The Fountainhead

ISBN: 0452286751
ISBN 13: 9780452286757
By: Ayn Rand

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About this book

A special edition hardcover in celebration of Ayn Rand's centennial. When it was first published in 1943, The Fountainhead--containing Ayn Rand's daringly original literary vision with the seeds of her groundbreaking philosophy, Objectivism?won immediate worldwide acclaim. This instant classic is the story of an intransigent young architect, his violent battle against conventional standards, and his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who struggles to defeat him. This centennial edition of The Fountainhead, celebrating the controversial and eduring legacy of its author, features an afterword by Rand's literary executor, Leonard Peikoff, offering some of Ayn Rand's personal notes on the development of her masterwork. ?A writer of great power. She has a subtle and ingenious mind and the capacity of writing brilliantly, beautifully, bitterly.? --The New York Times

Reader's Thoughts

Mike (the Paladin)

***** SECOND REVIEW ********As promised I took a second look at this book, I will leave the original review below this one.I still find the rape scene in this book repulsive, even though AR wrote once that "if it was rape it was rape by engraved invitation." I point out that Dominique herself CALLED it rape. She goes on about her own self loathing and wanted to shout out that she had been raped. Dominique is painted as a character so world weary and despising of society that she could only (finally) be aroused by a man who could "take her". Both Dominique and Roark are described as having condescension and violence as "positive" traits. Okay, so I waded through this huge pretentious, self congratulatory, patronizing tomb. Having read more than this by AR I've got to say that while she hits the nail squarely on the head in some ways she takes the hard lessons life taught her and gets many wrong answers (not all wrong, but many wrong, at least in my opinion). To her compassion is the same as weakness. The word "compassion" has nothing but negative connotations. She cannot (and I truly believe it's "cannot" as well as "will not") see the difference in willingly giving help as opposed to being compelled by law to give up your living to those who "won't" work. The fact that there are many (and I admit possibly even most) who when given help will simply do nothing but keep asking for a hand-out extrapolates out for her that ever giving help is simply enabling loafers. She saw all unselfishness as weakness and all who acted unselfishly as hypocrites.One can only wonder how she would have looked at Mother Teressa...probably as a weak dupe...or the world's greatest con-person who never got caught?Personally I like Atlas Shrugged better as far as an actual novel goes. Dominique is such an odd personality that while I know AR was basing the character on herself, she was just too odd. I mean am I the only one who finds a woman who can't get aroused unless she's physically assaulted as a protagonist a little troubling? Oh well, beating a dead horse I suppose.The book has good points and AR is a good writer of prose, at times, but not consistently, at least that's my take. I will raise the rating to 3 stars, mainly because the 1 star rating was a visceral reaction to a scene where the male protagonist rapes the female protagonist. ************** Original review below this line ******************* How do I rate this book??? I believe that while Ms.Rand has some huge holes in her reasoning she also had some insights. I think this is a book everyone should take a look at (especially now). I would hope we can differentiate between the valuable and the dross. Read this book (and her other works) with an open and also a critical mind. She has some important insights into human nature and the way humans think and the way the world actually works. She simply carries some of it to a place where it doesn't apply. For example, those who produce will come to a point where they will stop alloying themselves to be stripped of the rewards of their work and thought, it's human nature. On the other hand her view of those who need help and the spiritual side of life are somewhat wanting. she seems to be heavily influenced by Nietzsche.I prefer Atlas shrugged to this novel. You can see Ms. Rand in the heroines of both books. In Atlas Shrugged she (Dagny Taggart) "trades up" in her romantic relationships each time she meets a "stronger" man who better exemplifies Ayn Rand's ideal (representing her philosophy "objectivism"). In this book, the heroine (Dominique Francon) is or "appears to be" raped by the "strong hero" Howard Roark. I say "appears to be" because even though to many readers and reviewers of the book at it's publication and since it is an obvious rape (and that includes me) Ms. Rand wrote that "if it was rape, it was rape by engraved invitation." I found this so distasteful that I completely lost my taste for this book and put it down.

