|Well then Ted...|
I was in my friend's basement suite in 2003, a year getting my B.A., and saw a copy of The Fountainhead on his kitchen table amongst his other crap. I think my friend enjoyed living in his smoky filth. Anyway, what immediately struck me was the cover art:
I immediately assumed it was an uplifting and positive novel because of the non-guilty look of the subject on the cover. But then I looked at the author and thought "Oh... Ayn Rand, isn't she that eccentric fascist?" So I probed my friend- wondering what the hell he was getting himself mixed up in. All he really said though was that it was a good book. But I really respected (and still respect) his opinion: he, in my opinion, is my smartest friend, amongst my Ph.D-getting, M.D.-being group of friends that is a big complement. He is one those guys that has swallowed two books a week since he was twelve.
I was conflicted. I was already basically a libertarian (although I didn't know it) but I had only heard Rand's name used along side that of Stalin and Hitler... misinformation.
So, long story short... I told myself that I'd read the book one day. A year later, although hesitant because in doing so I was labeling myself as a fascist in training, I purchased it at the bookstore.
Now here is where I confess something idiotic... I thought Peter Keating was the protagonist for the first hundred pages. But I soon realized my misapprehension about Keating and Rand as a fascist, thus revealing the level of indoctrination of my college classmates.
I went on to have one of the best reading experiences of my life. It was a great couple weeks. I would read about 50 pages a night after work and a hundred on the weekend.
Those two weeks were transformational. I realized that Rand and I, especially in terms of sense of life, have parallel outlooks on what makes a good life. And although it gave me new insights, I loved how The Fountainhead gave me a wonderful backing for many aspects of what I considered to be peculiar aspects of my personal philosophy.
That is why I will never, ever call myself an objectivist, because I was always and will forever be me, with my own ideas. The remainder of Rand's fiction and non-fiction are pretty good but much of it was just concretization of ideas I held. Of course, she went into greater depth than I ever care to.
In sum, cover art attracted me to Rand, I agreed with her, and I realized I was not crazy.
All the best,
(Edited by Tyson Russell on 4/22, 8:58pm)