By Shoshana Milgram
"Francisco, more than anyone else," commented Ayn Rand in 1961, "seems to have been Minerva in my mind—he came in ready-made." Her journals on Atlas Shrugged contain few notes on the role of this major figure in the novel, yet he is perhaps her most vivid fictional characterization. Francisco d'Anconia—a key link between Atlantis and the outside world—epitomizes relentless ambition, elegant self-confidence and radiant joy.
This talk, which draws on Ayn Rand's hand-edited manuscripts, contrasts her revisions in refining this "ready-made" character, with the changes she made in the characters for whom she had prepared extensive notes (such as Rearden and Roark).
(MP3 download; 82 min., with Q & A, 56 MB)