Emma Ryan

I read the Fountainhead, the famous book by Ayn Rand that almost everyone else in the country read long ago, before me, and "LOVE love love love love loved" it, well after I should have.The book is 800 long pages, and I labored through it for about a month, including a week haitus when I couldn't take it anymore, and finally found some chapters at the very end that captivated me enough to say I couldn't put the book down (maybe 50 pages, total). This book is commonly accepted as wonderful, but I honestly need to call this an overrated novel. Maybe it's because I became predisposed to hating it because so many random strangers on public transit insisted on interrupting me to mention how much they love the book. Maybe it's because everyone says the exact same thing and has the exact same opinions about the book, which, ironically enough, seems to contradict what Ms. Rand so thoroughly and relentlessly promotes. Maybe it's because I don't personally have the patience for a repetitive, slow-moving soap opera with characters I can't quite care about.This isn't to say that I don't find the writing style to be eloquent, or that I lack appreciation for the ideal presented. I think the concept of selfishness for the greater good is fascinating, as do lovers of Ayn Rand works. Anyone who has ever been made to feel inadequate would logically feel this way. I don't discredit the effort to create such a lengthy, epic tale, but I feel like most of the hours spent reading this would have been better spent elsewhere.

David

This was the novel of ideas that shot Ayn Rand to literary prominence. Unlike the later ATLAS SHRUGGED which explores Rand's philosophy of individualism in the politico-economic realm, this book explores it in the aesthetic realm. This alone leads to some interesting and amusing anomalies, that Rand highlights herself. As when one left-wing group wants to support Roark as a symbol of the put-upon proletarian, while some successful businessman despise him. Of course in this book, Rand is not putting the case for capitalism, but rather for the ethics of freedom that underlies both the economics of the free market and the aesthetics of an independent mind.Unfortunately, what goes around comes around. When one hears Britain's Prince Charles taking advantage of his status of birth to share his personal views on architecture with a wider public who would otherwise ignore his antiquarian tastes, one realizes that the spirit of Elsworth Toohey is still alive.

Ryan

This book is the equivalent of a drunk, eloquent asshole talking to you all night at a bar. You know you should just leave and you could never explain later why you didn't, but you just sit there listening to the guy ramble on. It's all bullshit, and his arguments defending, say, his low-key but all-consuming misogyny aren't that good and don't even really make sense, but just for a second you find yourself thinking, "Huh, the man might have a point..." before you catch yourself and realize that no, he is just an asshole. You feel dirty and bad afterwards, realizing how close you came to the abyss, but there was that one second where, for some reason, his selfish, arrogant stances, which have hardened into granite truth for him, bluntly force you into a momentary empathy with his ideas--ironically, the one thing he will never, no matter how many shots of Jameson you buy him, give you. The only real difference between the drunk at the bar and The Fountainhead is that the drunk probably wouldn't go so far as claiming, when relating an account of rape, that the woman wanted it, even craved it. Ayn Rand goes there while remaining perfectly true to her Objectivism bullshit. At least the drunk might buy you a drink. Ayn Rand would probably object to it on philosophical grounds.

Brad

So there was this girl I loved, deeply loved, and our love was key to the end of my first marriage. We didn't cheat physically, although there was no avoiding or denying the intellectual and emotional cheating that just being in each others' presence elicited, but my partner/wife felt that something was wrong with our "friendship," and she was right. C--- and I had been in love for a couple of months, and it was the night before I was leaving for my anniversary trip. I was meeting my partner/wife for a weekend of Shakespeare plays, good food and theoretical love making (which never happened), and I was having a final cast party at our home after the summer production of one of my plays. My partner/wife was already near Stratford, Ontario -- home of Canada’s Shakespeare Festival. She was at her family reunion, and at the time I had no idea she was with her lover (I later discovered that their affair had spanned countries and years); I felt paradoxical Catholic guilt for my pseudo-adultery and the liberation of being freshly in love as I sat at my backyard pool and let my feet brush C---'s in the cool water under the moonlight.That night she told me of her love for Ayn Rand's Fountainhead, a book I'd long ignored, supposing it and its politics were not for me. She opined about Objectivism and selfishness, and I was intrigued as only one in love and full of their own selfishness could be. So when I reached my first airport bookstore in DC the next day, I sought a copy of Fountainhead and bought it during my layover. It became a constant companion during the rest of my trip. The next day I began racking up the largest cell phone bill I've ever produced, talking to C--- at all hours of the day and wherever I happened to be: once I was on the edge of a field full of dairy cows, often I was at the local pub imbibing Black & Tans, and the rest of the time I was in my cousin's empty house (he was on a camping weekend, and I was staying there until I hooked up with my partner/wife) amidst his kitschy Elvis memorabilia. When I wasn't talking to C---, I wrote, I watched bad T.V., and I alternated between Rendezvous with Rama and Fountainhead. Somewhere in those three days I rented Boondock Saints (another favourite of C---'s), and then, as if fate were taking a hand, I turned on the CBC and caught the documentary Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life. Coincidence, but a fascinating one that made me enjoy and love the book more than it deserved.And I did love the book. I’ve never read it again -- and I really disdain Objectivism -- but there was a clarity in Rand’s prose that was captivating. She goes on and on, but she does it beautifully, which makes me understand why her ideas are so beloved by those on the other side of the political membrane. She propagandizes like Goebbels. She makes you want to believe. Hell, she even makes rape seem acceptable (ish). And as long as you don’t pay too much attention to what she said and focus, instead, on how she said it, the Fountainhead is a masterpiece. If it weren’t for C--- I don’t know that I’d have given this book another thought, but there was a C---, and this book means something more to me than it should. How bizarre is man?

