03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ayn Rand: The Bitch Is Back

Goddamn, the experience of being 19 years old and reading Ayn Rand! The crystal-shivering-at-the-breaking-pitch intensity of it! Not just for that 19-year-old, but for everybody unfortunate enough to be caught in his psychic blast radius. Is "experience" even the right word for The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged? Ayn Rand's idolization of Mickey Spillane and cigarettes and capitalism"an experience? Her tentacular contempt for Shakespeare and Beethoven and Karl Marx and facial hair and government and "subnormal" children and the poor and the Baby Jesus and the U.N. and homosexuals and "simpering" social workers and French Impressionism and a thousand other things the flesh is heir to: experience?

Does a 19-year-old "experience" the likes of "She looked at the lone straight shaft of the Taggart Building rising in the distance"and...understood: these people hated Jim because they envied him"? (The lone straight shaft"get it?) Please. Ayn Rand is an imbuing. A transfiguring, even.

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