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Three Blockbuster Novels From the 1950s, and Their Remarkable Afterlife
NYT ^ | 9/12/2018 | Sam Tanenhaus

Posted on 09/12/2018 6:51:55 PM PDT by Borges

The “space race” was a competition, but with only two rivals — “us” and “them.” And this odd partnership, or dance, spilled over into realms of the imagination, particularly the novel. In the aftermath of Sputnik three towering and best-selling works of fiction by dissident Russians — “Atlas Shrugged,” “Lolita” and “Doctor Zhivago” — were published in quick succession, crowded into an 11-month span, from October 1957 to September 1958. Today, all three still live on, each a universe in itself, read and discussed — and fought over — as if written not in prose but in hieroglyphics or code.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: 1950s; bookreview; books; fiction; literature; novels
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1 posted on 09/12/2018 6:51:55 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

Does “On The Beach” fit in there?

It is a Downer; I read it occasionally, with that in mind.


2 posted on 09/12/2018 6:54:39 PM PDT by Scrambler Bob (You know that I am full of /S)
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To: Borges
Why are Russians so good at vexing American minds? Vladimir Putin’s bewitchment of President Trump continues to frustrate intelligence officials and at times hard-liners in his own administration, while pro- and anti-Russia journalists trade insults as enthusiastically as they did during the 1950s Rosenberg spy trial.

Putin is the only Russian/Soviet leader who hasn't bewitched the NY Times. Funny how that worked out.

3 posted on 09/12/2018 6:57:36 PM PDT by CaptainK ("no collusion, no obstruction, he's a leaker")
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To: Borges
Lolita? I don't think so.
 
4 posted on 09/12/2018 6:57:38 PM PDT by Governor Dinwiddie ("Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.")
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To: Scrambler Bob

“On the Beach” isn’t by a Russian.


5 posted on 09/12/2018 6:57:46 PM PDT by buwaya
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To: Borges
The Promethean Hank Rearden is a throwback, a metal engineer who helps develop “a motor that would draw static electricity from the atmosphere...

Ugh. Clearly the reviewer has not read the book. Reardon did nothing of the sort, John Galt did. Who would, in the end, take Dagny from Reardon and make him like it.

I gently suggest that of the books mentioned Atlas Shrugged has by far the least literary merit and by far the most real impact. The rest are done; Rand's book gets a fresh start every time some idiot bureaucrat appears on television. Of them, only hers has the grotesque merit of coming true.

6 posted on 09/12/2018 6:59:40 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill

Geesh - misspelled Rearden twice. I blame my proofreader.


7 posted on 09/12/2018 7:00:34 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Governor Dinwiddie

You don’t think it’s still in the general culture? Read, talked about etc...


8 posted on 09/12/2018 7:01:59 PM PDT by Borges
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  Who is John Galt ?

9 posted on 09/12/2018 7:05:16 PM PDT by tomkat
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To: Billthedrill

Zhivago was more of a popular phenomena than a literary one. Lolita is still read and still very relevant.


10 posted on 09/12/2018 7:08:08 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Billthedrill

Read Atlas Shrugged three times between jr.high, College and Motherhood.
Learned something new every time.

Thanks for reminding me, I will gift it to my 24 yr old.


11 posted on 09/12/2018 7:08:29 PM PDT by acapesket (all happy now?)
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To: Borges

for later


12 posted on 09/12/2018 7:09:08 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("In theory, there's no difference between theory & practice. But in practice, there is." Yogi Berra)
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To: Borges

That all was the last gasp of the remarkable Russian literary golden age, from Pushkin to Gorki. Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, that whole lot, emerged over a period of less than 90 years. Add to that music and art. A huge achievement for a backwards country at the edge of civilization. It was a brilliant time, right up to 1917.

Rand and Nabokov and Pasternak were products of the last years of that golden age, fleeing when young and making their careers in an alien language, or in Pasternaks case, remarkably, surviving the worst of the troubles.

There has been nothing like that golden age since.


13 posted on 09/12/2018 7:11:39 PM PDT by buwaya
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To: buwaya

Keep in mind that Nabokov left Russia as a teenager, never to return. Rand left at age 20 or so.


14 posted on 09/12/2018 7:14:24 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges
Zhivago was more of a popular phenomena than a literary one. Lolita is still read and still very relevant.

I agree with both points, although Zhivago is being judged through translation. Lolita is brilliantly constructed and a model for all the unreliable narrator novels to come. Atlas Shrugged is nowhere near that polished gem - Publius and I wrote THIS about it and didn't spare Rand a single criticism. She should have listened to her editor, Bennett Cerf, and it would have been a better constructed novel, but a poorer polemic.

Zhivago, though, I find somewhat episodic, but with a sort of melancholic Russian beauty to it. It seems a bit ironic that the events Pasternak chronicled included Rand's family's flight from Russia in the real world.

15 posted on 09/12/2018 7:19:03 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill

Nabokov famously hated Zhivago. He was quiet about it at the time because he loathed the Russian communists and respected Pasternak individually but he thought it was a cheap and tawdry work.


16 posted on 09/12/2018 7:20:43 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

Rand was younger than Nabokov - born 1905 vs 1899.
Pasternak was born in 1890, and was an eye-witness to what ended up in Zhivago.

Nabokov had the great advantage of being an aristocrat and having been educated in English, for the most part.


17 posted on 09/12/2018 7:21:58 PM PDT by buwaya
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To: Borges
Nabokov famously hated Zhivago.

He read it in the original. I wish I could.

18 posted on 09/12/2018 7:22:58 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: ADemocratNoMore; Aggie Mama; alarm rider; alexander_busek; AlligatorEyes; AmericanGirlRising; ...

Atlas ping.


19 posted on 09/12/2018 7:23:09 PM PDT by Publius
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To: Billthedrill
I purchased the hard copy of your book on Amazon as a gift. Later, I unexpectedly received another copy on line. A twofer. My son got his copy, and I got the cyber bonus.

Thanks.

20 posted on 09/12/2018 7:23:54 PM PDT by Radix (Natural Born Citizens have Citizen parents)
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