Max Ostrovsky

I did not like The Fountainhead as much as Atlas Shrugged. Atlas Shrugged was more of a page turner. There were very specific character goals that drove that story. The Fountainhead had a gradual buildup to a very climactic courtroom scene. The Fountainhead took the reader on a very linear journey, but never going beyond the basic story of a man who wants to succeed. Of course there are more nuances than that, but that is the basic essence. Atlas Shrugged takes a more epic approach and raises more issues and more awareness of the world around you. As Ayn Rand has said, The Fountainhead was the story of man, while Atlas Shrugged was a story of society. And, of course, society is going to have more things going on in it. Both stories revolve around a central character, the perfect man. In The Fountainhead, this man is Howard Roark, Architect. While being "perfect" in the Ayn Rand sense, he seems more human than the counterpart in Atlas Shrugged, John Galt, Destroyer, who is more of a god in that story. Even the speeches made at the end by both men are as different. Roark's speech is approachable, readable, understandable and relates directly to the reader. The reader is instantly drawn in. John Galt's Speech, however, is a massive didactic and at times condescending speech that as a reader is a major undertaking in a book as involved as Atlas Shrugged. But the audiences were different for the men. Roark spoke to men who he chose to listen to him. Men who were logical thinkers; cold and objective. Galt spoke to the radio masses; basically sheep. He had to find 42 different ways of saying the same thing, just so the people could understand him. Beyond the speeches these men are different in their presentation in the book. Roark begins and ends the story. Galt is a mystery for the majority of Atlas Shrugged. He is mythic and godlike. Referenced, but never known and understood with the constant elusive and almost meaningless quote "Who is John Galt?" That book really focuses on Dagny Taggert, a rare very strong female character. Atlas Shrugged is really her story, her failing quest to save a world that doesn't understand its own danger from a destroyer. Both she and Galt are a matched pair, similar in philosophies, drive and dedication, but different in their approach. Dagny was relentless in trying to hold the world together, even though the world tried to stop and undermine her at every turn. Galt did not actively seek out destruction. He merely illustrated that without the exploitation of people like Dagny, it will not and can not survive. He simply withdrew himself from being exploited. One thing that Ayn Rand really impresses me with is that while she gets a kick out of creating and describing and telling the story of the perfect man, she incorporates some of the strongest women I have ever read in literature. As Dagny is in Atlas Shrugged, Dominique was in The Fountainhead. While not as strong or dominate as Dagny, Dominique finds her own niche in the story as the perfect female and satirizes what society usually paints as the "perfect female." Besides being physically attractive she is smart beyond normal comprehension. When trapping herself in a meaningless marriage and playing the part of the "perfect wife," she performed her womanly duties; everything when the husband wanted. Did he love this "perfect wife?" He was miserable because who would want to date a robot who did everything he wanted. She exhibited no personality or thought of her own and was perfectly compliant with everything everyone wanted from her....specifically to show how miserable they can be by simply using her. Fountainhead is a brilliant novel. Ayn Rand has found a way to share her philosophies in a way that is entertaining and enlightening and only a rare trace of didacticism. The Fountainhead shows a very true if not menacing picture of how evil altruism can be.

