Week 3: Books or Magazines
Writings From The Void: 3 Iconoclastic Books Which Alter Your Views
The one book which most influenced me was The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Here was a novel which was unapologetic about the difficulty of being a hero in a world where people aren’t so kind to new talents and unorthodox ideas and this has made the book either scorned or praised. Some have adhered to the philosophy the author calls Objectivism as a better way of life than any other religion and while this landmark novel shaped some of my worldviews, some of its fans have come to oppose the positive views Rand herself argues is good. In the world of video games, Bioshock, a title about the discovery of an underwater city named Rapture and how its free Randian society annihilated itself by following Randian teachings makes the game a reaction against the iconoclastic philosophy of Objectivism which has some famous followers including Steve Ditko, the co-creator of the comic book hero, Spider-Man.
Some authors make stories for profit, others write to be remembered and immortalized; their work continuing to both fascinate and invoke jealousy due to a mastery of their crafts they have perfected and distilled into a novel. While romance novels have been around forever, no one has ever come close from topping The Count of Monte Cristo by French-African writer Alexandre Dumas. It remains the most popular of its genre and has never once went out of print as demand for more has let it remain the best one-of-a-kind story in an otherwise derivative genre.
The last one is a book which I searched for in a time in my when I needed inner peace and while fascinated by Japanese Zen Buddhism, didn’t speak nor talk their language so instead found an English interpreter who also practices the teachings laid down by a group of people seeking enlightenment now, which has spread worldwide and have found students from all over the world including local hero Steve Jobs. The Way of Zen by Alan Watts was one of the books which helped spread throughout the western culture, the remarkable benefits of Zen and its antidote against consumerism and the joys of living a simple life free from distractions. While a lot of books have come and gone, talking about the ‘Zen’ experience, none have converted people with fewer words than Watts