Talk:Anthem (novella)

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Jennifer Aniston on Friends reading Anthem[edit]

I know this is somewhat original research, but the book Jennifer Aniston's character "Rachel" is reading is not "Anthem" by Ayn Rand, but "Anthem: an American Road Story" by Shainee Gabel and Kristin Hahn. I'll link to a a picture of the cover below. By viewing the episodes in question in Season 4 of Friends, one should be able to easily see that the cover of the book Rachel is reading matches the cover to the Gabel/Hahn book:

While I know this is original research on my part, it is likewise original research to assume that the "Anthem" that Rachel is reading is Ayn Rand's without any confirmation from an official source. Based on this, and the existence of a separate, verifiable, non-Rand "Anthem" whose cover matches what's in the show, I'm going to remove the reference to "Friends" from this article. If there's a problem with that, we can discuss it here. Dexeron (talk) 16:38, 15 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Anthem Formula[edit]

On Boing-Boing, Owen noted:

Here’s the formula for [Anthem]:

  1. Take an obvious thing that everyone understands and that’s integral to human culture. (In Anthem, this is individuality.)
  2. Posit a distant future where everyone has forgotten it.
  3. Have your main character rediscover or reinvent it.

It’s a novella opposing an idea that no one has suggested and that could not happen.

I have nothing to add to Owen’s observation.  Mr JM  15:32, 7 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Nobody supports "Big Brother" or Darth Vader either, nor does anyone (except possibly Ayn Rand, depending on how you look at it) advocate the philosophy of Ebenezer Scrooge. Anthem is a warning about where ideas could go, not where they are now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:08, 30 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This article says Rand contrasts socialist values with capitalist values, but isn't that somewhat innacurate? My understanding is that Rand sees rational individualism as the root of all "values" and collectivist ideology as "nonvalue" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 30 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Possible false reference[edit]

I removed the following passage from the article.

Reviewer James Bowls noted a similarity between the opening scene of "Anthem", where the protagonist sits alone in a tunnel and writes down his feeling of rebellion against the collectivist society into which he was born, and Ursula K. Le Guin's short story "The Author of the Acacia Seeds" in which a literate, individualist ant similarly sits alone in a disused side tunnel and writes on acacia seeds a manifesto of outright rebellion against its anthill society (literally such in this case): "The similarity is striking, even though Le Guin's brand of Libertarianism is very distant from Rand's."[1]

  1. ^ James D. Bowls, "Libertarian Ideas in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Detective Fiction" in Lilian White (ed.) "The Impact of Radical Political and Social Ideologies on Twentieth Century Popular Culture"

A google search for "James D. Bowls" gives you this article, a mirror, and three other links that aren't an author. A search for "The Impact of Radical Political and Social Ideologies on Twentieth Century Popular Culture" gives you this article and two mirrors. A google books search finds this article. This "book" doesn't appear to actually exist. (talk) 19:03, 21 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This looks like a good catch on your part. The passage was added in January 2014 by an IP editor, and has not been changed significantly since then. Le Guin's story was published in 1974, so it is conceivable that the reference is some obscure book that was published before online listings and isn't found in Google Books or other online sources, but without any publishing details that is impossible to confirm. --RL0919 (talk) 21:18, 21 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The article currently claims that it was written in 1937 and first published in 1938 in the United Kingdom and that the original English edition (Cassell 1938) entered the public domain in the United States in 1966, due to the failure to renew its copyright after 28 years as then required by US copyright law.

If the article is correct that this work was first published in the UK then its UK copyright term would be pma. + 70, until 2053. Being a non-US work still in copyright in the country of first publication on the URAA date (January 1, 1996 for the UK) its US copyright would have been restored and run for 95 years after publication, until 2034.

The claim of expired copyright is thus dubious on its face (so I've tagged it as needing citation). It's been in the article for over a decade in various forms (some of which acknowledge this issue), but never been cited that I've been able to find.

Can anybody shed any light on this claim?

@RL0919: Revision history suggests you've been watching over this article for most its life. You wouldn't happen to have a handle on its copyright status, or know offhand the right places to go digging for a source discussing it (Ralston 2005? Somewhere in JARS?)? Rand isn't my area so I wouldn't know where to go looking for any special circumstances that might affect the general determination. --Xover (talk) 17:33, 4 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've done a lot of edits to the article, but this particular claim predates me. I suspect it is erroneous in claiming that the 1938 UK edition in particular is in the public domain. The 1946 edition, first published in the US, is a significant rewrite from the original and bears a separate copyright notice that does not mention the previous edition. The 1946 edition is what has been widely republished as a public domain text. Rand and her estate have not been shy about claiming their intellectual property rights, and this correspondence from the estate's literary agent admits that the 1946 text (which is what Project Gutenberg published) is public domain in the US, but not elsewhere. So I believe the 1946 edition is public domain in the US, but the 1938 edition probably is not. However, finding a reliable secondary source that discusses the copyright status is a different matter. It is not discussed in Ralston 2005, nor to my recollection in any other book about Rand or her works. Internet searching is tough because of the numerous useless hits for copies of the text itself and non-reliable repetitions of WP claim. --RL0919 (talk) 19:51, 4 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ah, I knew there were nuances here I had missed. Thank you!
Given the complexity of the issue and the lack of any RS addressing it directly, my suggestion would be to simply remove it from the article per both WP:V and WP:UNDUE. But I feel that's a call best made by regulars on the article that are familiar with the topic.
Incidentally, and with no particular relevance to this article, but I believe both Rand's estate and Gutenberg may be in error regarding the 1946 edition: the changed material in the 1946 edition would be covered by a separate copyright that has lapsed, but as a derivative work of the 1938 edition the 1946 edition would be independently covered by that copyright. But, as mentioned, that's not really relevant here; I was just looking up the details due to a copyright issue regarding it over on Wikisource. --Xover (talk) 08:42, 5 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]