Rishabh

This work serves as a fantastic introduction to Rand's inane philosophy - Objectivism (more about this in bit). Extremely gripping and never trite, The Fountainhead is a heady mixture of Rand's simplistic psychological and philosophical insights. The characters are, without exception, fascinating: Howard Roark - the unconventional architect who lives for and in his work, Dominique Francon - the yet more unconventional and passionate lover, Peter Keating - the seeker after all that is conventional, and hence (in Rand's mind) worthless, and (my favorite) Ellsworth Toohey - the Evil, brilliant, and power-hungry schemer. These (and other) well-etched characters, paradigms of what they stand for, become Rand's vehicles for expressing her take on the nature of the ideal man, the purpose and summum bonum of life, and other such important things that Rand seems singularly unqualified to expound on. Her story-telling skills and style of writing are undoubtedly distinguished; however, philosophy is not Ms.Rand's forte. In any case, this book was an interesting, thought-provoking read, even if one perusal of it was adequate for me to become all-round mocker of Objectivism.Now to the philosophy behind this work. Ms.Rand seems to deify rationality without offering a reasonable explanation. Why are individuality and rationality the greatest and most glorious things? Ms.Rand says so; perhaps it "feels right" to her. Why, and based on what proof or rigor, does no god exist (Objectivism is an atheistic philosophy)? Ms.Rand says so; perhaps she conducted all kinds of scientific experiments and came up with the definitive answer to this quintessential philosophical problem. Just like in the case of her denunciation of homosexuality: "Because it involves psychological flaws, corruptions, errors, or unfortunate premises, but there is a psychological immorality at the root of homosexuality. Therefore I regard it as immoral... Morally it is immoral, and more than that, if you want my really sincere opinion, it is disgusting." Such sophistication of reasoning and opinion would do George Bush proud. To cut this potentially loong tirade short, I have no respect for Ayn Rand's pseudo-rational philosophy. While I like a few ideas here and there - her support of Capitalism and the individual's rights -, on the whole, I think it's a wannabe rational but actually shallow philosophy that, from the viewpoint of rational content, might as well be consigned to flames.

Dan

Ever read a book that changed your life as a kid, I mean totally reconfigured your perceptions of life and how it should be lived? Yeah, me too. This was one of those books for me. It blew me away as a kid. My hero was Roark and his rugged individualism and integrity. Upon rereading this 50th anniversary hardback edition as an adult, I was appalled at this amoral tale. Roark is a sociopathic monster whose integrity is blind and callous. The Objectivism that Rand uses to undergird this story seems to find ethics of communities, or how we should act towards each other, repugnant. Every character is a simple caricature of one facet of a human, there is no moral ambiguity or ambivalence in anybody. Everybody here is an absolute, and because of that, an absolute failure. She attempts to soften these granite facades with a love story, but Rand turns out to be inept at that too. Sure Roark has impeccable aesthetic taste, but if it isn't in service to bettering your life or your fellow man's (preferably both), then it's just an exercise in solipsistic torture. And the whole manifesto masquerading as a serious novel gave me eyeball sprain from all of the rolling it did. This book is probably dangerous for naive minds and too naive for adult minds.

Maria

Egads, I hate this book. I first read it 6 years ago when I was 16, and I thought to myself, this book is an enormous pile of compressed dog feces. However, because I'm aware of the fact that our judgement at the age of 16 is not necessarily quite so excellent as most of us liked to think it was, I decided recently to reread it, and see if I understood what other people saw in this book. I still have absolutely no clue. After slogging through it for a second time, I still think that it's 700+ pages of Ayn Rand's litany of "for the kingdom, the power, and the glory are mine, fapfapfap." Its plot is nonexistent, its characters are two-dimensional, and its philosophy has more holes than Swiss cheese.

