take to this tale like the colonists took to Tom Paine in 1776.
Gotcha. My favorite is when authors put thumb safeties on Glocks and the like.
Rand’s dialogue and plot construction can be annoying, but they have to be taken in their own context. Your profile says you enjoy detective fiction, so you’re familiar with the hilarious lowbrow dialogue that is just as comical as the highbrow dialogue found in older fiction. I picked up a copy of I, The Jury at a used book sale a few years ago and found myself laughing out loud at parts that Spillane never intended to be lol’d.
Throughout the novels I read in school, my most common thought was, “WHO TALKS LIKE THIS?” Answer: authors. Realistic dialogue was not wanted. Dialogue reflected the writer’s style and intelligence, not the characters’. One teacher described the disposition to such verbiage plainly.
“Why write a book full of dialogue that you could hear in any tavern?” That’s what they were thinking. Nowadays, we seem to have the opposite problem. Dialogue is so realistic, so street smart, and so clever, that its use is often preposterous.
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