Sex

The Fountainhead of the Revolution

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Roderick Long digs up a funny quote from a notorious New Left bomb-planter, Jane Alpert:

Although I rejected Rand's right-wing economics and political philosophy by the time I was fifteen, certain elements of the novels, which had more to do with psychology than with social ideology, stayed with me for many years. The Fountainhead had planted in me the idea that bombing a building could be a morally legitimate form of protest.

More quotes from famous Fountainhead fans here, including Nora "You've Got Mail" Ephron's declaration that after reading the book "I spent the next year hoping I would meet a gaunt, orange-haired architect who would rape me. Or failing that, an architect who would rape me. Or failing that, an architect. I am certain that The Fountainhead did a great deal more for architects than Architectural Forum ever dreamed."

I've never read the thing myself, which could explain why I've never planted a bomb or been violated by anyone in the building trades, though I suspect other forces might be at work as well.

NEXT: Scooter in the Dock

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  1. As a relative latecomer to Rand, I couldn’t help but think, “Jesus, this inspired a movement?!?”

  2. The biggest Ayn Rand fan I knew in high school is now an architect. Coincidence? I think not.

  3. The Fountainhead was my first introduction to libertarian thought, so it will always have a place in my heart (even if I could never read the thing in its entirety again).

    Atlas Shrugged, however, was simply insufferable.

  4. Have we added the “I am *so* over Ayn Rand” posts to the H&R drinking game yet?

  5. The Fountainhead solidified the individualist underpinnings of my philosophy. There are some good ideas in the book. But there’s also a lot of overwrought prose and general silliness.

  6. Have we added the “I am *so* over Ayn Rand” posts to the H&R drinking game yet?

    I hope not. I drink too much already.

  7. Hey, Ayn Rand inspired a great deal of art.

    I present to you to the command (and only) performance of Murray Rothbard’s “Mozart Was A Red”

    The script

  8. Ayn rand makes libertarianism attractive to individualists, the key is to point out that it’s attractive to collectivists as well. That organizations can be created freely without government interference in which you can whole heartedly participate and have a greater assurance that your work will have meaning and you will be provided for.

  9. What is up with Ephron and the rape fantasies? Is it just me or is that kind of bizarre?

  10. Rape fantasies are the first thing uneducated Rand-bashers think of in a pinch. Ephron was just trying (and failing) to be funny. Rand herself commented (on the famous “rape” scene) that if it was rape, it was rape with an engraved invitation. Anyone who has read the book and has the comprehension skills of at least a chimpanzee know this.

  11. John-I think its more a joke…
    Like any artist, the more overtly political or ideological they are in their works the more the work suffers. But I still think We the Living to be one of the finest works I have ever read, and maybe te finest with a female protaganist.
    You have to love the overblown hyperactive Whittaker Chambers agrument Hilerum comment, appropriately from National Review. Nice to know their screeds go way back…

  12. Have you read the book? The main character of the book “rapes” another character. I use scare-quotes because, as I recall it, it plays out more like a rape-fantasy than an actual rape.

  13. Stephen- I’d agree but one of the unspoken tenets of collectivism/communitarianism is the the right of the group to use force against the individual in pursuit of their own ends. While I agree that voluntary associations are a good thing, that’s not the same as collectivism.

  14. Thanks. I guess Ephron was tyring to be funny. I never read the Foutainhead, only Atlas Shrugged a long time ago. I didn’t know there was a rape scene in it.

  15. Okay, quick now: everyone try to outdo each other with how much you hate Ayn Rand. Come on. Let’s feel that anger. Snide comments particularly welcome. It’s written into the Hit and Run charter that one of these five-minutes-of-hate should occur every month, so if you don’t manage it now, you’ll have to wait another 30 days to vent that spleen.

    Seriously, though. “The Fountainhead” is a pretty good book. Can’t we hate on “Atlas Shrugged” for awhile instead?

  16. I’ve read both. I found The Fountainhead to be just ok, but really enjoyed Atlas Shrugged.

    FWIW, I thought that the movie version of The Fountainhead was quite good.

  17. I read The Fountainhead when I was in High School. I have Atlas Shrugged, but I have only managed to get through the the book on CD ( Over 10 CDs long) as read by actor Edward Herrman.

    Whenever I have to drive 10+ hours, I pop that baby in the CD Player.

  18. The problem with the books is that they are filled with ham-handed philosophy. If you are familiar with philosophy at all this makes the reading of them tedious.