Richard

(Update at end; latest is 2013-11-12)OK, I’ve got to explain this four-star rating, because I don’t want anyone to think I’d actually recommend this book...It has been many years since I’ve read either of Ayn Rand’s two doorstop books, and I can’t really recall the details of either. I’m pretty sure the one with John Galt had the absurdly long speech near the end, and all the cool kids smoked special cigarettes, and was mostly about railroads. This was the one with the architect, right?Anyway, I think folks should need permission to read this. Frankly, I think teenage experimentation with pot is trivial in terms of risk to a kid’s soul compared to experimentation with Ayn Rand. Her books can much more easily destroy a life.Let me explain. Rand’s philosophy, as near as I can tell, is that great people shouldn’t be encumbered by the not-so-great. Taxes, regulations, all that stuff: just the shackles the large number of mediocre folks force onto their betters — pure parasitism. Her morality comes down to letting the best do whatever they want, and letting the rest starve. These books are her ideas about how that should work out, and as such are suffused with incredibly juvenile wish-fulfillment. The powerful are tormented by the weak, but through force of will rise above it all.I might not be remembering all this quite right — after all, it has been a long time. The above description is what my initial impression has distilled down to; your mileage may vary.So where’s the danger, and why the relatively high rating? Well, many teenagers look out at their world and feel victimized by the completely lame and restrictive world that adults impose upon them. It is clear to them that they are as smart and able as these authorities, yet those adults are so... clueless. Obviously, adult life somehow has turned them into a lesser breed of humanity, with all the vitality sucked out. Add Ayn Rand to this and you suddenly have the ingredients for a self-perpetuating sense of victimhood and entitlement.Most people have overcome their teenage angst and fantasies by, say, twenty-eight or so. At that point, Rand will have lost her magic and her books should be freely available. But between twelve and twenty-seven, a committee of wise elders should decide whether that kid is mature enough not to get sucked into it.Sounds unlikely? Yeah, well so does Rand’s puerile philosophy, but somehow we have self-righteous imbeciles getting elected left and right. Well, sorry, not so much “left” — mostly “right”. (The left has it's own cast of bad influences, of course.)But then, why the good rating? Because Rand provided a window into the strange logic of the pathologically extreme libertarian. We might have seen Hitler’s deeds, and learned of Nietzsche’s diktats, but we never saw the fantasies that drove them. Most folks that would enthusiastically agree with Rand are either too dumb to put pen to paper, or too smart to let the world see what sociopaths they really are.So: four stars for the opportunity to watch the slow-motion horror show of Rand’s political philosophy in action, warning us of where we’re heading.       •       •       •       •       •       •       • Update, late summer 2012— Romney's selection of Ryan as his running mate has got folks chatting about Ryan's on-and-off obsession with Ayn Rand. Not having made a study of Rand's life, I was pleased to learn that while her extremely anti-collectivist views are still antithetical to civilization (which is definitionally a collectivist enterprise) she was actually quite the social liberal. Not sure that makes her any more pleasant — ideologues of any stripe are quite annoying, even those that suddenly appear more complex and harder to pigeon-hole — but nice to know. A few more details? Check out the NY Times op-ed piece, Atlas Spurned .       •       •       •       •       •       •       • Update, summer 2013— I was catching up on my favorite intelligentisa magazine, the excellent Wilson Quarterly, and ran across a brief note in the Spring 2013 issue entitled “Fountainhead of Need”. As a young woman and recent immigrant to the United States, Rand was very poor while toying with a life in Hollywood — she worked as an extra in Cecil B. De Mille’s King of Kings — and at one point was destitute enough that she relied on charity to keep a roof over her head. Years later, she wrote a letter of thanks to the women's boarding house that helped her at a time of dire need.As the article puts it:“The Studio Club,” Rand wrote, “is the only organization I know of personally that carries on, quietly and modestly, this great work which is needed so badly — help for young talent. It not only provides human, decent living accommodations which a poor beginner could not afford elsewhere, but it provides that other great necessity of life: Understanding.”A paean to altruism? Not exactly. In the letter, Rand also declared that it was time to stop favoring “crippled children, old people, blind people and all kinds of disabled unfortunates” over “the able, the fit, the talented.” She continued, “Who is more worthy of help — the sub-normal or the above normal? Who is more valuable to humanity?” Aiding “the disabled” was fine, she said, but nurturing “potential talent” represented “a much higher type of charity.”Yup, that's the kind of woman she was.       •       •       •       •       •       •       • Update, autumn 2013— Wow, there are still folks out there that are explicitly adherents of Objectivism. If you would like to cringe, take a gander at "Give Back? Yes, It's Time For The 99% To Give Back To The 1%" at Forbes. Yeah, Forbes is the "church periodical for those that worship at the temple of weatlh" (as a FB acquaintance put it), but it still seems somewhat staggering that there are people that believe that It turns out that the 99% get far more benefit from the 1% than vice-versa. See if you can spot the basic logic error in the first paragraph!The proposal that the wealthy be exempt from income taxes is only capped by the appalling suggestion that “the year’s top earner should be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.” Honestly, if this were in the Onion it would still be over the top.­

