Recent essays about Luciano Pavarotti and Ayn Rand have pointed to some intriguing similarities of these two great and influencial figures.
An Investor's Business Daily editorial, describes how Pavarotti brought opera from the stuffy world of the European elite to the average man around the world.
Similarly, a post on Ergosum brilliantly describes how Ayn Rand brought philosophy down from the ivory tower to the average man around the world.
Where Pavarotti was derided by the operatic elites, Rand was derided by the intellectual elites.
Both Pavarotti and Rand produced prodigious volumes of work that sell in large quantities to millions around the world year after year.
Pavarotti has inspired and influenced millions to explore opera.
Rand has inspired and influenced millions through her philosophy Objectivism and her classic novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
Both achieved huge commercial success never before seen in their respective fields of opera and philosophy.
Luciano Pavarotti's recent death has left a legacy that I believe will only grow in stature and influence.
Ayn Rand, who died in 1982, has already achieved a stature as one of the most important and provocative thinkers of modern times. Interest in and serious study of Objectivism, which she called "a philosophy for living on earth" and which I have adopted as my own, has in recent years been growing in academia despite lingering hostility. Her classic novel, Atlas Shrugged (which will reach its 50th anniverary in October 2007) is ranked by Library of Congress and Book-of-the-Month Club surveys as the second most influencial book in America, after the Bible. Her philosophical legacy and influence will, I believe continue to grow strongly over time.
The parallels in the careers of Rand and Pavarotti illustrated in these two essays just struck me as quite interesting.