Rebirth of Reason

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Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - 11:00amSanction this postReply
I noticed something very interesting when I went to Amazon.com today. 

Big news.... Leonard Peikoff apparently co-wrote The Fountainhead.  LOLOLOLOLOL 

The Fountainhead
by Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff

Post 1

Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - 11:07amSanction this postReply
He wrote the afterword...

Post 2

Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - 11:09amSanction this postReply
I think that's acknowledging the afterword he wrote.

Not that those intro's and retrospectives are worth much.  At least this one wasn't an intro, he has a bad habit of writing like he's speaking to a person who's been an objectivist longer than he has and like they just need a little incentive to buy each new edition of the book.  Which is nice and all but it's annoying when you're picking a book up for the first time and he gives away every plot twist ON THE VERY FIRST PAGE OF THE BOOK YOU READ.


Post 3

Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - 11:11amSanction this postReply
Yes indeed - that one he did for AS was enough to want a necktie party...

Post 4

Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - 11:21amSanction this postReply
Yeah I'll put into my context. Atlas was the first Objectivist book I ever read... never had any experience with it at all and here was the plot laid out on page one all twists intact.  Ditto for Anthem, how I was able to plow through and *WAIT* for the plot developments.


Post 5

Wednesday, October 5, 2005 - 1:50pmSanction this postReply
Isn't it usual for a book's author to be credited with authorship, then with something like "With Forward by So-and-So"?

Amazon seems to be pretty sloppy about this. How about:

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Constance Garnett?

This just came up while looking:


and I can't resist mentioning what happens when you scroll down a bit:

The Brothers Karamazov by Constance Garnett, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Translator).



Post 6

Saturday, February 18, 2006 - 9:47pmSanction this postReply
    So, maybe The New Testament is now going to be "by God, Mathew, Mark, Luke and John (with comments by St. Paul)" ?   :D

    Finally, the 'true authors' (ghost-writers and whoever) will now get their due?

    Amazon: what hath thou wrought?


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Sunday, March 7 - 2:34amSanction this postReply


“The concept Plato is forging with his city-soul analogy is ‘justice’ (proper ruling). The concept Rand is forging with her building-soul analogy is ‘integrity’. One broad thesis of THE FOUNTAINHEAD is that there is a type of egoistic individualism that is good and just; altruistic collectivism is evil and unjust. The argument focuses not so much on what is just as on what is good. Such are independence, reliance on reason (one’s own), honesty, creative achievement, love of one’s work, and courage (HR II 559–60, XVIII 739–40). A concept of justice will make human life and happiness impossible if the concept ignores the uniqueness of individuals and the unity and self-sufficiency required by the preceding virtues (HR II 559–60, XVIII 740). Integrity is the overarching virtue pronouncing this unity and self-sufficiency (PK XIII 166, HR VIII 625-28, XVIII 742).

. . .

“Howard Roark is integrity in the flesh. And though each of Roark’s buildings is unique—as each human being is unique (GW V 495)—they all display the concept and virtue of integrity.

“It is not only architects and artists who can have integrity embodied in their work (ET X 333). It is not only a creative genius such as Roark who can love their work and find a sense of purpose and fulfillment in it (PK VII 93, HR XVIII 740). Everyone who worked that year of their life on what was the Monadnock construction project felt as if ‘they were an army and a crusade’ (HR I 548). The advance of their great joint work gave them each a sense of having lived through twelve months of spring. Their memory of it had ‘the feeling which is the meaning of spring, . . . the great sense of beginning, of triumphant progression, of certainty in an achievement that nothing will stop’ (ibid.).

“Theirs was a brotherhood, sainted and noble (cf. ET X 332; ET XI 351). Theirs, ‘a new earth, their own’ (HR I 548). Theirs, protection, by a method of thought in the mind of the architect who walked among them (ibid.).”



“Roark’s words to the board reach no individual hearing. They strike no note of independent response from any of the twelve members. ‘He was addressing everyone. He was addressing no one’ (PK XIII 172). In the wider public, however, Roark knows that there are individuals who will respond to his approach to modern architecture. ‘You must only be patient. Because on your side you have reason, . . . and against you, you have just a vague, fat, blind inertia’ (ibid.).”



