Sunday, September 7, 2014

Risk Taking Researcher - Week 2

Risk Taking Researcher
By Isabel 
Week 3

The past/story of Posting Anthem:
Rand grew up living in Soviet Russia. Anthem was initially written as play, but when Rand was migrated to the United States, she decided to write it has a short story in the future. When she discovered a magazine a couple years later; that would publish a “fantastic” story, she submitted Anthem to them. Anthem was written in 1937 when Rand took a break from researching, that was for her next novel: “The Fountainhead.”
Moving on, did you know that the original title of Anthem was Ego? I believe that this titles means that Rand was trying to uphold the central principals of her philosophy and of her heroes: reasons, values, volition, and individualism. 
Rand later changed the title to Anthem, when she thought Ego was too blunt, unemotional, and would give away too much of the theme. Since this novel is about an outset man’s ego, it wasn’t hard to change the theme, and letting the author to discover the theme while reading.
I remember once reading a book We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, another author who lived in communist Russia. These two books are very similar even if one book was written in 1937 while the other was in 1921.  Some similarities were:

1.   A novel taking the form of a secret diary or journal.
2.   People having numbers instead of names.
3.   Children separated from their parents and brought up by the State
4.   Individualism disposed of in favor of collective will.
5.   A male who discovers individuality through his relationship with a female character.
6.   The main character is a man.
7.   This character discovers a link to the past, when men were free, in a tunnel under the Earth.
There are also a number of differences between the two stories. For example, the society of We is in no scientific or technological decay, featuring X-rays, airplanes, microphones, and so on. In contrast, the people of Anthem believe that the world is flat and the sun revolves around it, and that bleeding people is a decent form of medicine. I wonder if the similarities have led me to think if Rand's story was directly influenced by Zamyatin's.
Initially, as I mentioned before Rand planned on publishing Anthem as a magazine story, but her agent encouraged her to publish also as a book. She then submitted it to Macmillan Publishers in America and Cassell in England. I remember reading that both had already handled her previous novel, We the Living. 


Cassell accepted to publish it, under the name Ego. Macmillan turned it down, saying that the author does not understand socialism.

Rand then decided to work on her novel The Fountainhead, and later revise Anthem.
After the success of Rand's novel The Fountainhead, she revised the edition of Anthem that was published in the US in 1946 by Pamphleteers. 

Following a little side research while looking for the story of publishing Anthem; I read that Anthem was adapted into a graphic novel by Charles Santino, with the artwork by Joe Staton. That it was also adapted into a stage play in 2013 by Jeff Britting, first being performed in Denver, then it opened on Broadway in September. It was also inspired to create a musical in May 2014. 

1 comment:

  1. Isabel, I could see that you researched very deeply and your post was very specific, although I got the feeling that when you were explaining about the original title of Anthem, it was slightly a spoiler of the book. Anyway, you also connected the book to another book you read, which Connection Captains I believe did not mention so far. One thing I would like to add is that the actual paperback was only published in 1961, which gave Ayn Rand time to edit the book. Therefore, the edition that we have now are the revised version. (Anthem introduction) Now, I would like to ask you a question: What was the name of the magazine that Ayn Rand submitted her story?