  19. Okay, quick now: everyone try to outdo each other with how much you hate Ayn Rand.

    The only reason anyone “hates” Ayn Rand is because others worship her and try to ascribe more credit to her than she’s really worth.

    The lady was a great influence, no doubt. But she was hardly the libertarian saint (wow…what a misnomer THAT is) others try to paint her as.

    Her books are largely boring tomes with boring characters and dense, overwrought prose. And like most books I read in college, this one gets sillier as I get older…right up there with Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance and Catcher In The Rye.

    But, if you want a quick Rand read, pick up Anthem. It’s mercifully short and actually pretty interesting. In my opinion, it’s the coolest thing she’s ever written. Or you can listen to Rush’s 2112 album.

  20. if you want a quick Rand read, pick up Anthem. It’s mercifully short and actually pretty interesting.

    Mercifully short, but still not short enough. The main reason I’ve never read The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged is because Anthem was quite enough for me, thank you very much.

    Eugene Zamiatin’s We is a much more readable version of essentially the same story (minus the ending). And it came first.

  21. i feel better about not having read rand now. lol sometimes it feels like ayn rand’s work is the libertarian’s koran. i have “the virtue of selfishness” on my shelf but haven’t read it yet.

  22. Jesse, that’s why I’ve never read any Shakespeare. After all, he just ripped off Raphael Holinshed, among others.

  23. And if you want an even quicker overview of _Anthem_, listen to and read the lyrics (and notes) to Rush’s _2112_. Although the ending is different…

  24. I liked “The Fountainhead,” the same way I like Soviet-era propaganda posters, or “outsider art” produced by psychiatric patients.

    You just have to take it for what it is, and appreciate the artistry.

  25. Jesse Walker,

    I’ve never read Anthem, but I must agree that We (and quite a lot of other Soviet science fiction) is quite good.

  26. Zamyakin’s We is indeed a great dystopia. Sad that it isn’t more well known. Would we have Brave New World or 1984 without it?

    A society based on the cold ideological attraction of… the railway schedule. Pretty much the essence of collectivism. And smoking and drinking are banned, of course.

    All hail the One State.

  27. just another lurker,

    Well, one might argue that if more folks read books like We or Bulgakov’s The Master and the Margarita more folks would be more atuned to the dangers of government.

  28. But she was hardly the libertarian saint

    Rand despised libertarians, dimwit.

  29. That organizations can be created freely without government interference in which you can whole heartedly participate and have a greater assurance that your work will have meaning and you will be provided for.

    Actually the government is also supposed to be created that way. But that’s Jefferson, not Rand.

    Collectivism is the theory that the individual serves the organization. Libertarianism is the theory that the organization serves the individual. All else is window dressing.

  30. I’ve never been able to make it more than a third of the way through either Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead. I did however manage to make it through “Anthem” which is perhaps a sillier read, but altogether less Bataan-Deathmarchy in length and dryness.

  31. ed: Rand held the idea that libertarians were all anarchists and that anarchists are all retards. That was the basis of her hate. While I am a huge Rand fan, I always found her opinions on this (and a number of issues for that manner) to be irrationally (ironically) close-minded.

  32. I’m ashamed to admit I found We kind of hard to follow after about halfway though, and didn’t finish it. And I only made it about 1/50th of the way through Atlas Shrugged, mainly because reading it felt like being unsubtly clubbed into submission.

  33. Hi Hak/Grotius!

    Great seeing you back! woo hoo!

    (Rhywun – agreed with the “clubbing”. Or, to quote Real Genius, “You’ll hammer later”)

    cheers,
    VM

  34. I won’t hate on Atlast Shrugged. Name me one other 80 page uninterrupted speech which is better. Name just one.

    Thought so.

    I did enjoy We the Living. I heard the Italians made a decent film of it but have never seen it.

    I’ll have to check out We.

  35. “Name me one other 80 page uninterrupted speech which is better.”

    the parody in illuminatus about john guilt?

    it’s not 80 pages in that, but 200. (well, not actually, but it’s described as such. all reality is fire…)

  36. “But, if you want a quick Rand read, pick up Anthem. It’s mercifully short and actually pretty interesting. In my opinion, it’s the coolest thing she’s ever written. Or you can listen to Rush’s 2112 album.”

    I’m tired of arguing about whether Rand sucks again. Let’s argue about whether Rush sucks again.

