In the Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell, he says that two novels, On the Road by Jack Kerouac and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand still sell more than fifty years after they were published because both authors aimed high.
Kerouac was attempting to create a new way of writing, bringing jazz into the American syntax, which he fulled off in On the Road.
Rand wanted to change Western Civilization which I think she did for the worse. She put this country on a path of extreme selfishness– worship of money, disdain for the poor and handicapped. The hero in Atlas Shrugged was based on a murdered that Ayn Rand respected because he demonstrated a contempt for contemporary mores.
Both books were written with passion and both paid attention to their craft, although critics have had a hard time finding craft in either novel.
Bell’s point is that we need to deeply and urgently believe in our mission as writers. Aim high,