“Roark seldom laughs (ET IV 253). He laughs as the face of an associate reveals a dawning comprehension of something in Roark’s motives (PK XV 202). He laughs over the prospect, when he has to close his architectural practice, that his enemies will gloat over him being reduced to tradesman work (PK XV 207). He laughs soundlessly at turns in his first bedding of Dominique (ET II 225, 230). He laughs soundlessly upon learning, from Joel Sutton, that Dominique is the one who has persuaded Sutton to decline Roark as his architect and that Dominique told Sutton to tell Roark she was the one (ET VII 288). He laughs softly when Keating finally comprehends that to be able to say ‘I built Cortlandt” is a gift possible only from oneself and is worth more than any money, fame, and honor that one might receive from others on account of the accomplishment. That soft laughter “was the happiest sound Keating had ever heard’ (HR VIII 630).”



“Dominique is thoroughly revolted by the smallness, the smuttiness, of what most of humanity selects for their enjoyment. When it comes to humanity’s suffering, well, ‘as a matter of fact, one can feel some respect for people when they suffer. They have a certain dignity’ (PK XII 49). One development from Dominique’s self-punishing marriage to Peter Keating is his painful realization of the void he is, of the nothingness of his self apart from his reflection of others (GW II 449–55). She says softly and honestly to him in this suffering over his hollow marriage and life, ‘I never wanted to take revenge on you, Peter. . . . / I don’t want you to suffer—I can’t feel anything else—but I feel that much’ (GW II 456–57).

“Peter later squarely faces the fact that virtually all the merit of his buildings has come about by his parasitism on Roark and past creators like Roark. He confesses this sincerely, with dignity, to Roark. Rand’s ideal Howard Roark tells Peter that no forgiveness from him is needed since he has not been hurt in any important way by Peter’s betrayals. Roark has no drive to punish Keating (HR VIII 623). If the terms ‘egotist’ and ‘kindness’ do not sit well together, then one needs to rethink these concepts, for Roark is man most egoistic and most kind (HR VIII 631).”



“While Roark is building the home for Gail and Dominique, he is a frequent guest at their penthouse. Dominique learns to say Yes to the reality that is Roark in the real world, Roark as best friend of her husband, the three of them perfectly real in the city she dreads beyond the windows, as real as the three of them at the isolated, completed home (HR V 597; IX 636). She waits.

“Long ago she had walked through Roark’s Enright House under construction. ‘The girders and the conduits and the sweeping reaches of space were his and could not have been anyone else’s in the world; his, as his face, as his soul, . . . in every line of steel, a man’s self, hers for this moment, hers by the grace of seeing it and understanding’ (ET VIII 306).

“Years later Roark had said to her and Gail. ‘What you feel in the presence of a thing you admire is just one word—Yes. The affirmation, the acceptance, the sign of admittance. . . . The ability to say Yes or No is the essence of all ownership’ (HR IV 582).

“She waits. Roark enters her home and enlists her aid in his plan to dynamite Cortlandt, in the name of all creators and all real integrity. She is ready to fight.

“She is alone, driving the roadster along the East River to the site. ‘She laughed and thought: No, this is not New York, this is a private picture pasted to the window of my car, all of it, here on one small pane, under my hand, I own it, its mine now—she ran one hand across the buildings from the Battery to Queensborough Bridge—Roark, it’s mine and I’m giving it to you’ (HR XII 668).”

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Monday, March 22 - 5:53amSanction this postReply

Thanks, Stephen. You are always insightful. The canonical evaluation is that Atlas Shrugged is the better book because it is philosophically more developed and integrated. Nonetheless, many believe that The Fountainhead is better integrated because it is more restricted in scope. Each of the far fewer characters is better developed as a literary portrait. Except for Dagny, Francisco, and Hank, the characterizations in Atlas Shrugged are broad sketches. (I always found it easy to understand Donald Trump as Cuffy Meigs.) In The Fountainhead, we are given more details. In each scene with Howard Roark or Elseworth Toohey, of course, Ayn Rand fills in more details. That also is true of Catherine Halsey, and even Ralston Halcombe. More to the point given Rand's theory of fiction, even their minor actions are explicitly expressed as being integrated to their values. Again, Roark's judgment of Halcomb is not that he does not know his craft, that he is a bad architect, only that he is unoriginal. Yet, Roark grants that Halcomb has a kind of integrity centered on his passion for the Renaissance. You cannot say that -- or much of anything -- about Clifton Locey.


Barbara Branden had a late essay (somewhere in here, I believe) in which she talked about the way that Rand fans imitate Rand by condemning people's politics through their philosophy. "He's a Kantian." Well, he may be ... Branden said that in Rand's case she was incisively identifying the implicit values that people may not even have considered for themselves about themselves. For her, it was the psychological analysis of a novelist. So, she maintained her friendship with Bennett Cerf, for example.  I believe that that takes a nuance of understanding that is reflected in the character studies of The Fountainhead and was necessarily impossible in Atlas Shrugged because of its wider scope.

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