Happy Atlas Shrugged Day 2014

September 2 is Atlas Shrugged Day, the anniversary of the day (in 1946) on which Ayn Rand began writing the novel. September 2 is also a significant date in the novel, and the date on which the story begins.

I celebrate Atlas Shrugged Day by reading passages from the novel, often by opening the book to a random page. Every page is a great part of what I consider the greatest work of art and most advanced human achievement.

Here is a passage I opened to today:

She saw the man who had left, by his reflection on Ken Danagger’s face. It was not the face she had seen in the courtroom, it was not the face she had known for years as a countenance of unchanging, unfeeling rigidity—it was a face which a young man of twenty should hope for, but could not achieve, a face from which every sign of strain had been wiped out, so that the lined cheeks, the creased forehead, the graying hair—like elements rearranged by a new theme—were made to form a composition of hope, eagerness and guiltless serenity: the theme was deliverance.

He did not rise when she entered—he looked as if he had not quite returned to the reality of the moment and had forgotten the proper routine—but he smiled at her with such simple benevolence that she found herself smiling in answer. She caught herself thinking that this was the way every human being should greet another—and she lost her anxiety, feeling suddenly certain that all was well and that nothing to be feared could exist.

—Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged (New York: Random House, 1957), p. 443 (Part Two, Chapter 3).