03 May 2007

The Fountainhead


Just finished reading Ayn Rand's book The Fountainhead. Really enjoyed it, and I had to chuckle when I saw the words "Over 5 Million Copies In Print" on the cover. One of the main themes of the book was the primacy of the individual, particularly over the "second-hand" taste of the mob.

It's pretty clear that Ms. Rand would say it's irrelevant if a lot of people liked or read something. That's no indication of the quality of the thing. "Taste" is just another word for "agreeing with the multitudes" (who are all trying to agree with you and each other). It's the opposite of the individualism Rand championed. I suspect the marketing guy who added that line hadn't actually read the book.

Interestingly, I couldn't find any online images of the cover with the "5 million" line. I wonder if someone realized the contradiction and removed that line from the cover?

Some favorite lines:

"I speculate occasionally on how far you'll go. You see, I've always had a weakness for astronomy."

"In this sense, everything to which you grant your love is yours." - Howard Roark

1 comment:

kim said...

I started this book a few years ago and liked the first ~50 pages, but I got distracted (I think it was around my wedding time) and I have yet to finish it. I'm planning on reading it soon tho - it seems like a good read!