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The Exceptional Man

Act II of Atilla Shrugged: "The Exceptional Man" is adapted from Part III Chapter 5 of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment

The scene takes place just after Raskolnikov awakes from two nights of feigned and real delirium following his murdering the old pawn broker lady, Alyona Ivanovna.  Once he recovers his senses, he realizes that, in order to avert suspicion falling on him, he ought to go to the police and make a claim on his pawned items.  With his pal Rezumikhin in tow, he finds himself at tea with the subtle inspector Porfiry Petrovich, in an engaging conversation about the circumstances where the imperatives of destiny may surpass the mendacity of law. 

“Nat Taggart was indicted for the murder, but the charge could never be proved. He had no trouble with legislators from then on.”

—Atlas Shrugged

Dagny's father, Nathanial “Nat” Taggart, who claimed his own exemptions from the law, channels Raskolnikov.

“I am ready to bow down to them, of course, but you must admit it’s alarming if there are a great many of them, eh?”

–Police Inspector Porfiry Petrovich


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