In print for the first time ever, author and philosopher Ayn Rand’s novel Ideal.
Originally conceived as a novel, but then transformed into a play by Ayn Rand, Ideal is the story of beautiful but tormented actress Kay Gonda. Accused of murder, she is on the run and turns for help to six fans who have written letters to her, each telling her that she represents their ideal—a respectable family man, a far-left activist, a cynical artist, an evangelist, a playboy, and a lost soul. Each reacts to her plight in his own way, their reactions a glimpse into their secret selves and their true values. In the end their responses to her pleas give Kay the answers she has been seeking.
Ideal was written in 1934 as a novel, but Ayn Rand thought the theme of the piece would be better realized as a play and put the novel aside. Now, both versions of Ideal are available for the first time ever to the millions of Ayn Rand fans around the world, giving them a unique opportunity to explore the creative process of Rand as she wrote first a book, then a play, and the differences between the two.It was interesting to first read the novel and then the play, but I have to say I preferred it as the former. Tuesday Intros and Teaser Tuesday are hosted by Diane over at Bibliophile by the Sea and MizB over at A Daily Rhythm respectively.
'"If it's murder - why don't we hear more about it? If it's not - why do we hear so much? When interviewed on the subject, Miss Frederica Sayers didn't say yes, and she didn't say no. She has refused to give out the slightest hint as to the manner of her brother's sudden death. Granton sayers died in his Santa Barbara mansion two days ago, on the night of May 3rd. On the evening of May 3rd Granton Sayers had dinner with a famous - oh, very famous - screen star. That is all we know."'p.13 (first page of novel)As far as opening paragraphs go it doesn't give you a lot to work with, but it sets up the kick-starter of the action quite well. The scandalous gossiping-tone that this opening has fits with the novel's seeming message that what people say is often not what they think, want or do.
'She walked toward him. She stood, looking at him her eyes pleading; she stood in the midst of paintings that were a dozen of mirrors tearing her body into dozens of splinters of reflections, throwing back at her her pale eyes, her white arms, her lips, her breasts, her bluish shoulders, mirrors playing with her body, coloring it in drapes of flaming scarlet, in tunics of luminous blue, while she stood, black and slender, only her hair alike all through the room, like dozens of pale gold stars scattered around them, filling the studio, rising from their feet to above their heads.' p. 76-77
I know this is a really long teaser but I simply had to share all of it. At this point in the story Kay Gonda has tried to find shelter with a fan who's an artist and says he knows her. She is surrounded by his painting which are all of her and yet he doesn't seem to know her. It's quite heartbreaking, really. Also, this is just a brilliant example of how beautifully descriptive Rand's writing can be. So vivid and clear.