The Fountainhead is a novel by Russian-American author Ayn Rand , her first major literary success. The novel's protagonist, Howard Roark, is an individualistic young architect who designs modernist buildings and refuses to compromise with an architectural establishment unwilling to accept innovation. Roark embodies what Rand believed to be the ideal man, and his struggle reflects Rand's belief that individualism is superior to collectivism. Roark is opposed by what he calls "second-handers", who value conformity over independence and integrity. These include Roark's former classmate, Peter Keating, who succeeds by following popular styles but turns to Roark for help with design problems.
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Here is the story of an intransigent young architect, Howard Roark, of his violent battle against a mindless status quo, and of his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who worships him yet struggles to defeat him. In order to build his kind of buildings according to his own standards, Roark must fight against every variant of human corruption. Toggle Dropdown Advanced Search. Status Available.
Call number Tags The Fountainhead. Genres Fiction. Description Here is the story of an intransigent young architect, Howard Roark, of his violent battle against a mindless status quo, and of his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who worships him yet struggles to defeat him.
Whether her antithesis between altruism and selfishness is logically correct or not, she has written a powerful indictment. User reviews LibraryThing member Ganeshaka. The Fountainhead is best read before you're fifteen. That way, if you conclude "Dude, Ayn Rand is an awesome writer! And to concede a point, when you're an adolescent, a page rant IS awesome. Your "head" should now be spinning in the same place as if you had spent three or four days slogging through The Fountainhead.
The elation will be almost unbearable. Don't let it turn to pain. Find a cliff, get naked, laugh, and jump off. And don't forget to check for the water-filled quarry, Dude! LibraryThing member Pdore. Everyone hates Ayn Rand these days, and there are some pretty good reasons why.
For one thing, her disciple Alan Greenspan is one of the prime culprits in our current economic mess. For another, she saw nature as, essentially, the means to create gigantic sky scrapers. She was proudly reactionary and absurdly conservative. But what is undeniable is that Rand was passionate. And if you can get past whatever offends you in her best novels and there is something for everyone , you may find that she knew more about passion, in all of its forms, than anyone who ever wrote.
She gained notoriety for the intense and sometimes bizzare encounters between her characters. There are romantic acts and declarations that are shocking for their brutality, both physical and emotional.
But her real genius was in her passion for accomplishment. No one writes about work the way that Rand does. Not the monotonous grind of day to day labor, but the vital and sometimes violent act of creative work. For Rand like Thomas Mann, but much more viscerally , to do was to be. She describes the ecstasy of creation like God on the first day.
And if that's what you're looking for, there are precious few other places to get it. Ayn Rand will annoy, offend, and sometimes bore you. But no other writer can make you burn like she can. This is her best one. LibraryThing member hjjugovic. The tendency when reviewing a book is to compare it in quality to books you've read before, and that's where reviewing Rand's books becomes very tricky.
There is simply nothing else like her out there. This is a long, difficult book, and yet there are no extra words. This book is worth the effort if only because it is one of SO FEW that do not glorify personal sacrifice or altruism or diminish mankind in any way. It does not have the suspense of Atlas Shrugged, but it also lacks the ridiculous speaches and repetition. Impossible to describe or categorize - you have to experience this book on your own. LibraryThing member PastorBob.
Earlier than Atlas Shrugged, and a stronger story, this is a novel about the rights and freedoms of the creative individual. The modernism will fade into history. The humanistic thinking will prove empty. But the cry for human beings to create, work and succeed unfettered will always ring true. And the need for governments to protect our individual freedoms, and so never to give in to the pressures of those who would take or control others, is not only essential - but is a growing crisis that demands attention.
Of particular interest in this book is the way in which Rand struggled with what it was to be a strong woman. By the time of Atlas Shrugged, she's working the question out, but in the Fountainhead, her female character cannot own her own desires.
I wonder what she would have written, if her pen hit the paper a half a century later? LibraryThing member ecw I had not really paid much attention to Ayn Rand, darling of the conservatives very surprisingly, actually until I began reading her biography.