Eveline

A book that was difficult to read. From the first pages I disliked all the characters. The supposedly kind characters are portrayed as pushovers and wimps, so equally unfavorable. Rand tries to make you believe that the hero of her story is to be admired. The more characters were introduced the more unlikable and extreme Rand's Objectivism shines through like a dark light. What an obnoxious world she is revering in this story. That is perhaps too unkind. (not that any of Rand's fans would care) I realize I'm not able to understand complete solitude and total disregard for relationships and the importance of community and 'feelings' that connect people together.

Lisa

Ayn Rand has written some of the most undistinguished prose in the English language. Moreover, her politics are appalling.Ironically, the most common pick-up line I've been given over the course of my life involves random drunk dude #243 ascertaining my intelligence, believing that he's more apt to get me to give up my number (or my virtue) if I believe him to be intelligent, too -- so he busts out something about "The Fountainhead" or "Atlas Shrugged", or suggests that I am unusually stimulating and intellectual for a woman -- like Ayn Rand.Another interesting fun fact: there is an Ayn Rand foundation that GIVES her books to high schools, which I like to think is the reason they are still in print.

BirdBrian

SCENE OPENS IN A PSYCHIATRIST'S OFFICE. TWO MEN FACE EACH OTHER IN COMFORTABLE-LOOKING ARMCHAIRS.Dr Williams (DrW): Howard, I want you to understand that even though you were acquitted for destroying the Courtlandt housing project, the court has ordered you to these sessions because they are concerned you may be a danger to the public. Some of your colleagues think you may be insane.Howard Roark (HR): Insane? Pffft- they wish! They just can't handle my genius. If they possessed my knowledge of architecture, their faces would melt off like droopy-armed children.DrW: But why did you blow up those apartment buildings?HR: I only agreed to design those apartments if Keating promised to build them exactly the way I specified. He changed my design, so (flourish with his hand) ....boom.DrW: Generally, when somebody is in breach of a contract, one seeks resolution in court, not with high-grade explosives.HR: Look, I gave him a brilliant design. What did he do? He let Toohey mess with it, making compromises here and there, cheapening it with bad taste, until it was a grotesque eyesore. I couldn't be associated with such a thing ...So I blew it up.DrW: Ah, I see... You did it to protect your professional reputation.HR: No, no, no... I don't care what others think. (dismissive flip of the hand) I only care about being true to myself. All the other architects in this town hate me, and I say let 'em! I know I'm great, and that's all that matters. I'm on a drug; it's called "Howard Roark"!DrW: But if it's good enough to know you're great, why do you care that Toohey ruined your work? You know your original design was wonderful. If others made a mess of it, isn't that their problem?(silence, as Howard mulls this)DrW: Look, Howard, I'm not taking sides here. You feel strongly about your art, and I respect that. It's like Michelangelo. He suffered for his art too, but you didn't see him blowing up the Sistine Chapel when things didn't go his way. HR: Well, maybe he should have! If you can't make art that is superlative, it's better not to make any at all. Don't you see? All I want to do is create buildings which inspire people with their form and function. What's wrong with that?DrW: Nothing. I admire that, Howard, but you‘ve made it really difficult for yourself. How many people will want to hire you, given your imprudent history with munitions? HR: Professor Wright seems to like my work.(door opens, and a distinguished-looking academic type pokes his head in)Professor Wright (FLW): Did I just hear my name mentioned? (to Dr W): Is he fixed yet? Can I take him back to the Academy?DrW: (pleading) Frank, give the boy some time! He's got a lot of issues he's working through. You can't just push him.FLW: (angry) FINE! Have it your way! (pointing an accusing finger at DrW): But there's only six other people in the world who can even begin to comprehend how mind-blowingly brilliant his Stoddard Temple was. Do you hear me?!?? SIX PEOPLE!!!!