  37. Brett,

    Name me one other 80 page uninterrupted speech which is better.

    I think one of the reasons that people are turned off by Shakespeare are all of the long speeches.

  38. The biggest Ayn Rand fan I knew in high school is now an architect. Coincidence? I think not.

    To think, had your friend read Atlas Shrugged first, he could have grown up to be an engineer who invented a perpetual-motion engine… or a highly competent chain-smoking, train-operating CEO working in a world where no one takes the train anymore.

    But before you scoff at the sheer interminable length of Atlas Shrugged, keep in mind that when the movie version comes out, you can split it into three parts a-la Lord of the Ring: Atlas Shrugged: The Fellowship of the Objectivism, Two Hundred Pages of Sololiquy, and the Return of Deux Ex Machina.

    And who wouldn’t want to make three times the money off of Ayn Rand fans?

  39. While Atlas Shrugges is all about the primacy of the individual in the economy (and personal freedom as well), The Foutainhead is really about Art.

    The main character is an architect who, esentially, refuses to compromise any of his artistic visions. He even blows up a housing project he designed after others made modifications to it, in essence, bastardizing his art.

    Interstingly, his carrer suffers becuase he won’t do what his clients want. He is very much not a “the customer is always right” kind of guy. So it is interesting to see some corporate boosters praise the book, because it is not about following the demands of the client at all.

    In the real world, he could have just contracted for protection of his work (so he wouldn’t have needed to bomb), and copyrighted his plans, so others couldn’t bastardize them. Also, he’s not a very funny guy. Rand just couldn’t do funny. Her heros are pretty boring, and would likely be insufferable at a party.

  40. “Name me one other 80 page uninterrupted speech which is better.”

    The “Teachings of the Elder Zosima” in “The Brothers Karamozov” is not quite 80 pages and has a few breaks but it is close enough and I would take it over anything Rand or pretty much any other sans Shakespeare.

  41. Jesse, that’s why I’ve never read any Shakespeare. After all, he just ripped off Raphael Holinshed, among others.

    The difference is that Shakespeare usually improved on his sources. (Though I’ve never read a word of Holinshed and for all I know he’s the greatest writer ever.) We is a much better book than Anthem.

    Someone else here mentioned The Master and Maragarita. Now there’s a fantastic book. If Nora Ephron had read it, perhaps she would have focused her sexual longings on a superintelligent cat.

    Interstingly, his carrer suffers becuase he won’t do what his clients want. He is very much not a “the customer is always right” kind of guy. So it is interesting to see some corporate boosters praise the book, because it is not about following the demands of the client at all.

    While I haven’t read the book, I know enough about the plot to have wondered about this for a while. The novel never sounded very market-friendly to me.

  42. Rand despised libertarians, dimwit.

    My point was that a lot of libertarians adore Rand, halfwit.

  43. I read the Fountainhead in high school because I saw a poster saying you could get a scholarship if you read it and wrote a good essay. So I read it, but at the end I was like “Um, what do I say about this?” I had no clue to write in an essay, so I didn’t write an essay.

    I read half of Atlas Shrugged and then said “OK, I get the point.” At the time I didn’t agree with much of the point, but I got it, and I didn’t see any need to read further.

  44. Jane Alpert seems to have completely missed the point: Roark wasn’t blowing up the building as a form of protest; he was blowing up the building as a way of reasserting his ownership of stolen property.

  45. VM,

    Have you visted my blog yet? You should really visit my my blog. 😉

    Jesse Walker,

    If Nora Ephron had read it, perhaps she would have focused her sexual longings on a superintelligent cat.

    In spite of their government Soviet citizens created some fine literature. I recently read The Twelve Chairs and its hilarious.

  46. While sitting through a performance of “Rent” (during which I found myself identifying more with the “evil” landlord than with any of the irresponsible Bohemians I was supposed to like), I amused myself by imagining writing a Broadway musical adaptation of Zamiatin’s We. I think it would be a nice contrast to all the left-liberal/collectivist themes I usually keep seeing in most musicals.

    The only problem would be finding a bunch of musical-theater people willing to perform it…

  47. Just did!

    pretty cool looking article on the multiverse concept!

  48. While I haven’t read the book, I know enough about the plot to have wondered about this for a while. The novel never sounded very market-friendly to me.

    Yeah well, that’s why it’s called fiction. Fountainhead isn’t about economy or art so much as it’s about smug superior people getting over on the unwashed masses. I say that as a fan.

