Ayn Rand and Me
In August 1981 I discovered Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, which blew my mind like no book had ever done. I then very rapidly read all the other Ayn Rand material available at that time (in late '81) — and I have been an Objectivist ever since. In spring 1982, incensed over a stupid local newspaper article printed right after Ayn Rand's death on March 6, I formed a publishing company, Midas, and for Xmas '82 we published a Norwegian paperback edition of The Fountainhead — here called Kildens utspring — using an old translation from 1949 (but it was a rather shoddily produced book, which I now have "disinherited"). In 1984 Midas also published a paperback edition of Anthem, superbly translated by Tore Boeckmann.
In 1992 I helped found an Individualist Foundation, INDFO, and we ran two Anthem essay-contests for high school students. To promote those we, among other things, sent out free copies of the Norwegian Anthem to all our school libraries — more than 500. INDFO has also published a Norwegian edition of AR's essay Philosophy: Who Needs It as a free pamphlet, here called Hvem trenger filosofien?. In 1994 INDFO republished Kildens utspring with a much-refined version of the old translation and in a quality hardcover edition — the handsomest AR volume in print anywhere, if I may say so myself (though I could have done it even better now, technically and typographically, on the same budget). It's hardly been a bestseller, but we've managed to put the book in all the bookstores, pay all our bills, send some royalty checks to Dr. Peikoff — and make at least a few kroner for ourselves. Mission accomplished.
I've also co-arranged three European Objectivist conferences, in 1987, '88 and '89, at which I lectured on some aspects of esthetics and creativity-psychology — my special areas of intellectual interest back then. Each year, in addition to the local talent (which included my friend Robert Mayhew, who was then living in Europe) we also had one guest lecturer over from the US: James Lennox and my friends Harry Binswanger and Allan Gotthelf. The conferences were very successful and enjoyable weekend events, gathering Objectivists from all over Europe — so I can claim we paved the way for what eventually became the Objectivist Conferences organization.
In March 2000 I helped arrange a conference at the University of Oslo, where we had Robert Mayhew as our main guest speaker and I gave a lecture on The Fountainhead called Profound Simplicity: Appreciating "The Fountainhead" — to much acclaim, if I may say so.
Despite being holed up in Norway(and now in Sweden), I've managed to keep well in touch with the US Objectivist movement, having been to a number of large conferences, two Ford Hall Forum events and Ayn Rand Institute's banquets, as well as taking most of the tape courses available from Ayn Rand Books.
And, just for the record: I consider the Ayn Rand Institute to be the only legitimate "official" voice of Objectivism and Leonard Peikoff's book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand as the definitive statement of Ayn Rand's ideas. Yes, I am a "dogmatic" Objectivist, with no independent thoughts of my own. Sad, isn't it? ;-)