(slams door loudly)DrW: I'm sorry you had to see that. We have a tense and complicated relationship. We used to be college roommates, and then he got, like, the Nobel Prize or something.HR: Um, okay.DrW: Howard, this is kind of unconventional, but I think I know what part of the problem is. With your permission, I'd like to invite your girlfriend into our discussion...(goes to the door, and calls Dominique Francon [DF] from the waiting area)(Dominique enters)DF: (seductively, to Howard) Hey, Lover... Doctor Man here isn't messin' with your head, is he?DrW: Well, Ms. Francon, we were just exploring the question of why an accomplished architect would suddenly demolish a structure he'd been working on for six months.DF: Why!? ...Because they don't deserve to live in one of his magnificent apartments, that's why!DrW: "They" who?DF: You know, the "little people"... (with disgust) the insignificant and inconsequential little nobodies who make up the bulk of society! They don't deserve to shine Howie's shoes here, let alone live in his beautiful building.HR: They couldn't take it. "Winning."DrW: Howard here just told me the building sucked. Maybe it would have been perfect for "little nobodies", as you call them. DF: Well...I...um...DrW: And how do you know what sort of people would have lived there? Maybe great people you look up to would have moved in.DF: NO! Not after Toohey ruined it! It became an abomination- it was a monument to mediocrity, an appeal to the lowest common denominator...the hive mentality, with their collectivist ideals. That's not Howard. (walking behind Howard, she begins to run her fingers sensually through Howard's hair. Howard looks somewhat uncomfortable) My Howie is a GREAT man! (playfully, to Howard): Aren't ya?(serious, to DrW):That's why people are paying top dollar for his work now. Do you know how much they're paying him to do the Wynand Building?(smiling to herself, she messes up his hair and then says, more to herself than anybody else):My little frickin' rock star from Mars!DrW: Er- yeah. Well, so you find it very significant that Wynand is paying Howard well for his newest building?DF: Hell, yeah! The free market doesn't lie! Money talks, bullshit walks!DrW: Then why dynamite the Courtlandt buildings? Wouldn't it have been more of a vindication to allow them to be constructed, and then watch them go bankrupt? That seems more consistent with your philosophy. Blowing things up just seems desperate.DF: Hey! You're twisting my words! You're just trying to split Howie and me up! It's not gonna work! We're the Bonnie and Clyde of architecture! (turns to Howard)Come on, Howie! Let's get outta here.HR: (slowly shaking his head "no") Bonnie and Clyde? That's not a very good comparison. I don't want to be a gangster; I just want to build buildings.DF: Screw you, Howard! I'm leaving!(slams door)DrW: Sorry, I didn't think she'd break up with you.HR: It's okay. I actually think she's been cheating on me with John Galt.DrW: Who is John Galt?HR: Some guy... it doesn't matter. (looking dejected)I guess I acted kind of irrationally. It's just, (voice cracking) this is a very competitive field...(sniff)There's a lot of pressure, you know?(sniff)DrW: (softly) Hey, Howard, it's okay... it's not your fault.HR: I know. (sniff)(pause)DrW: No, Howard.It's not your fault.HR: (pause) Yeah, I get it. (sniff) I know. (wipes eye)DrW: (solemn) It's not your fault.HR: (tearing up) Don't mess with me, Man! Not you!DrW: (more gentle) It's not your fault.HR: (starts crying)DrW: (embraces Howard)(long, cathartic sobbing gradually comes under control)HR: How embarrassing. (sniff) I must seem pretty crazy. (sniff)DrW: No, Howard, you aren't crazy.HR: (wipes away a tear) So I'm not bipolar?DrW: (smiles and puts his hand on Howard's shoulder) Howard, you're bi-WINNING.

mark monday

I once broke up with someone because she was an ardent follower of Ayn Rand. it just started bothering me more and more, and I started seeing the taint of Objectivism in so many of her comments. mind you, this was in college when i was much more obnoxiously political. after we broke up, she turned around and started dating my roommate... sweet revenge, and a fitting response from an Objectivist.

Jojo Bananas

If you like your characters rendered in stunning Black and White, without all that pesky grey in between, this is the book for you. With characters as self-centered and unbelievable as they are unlikeable, is it any wonder that architecture students who are encouraged to read this end up so full of themselves? I wouldn't use it to prop up the short leg of the couch. I throw my poop at it.

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