When I asked around to see who had actually read any of her work, I found only a few, but lots of opinions about Rand herself. Often those comments ascribed beliefs to Rand that were at opposite poles of the spectrum, from conservative to radical, individualist to Nazi fascist. Her biography revealed a complex and very interesting individual, so it was time to dig into her works personally.
The Fountainhead tells the story of Howard Roark, an architect. The conversation with the dean, who tried to persuade Roark to come back into the fold, represents the central theme of the book, the conflict between those who are realitycentered against those who define their lives through the eyes of other people. Roark seeks employment with Cameron, an architect whose designs tried to incorporate using the advantages of new materials, e.
Cameron began to design buildings the way he wanted rather than how his clients demanded. His business dwindled to nothing, but he was sought out by Roark. Roark is a brilliant but struggling iconoclast, while his rival and former classmate Peter Keating rises to the top of his profession by using obsequiousness, manipulation, and deception.
His primary concern is how he is perceived by others. He designs by copying from the past, never thinking independently. Both men are in love with Dominique Falcon, a brilliant, passionate woman, who falls in love with Roark, admires his genius, but who is convinced his genius has no chance in a corrupt world. The villain of the book is Ellsworth Toohey, an architectural critic of note, who denounces Roark for his failure to adhere to the accepted standards of the day.
Toohey believes that the individual must sacrifice his independence to the will of others, i. Toohey is employed by Gail Wynand, a publisher whose paper caters to the lowest common denominator to gain power. He comes to admire Roark and must then decide whether he will continue to pander to popular taste or live according to his higher standards.
Rand and her novels have been vilified by the left-wing as reactionary and praised by conservatives as brilliant and influential. She celebrated atheism, a kind of free love, very strong women, and a rejection of parental values and social norms. She despised the religious believer who without questioning adopts the religious beliefs of his parents, conforming without thinking.
Morality becomes something practical and relative. For example, Roark dynamites a government building project that has been altered, so he can gain access to the courts since the government cannot be sued. He has such strong personal will that he will just do what he thinks is right. He also pals around with one of the construction workers who admires him because he is the only architect that understands construction, and, indeed, Roark makes the point that he loves engineering and building.
That sounds more like sixties liberalism than what I hear conservatives espouse. Rand is clearly a romantic who believed that man can live up to an ideal, and reason can help them achieve the independence and the happiness that depends on that independence. What infuriates liberals, as far as I can gather, was her unfailing adherence to capitalism. I suppose conservatives latched on to her vigorous rejection of collectivism, no doubt related to her childhood experiences under Communism.
This is not to say Rand celebrates nonconformity for its own sake. The conformist must learn the beliefs of others to adhere to them; the nonconformist must learn the standards so as to avoid adhering to them.
Both groups are psychological dependents. Rand celebrates the independent thinker, the individualist who lives on his own terms. The individualist creates his own standards and adheres to them regardless of what others do or think. He has a commitment to reason and facts.
The world is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing. Read the book; make up your own mind! LibraryThing member teewillis How do you review Ayn Rand? One of the most beautiful minds I have ever had the pleasure of exploring. Ayn Rand is a pillar of human ability and strength.
If you can attempt to cast aside your ideas of what humanity should be, then this book will take you for a ride. LibraryThing member bigtent Large Government Buyouts and Regulation are the scourge of Atlas Shrugged and the outright sponsoring of mediocrity predominates The Fountainhead. Rand can be long-winded, but these two books are must reads regardless of your own personal beliefs. LibraryThing member jwhenderson. I have always enjoyed reading books about heroes and this was one of my favorite discoveries.
El Manantial (The Fountainhead, Spanish Translation)
Here is the story of an intransigent young architect, Howard Roark, of his violent battle against a mindless status quo, and of his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who worships him yet struggles to defeat him. In order to build his kind of buildings according to his own standards, Roark must fight against every variant of human corruption. Toggle Dropdown Advanced Search. Status Available. Call number Tags The Fountainhead. Genres Fiction.