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Rowena's Reviews

My true loves: Wilkie Collins, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anais Nin, George Eliot, James Joyce, James Baldwin, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, bell hooks, Chinua Achebe, Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare... I'm falling for : Italo Calvino, Toni Morrison, Frantz Fanon, Wole Soyinka, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Albert Camus, Margaret Atwood, Somerset Maugham, Junot Diaz, A.S. Byatt... And the lists continue to grow! I will read almost anything, as long as it's well-written. I always love to expand my reading horizons.

Currently reading

Edward W. Said
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Finnegans Wake (Trade Paperback)
James Joyce


Anthem - Ayn Rand

“It is a sin to write this. It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see. It is base and evil.” - Ayn Rand, Anthem

Before my Goodreads days, before I knew anything about Ayn Rand, I kept spotting her name on booklists and decided to buy a few of her books. It took me a while to learn that Rand was persona non grata.I did read Atlas Shrugged and surprisingly found it quite fascinating despite not ascribing to her philosophy of objectivism in the least, and despite finding the characters highly unlikeable.

‘Anthem’ was interesting. I liked the writing style, and I enjoyed Rand’s depiction of a dystopic world, one in which the pronoun ‘I' is not used as it is a collectivist society with no time for individuality. This is a society in which writing is considered a sin, where you are given your career choice on the whims of those in charge (the Council of Vocation), not on your ability or personal preferences; a very rigid society where at 40 years of age, you are considered old and useless.

Anthem did remind me of Orwell’s 1984 in a way. To me, the protagonist Equality 7-2521 was another Winston, someone who didn’t like the status quo, who was awakened but didn’t want to risk his life to show others that he was.
My only problem with this book is that it was too short! I would have loved to see how the story played out.