    Roark doesn’t refuse to give his clients what they want. He just knows better what they want than they do. His attitude is, “Tell me what purpose you want your building to serve and I will design it, but don’t try to tell me how to design a building.” The key plot point is that everyone who give him a free hand, gets the best (house/condo/gas station/whatever) ever. Even the department store that went out of business. It wasn’t the building’s fault!

    No kidding, I really am a Rand fan, and Like Fountain best of her fiction.

  49. “Someone else here mentioned The Master and Maragarita. Now there’s a fantastic book. ”

    though i would say to buy the later expanded versions that have a glossary and edit timeline in the back.

    it is utterly fantastic, however. i never saw it much as a political tome so much as a meditation on duty and guilt (which were politically motivated in bulgakov’s life, of course)…

  50. I did enjoy We the Living. I heard the Italians made a decent film of it but have never seen it.

    I consider We the Living her best novel. In fact it’s the only one of her works that I consider a novel. This is based on my quaint notion that a novel should have actual human characters and a plot, rather tha just being a sermon or a polemic.

    And yes, the Italian film is excellent. And I’m sufficiently crass that I don’t like films with subtitles. But then neither do Italians. 🙂

  51. It’s a great book for provoking an individualistic attitude in just about anybody. Just a couple of things that are important to remember:

    1. Poor people are not automatically lazy.

    2. Don’t jerk off to the rape scene.

  52. FWIW, here is an article on the economics of Ayn Rand: http://www.mskousen.com/Books/Articles/0101aynrand.html

    dhex,

    I read for the first time it in one of the Soviet history courses I took as an undergraduate, so part of that context – Stalinism, adovacy of the proletjult, etc. – is always in the back of my mind when I read it.

  53. dhex,

    And of course it stacks up well against the generally nauseating discourse of “socialist realism.”

  54. Roark doesn’t refuse to give his clients what they want. He just knows better what they want than they do.

    That describes pretty much any architect you’ve ever heard of.

  55. What follows is a revised version of the entry on Ayn Rand recently published in the Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers (Thoemmes Continuum, 2005)

    Check it out because this is really good: LINK

  56. Good Link Greg.

    I have a soft spot for Rand because she beleived in there being absolutes. While I am too much of a Platonist to buy into Objectivism, I consider a lot better than the relativism most philosphers embrace.

  57. As a capitalist pig, commercial real estate developer, if I wrote a book in which an architect blew up a building under construction, I’d have the hero make sure the architect didn’t live long enough afterward to make a speech at a jury trial.

  58. Ken,

    When they make the new Hollywood version of the Fountainhead, he will burn it down to stop sprawl, global warming and to save the environment.

  59. I loved the fountainhead and thought atlas shrugged was merely ok. I think it’s because Rand understands clearly the process of artistic expression within the individual, but really doesn’t understand the process of engineering and invention within the context of the business community.

    Also there’s some ridiculous stuff in there, including the most eroticised bridge building design scene in the history of fiction, and a 100 page long heavy handed john galt speech.

  60. socialist realism is generally kinda creepy, but i did really enjoy sholokhov’s and quiet flows the don / the don flows back to the sea.

  61. After looking up some of her photos, I think I might be willing to dress up like an architect and do Nora Ephron.

  62. [i]Although I rejected Rand’s right-wing economics and political philosophy by the time I was fifteen[/i]

    mmmm yes so silly. I too have fond memories of reciting the illyad (in the original greek of course) with my playmates around my seventh year. Summers in Cambridge… oh so delightful. But I suppose to retain some sort of pedantry in one’s behavior can be quite charming, if not at least quaint. Oh well. Back to my Joyce.

  63. dude, joyce fucking rocks and people who think he’s snooty high brow are super duper ignorant.

  64. dhex,

    “Joyce Fucking Rocks” might be a good band name.

  65. Rand’s writing amount to nothing but mere apologetics for class warfare. In between the lines, the noted socialite has dismissed the liberty of the working class, while stressing the priveledge and autonomy provided to the wealthy. Who builds the playground her characters play on? Who supports the infrastructure through which her utopia for the wealthy and priveledged can “create freely without government interference in which you can whole heartedly participate and have a greater assurance that your work will have meaning and you will be provided for.” These issues are never addressed in her work and leave one wondering what world she comes from.

