Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 2 (1):47 - 67 (2000)

David B. Johnson
Marymount University
D. Barton Johnson traces the parallel lives and literary origins of two Russo-American writers: Ayn Rand and Vladimir Nabokov. Born in Saint Peterburg six years apart, they overlapped on the New York Times bestsellers list in the late fifties. While Nabokov's Russian cultural roots have been much explored, Rand's were little realized prior to Chris Matthew Sciabarra's investigation of her Russian philosophical context. Nabokov and Rand represent polar examples of their cultural heritage: for Nabokov, the aesthetically-oriented tradition of the modernist Russian Symbolists; for Rand, the social-utilitarian tradition of Nikolai Chernyshevsky, and later, Maxim Gorky, founder of Socialist Realism
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