Richard Halley, (Atlas Shrugged) the composer who re-wrote the fate of Phaëthon, whose reckless attempt to drive the chariot of the Sun came to ruin; in Halley's operatic version, Phaëthon masters the Sun's horses. Unappreciated in his own time, found his following among the strikers in Galt's Gulch.
“The music of Richard Halley is out of key with our times. It has a tone of ecstasy. Who cares for ecstasy nowadays?”
Halley was the object of derision most of his life. The belated public recognition of Phaëthon, 20 years later, wherein his suffering is celebrated as an essential ingredient of his art, is the catalyst that gets him to abandon society and join the strikers.
“There is an inspiring lesson,” said a minister, “in the life of Richard Halley. He has had a terrible struggle, but what does that matter? It is proper, it is noble that he should have endured suffering, injustice, abuse at the hands of his brothers—in order to enrich their lives and teach them to appreciate the beauty of great music.”