  66. Sorry, I never got Joyce. I think it might have been because I never took enough drugs.

  67. Stoopy: do tell us of the joys of a shorn scrotum.

    (or: that’s really Maude Lebowski slumming it. (the story is ludicrous))

    mmmmm. Meat helmets.

  68. et tu, issac?

    drugs, what drugs?

    anyone can read dubliners or portrait of the artist as a young man. dubliners is quite good.

    even the people at right wing news or infoshop. (well, yeah, no, i think they could do it.)

    these same people, presuming they’re willing to invest time in it, can read ulysses. why? because it’s not a “hard” book. it’s long. it’s complicated, in that there are dozens of characters, and plenty of archetypes and subtextual themes to dig through.

    now, if you want to make the case that finnegan’s wake is incomprehensible, you will have no argument from me. dude was blind. shit was meant to be read out loud. it is not for everyone.

    ulysses is something beyond a classic, it is a force of nature. it is not conventionally “fun” persay (though i think it is, but i am a huge nerd) – but the same is not true of dubliners or portrait.

  69. dhex,

    Point of pendatry: the term is “per se.” 🙂

    Stevo Darkly,

    Are you married or in a relationship?

  70. now, if you want to make the case that finnegan’s wake is incomprehensible, you will have no argument from me. dude was blind. shit was meant to be read out loud. it is not for everyone.

    I’ll have to take another shot at Joyce. I should have never started with Finnegan’s Wake.

  71. I’m kidding, dhex. I have heard Dubliners or Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man are good. And, yes, Ulysses referred to as a classic by people I actually respect.

    And the reason I have not read any of them is the same for why I have not read everything else I “should have” read. Inertia.

    Yes, I was referring to “Finnegan’s Wake”. And the basis of my joke was that everyone who has ever recommended that book was a bigtime stoner, or worse. I realize that is grossly unfair but when I tried to read it (someone actually gave me a copy) I just said WTF?!?!

    I’m sorry, but it and not his other works is the first thing I think of when I hear Joyce. It’s kind of ruined me.

    Like David, I should not have tried it first.

  72. I’ve read nearly all of Rand’s writing, and think that We the Living is her best novel. What it lacks for in polish, it easily makes up for in sincerity, and I found its characters more relatable than those in any of her other books.

  73. Basically when reading Joyce you should always start with Dubliners.

  74. dhex,

    That is awesome!

  75. Yes, I was referring to “Finnegan’s Wake”…when I tried to read it (someone actually gave me a copy) I just said WTF?!?!

    I read once that James Joyce’s wife once told him, “Why don’t you you try writing sensible books that people understand.”

    I also read that he had a fetish for dirty ladies undergarments.

    Don’t know why that’s important.

  76. Basically when reading Joyce you should always start with Dubliners.

    Now he tells me. 🙂

  77. Isaac Bertram,

    Heh. Strangely enough, I too started with Finnegan’s Wake, got bogged down and then was told by a friend to read Dubliners first.

  78. “That describes pretty much any architect you’ve ever heard of.”

    Well, honestly, I have to wonder:

    If you know what your needs are, and can design the building to meet those needs, why would you hire an architect in the first place?

    As a graphic designer, I have to say that similar clients just drive me right up the wall.

  79. issac: i feel your pain. as the husband of a phd candidate in english and irish modernism, there’s always dozens of books i should have read that i have not, and may never read. (i have difficulty with fiction by female authors, for example)

  80. Hale,
    I don’t think Rand’s characters are supposed to be believable. They are archetypes or ideals, not her take on people who could actually exist. Right?

  81. Rand’s best book, and one if you haven’t read you should immediately is “The Virtue of Selfishness”. This was the book that let me know that I wasn’t alone in the world. That there were others out there that thought as I did. When you finish that go directly to “Capitalism the Unknown Ideal”. Rand didn’t like libertarians because at the time they were for having NO government. Rand was a capitalist, which is for severely limited government. As she stated, capitalism is the only politico-economic system in which the liberty of the individual is the paramount goal.

  82. bill,

    Rand didn’t like libertarians because at the time they were for having NO government.

    That’s certainly how she at least at one time characterized libertarians. Whether that is an accurate appraisal of libertarians in the 1970s is another matter entirely.

  83. FWIW, I thought that the movie version of The Fountainhead was quite good.

    Not surprising as it starred Patricia Neal. She probably looks like hell now – I think she’s still alive – but back in the day … yummy.

  84. John,

    You write of “the relativism most philosphers embrace”, but that’s totally not true. Maybe Rand thought it was. For all I know, she said Kant was a relativist or some equally-insane shit. But most philosophers talk about relativism the way American Protestants talk about premarital sex: it’s a juvenile temptation. Moral relativism taught in intro classes just to bash the hell out of it so you can get on with reasons and argumentation concerning moral issues. In fact, the only big figure who defends moral relativism is Gilbert Harman, and most people sort of roll their eyes about him on this topic.

    Now maybe so-called ‘continental’ philosophers are all relativists, I dunno. I hesitate to smear them with that epithet without understanding their views. But in analytic philosophy (the kind that sort of grew out of logical positivism, the kind that’s taught in almost every English-speaking philosophy department), relativism is right up there with Pascal’s Wager and divine command theory as something only dumb people take seriously.

  85. Zed, the answer to your question is, “Who cares?”

    As von Mises has shown, with his development of Ricardo’s law of comparative advantage into the law of association, there is room for all in the competition of capitalism. Even those who are less capable than others in every respect have a place. In fact, in large measure, competition under capitalism, so far from being a matter of conflict among human beings, is a process of organizing that one great system of social cooperation known as the division of labor. It decides at what point in this all-embracing system of social cooperation each individual will make his specific contribution-who, for example, and for how long, will be a captain of industry, and who will be a janitor, and who will fill all the positions in between.

  86. Although I rejected Rand’s right-wing economics and political philosophy by the time I was fifteen, certain elements of the novels, which had more to do with

    Mmyeah, “right-wing” economics. That would be the economics of getting the state out of the affairs of the people in almost every regard. Yeah, the “right-wing” has a long tradition of live-and-let-live. Lessee here, let’s tap a real “right-wing” economic movement :

    “the program championed the right to employment and called for the institution of profit sharing, confiscation of war profits, prosecution of userers and profiteers, nationalization of trusts, communalization of department stores, extension of the old-age pension system, creation of a national education program of all classes, prohibition of child labor, and an end to the dominance of investment capital.”

    Uh huh. Sounds more like you-know-who to me.

  87. 1. Rand should have taken a few courses in IP law before writing the damn book.

    2. Did Roark pay for the land? Did he pay for the building materials? Did he pay for the construction of the building? No? Then what was he complaining about? He reminds me of those people who waltz up to writers and say “hey, I’ve got a great idea for a story. I’ll give you the idea, you write the book, you get the book sold, and we’ll split the royalties.”

  88. I think of Rand as a bootcamp for the mind. Before I became a librarian I was in the Air Force. I learned a lot in Air Force basic training but after leaving basic I never marched in step again, I never wore those awful straps to keep my shirt strait again. Rand can give you a good foundation for libertarian thought but it should not be read as gospel.

  89. Finnegan’s Wake is definitive Irish literature. By that I mean it reads better when you’re drunk…

  90. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p856CfM64w8

    pitch ‘n putt with beckett and joyce. very excellent short film.

    finnegans wake works best when read aloud, i think, drunk or sober.

  91. “I don’t think Rand’s characters are supposed to be believable. They are archetypes or ideals, not her take on people who could actually exist. Right?”

    I think this is one of the contradictions in Rand’s thinking. On the one hand, she espoused the school of ‘romanticism’ but on the other hand she responded to those who said the heroic men in her book weren’t real by defiantly saying yes they were, “I have met them.” I believe she even said she married one of them – lol. She also would talk to her entourage about the characters in her books as if they were real: “Now what would Galt do in this case…”

  92. “I don’t think Rand’s characters are supposed to be believable. They are archetypes or ideals, not her take on people who could actually exist. Right?”

    I’d liken her characters to those in Chinese opera or Japanese Noh theater. They’re meant to be heroic, larger and life, and archetypical. They also, like a silent actor behind an abstracted mask, combine a broad lacko of realism with touches of poignant realism and humanity.

  93. If I’m not mistaken, on the inside of a new copy of “Atlas Shrugged” and/or “The Fountainhead” there’s a tear-out ad for Rand’s Objectivist philosophy. I think this is where she rejects the notion her characters are unrealistic and says she has “met them.” But I could be wrong and this quote could be somewhere else. On the other hand, she defined her art as a rejection of the realist school in favor of a school of romanticization where abstract heroic ideals are put into flesh and blood.

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