The Fountainhead is a novel by Russian-American author Ayn Rand, her first major Initial sales were slow, but the book gained a following by word of mouth and became a bestseller. More than million copies of The Fountainhead. The Fountainhead book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. The revolutionary literary vision that sowed the seeds of Obje. But the book addresses a number of universal themes: the strength of the individual, the tug between good and evil, the threat of fascism. The confrontation of.
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A Review of the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. It's a remarkable book, a defense of the individual creative spirit. I'm glad I read it and it's a good. Rejected by twelve publishers as “too intellectual,” The Fountainhead became a best seller within two years. Synopsis and more background here. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide.
Dominique speaks in Roark's defense, but he loses the case. Dominique decides that since she cannot have the world she wants, in which men like Roark are recognized for their greatness, she will live entirely in the world she has, which shuns Roark and praises Keating. She marries Keating and turns herself over to him, doing and saying whatever he wants, such as persuading potential clients to hire him instead of Roark.
To win Keating a prestigious commission offered by Gail Wynand, the owner and editor-in-chief of the Banner, Dominique agrees to sleep with Wynand. Wynand is so strongly attracted to Dominique that he pays Keating to divorce her, after which Wynand and Dominique are married. Wanting to build a home for himself and his new wife, Wynand discovers that Roark designed every building he likes and so hires him.
Roark and Wynand become close friends; Wynand is unaware of Roark's past relationship with Dominique.
Washed up and out of the public eye, Keating pleads with Toohey to use his influence to get the commission for the much-sought-after Cortlandt housing project. Keating knows his most successful projects were aided by Roark, so he asks for Roark's help in designing Cortlandt.
Roark agrees in exchange for complete anonymity and Keating's promise that it will be built exactly as designed. After taking a long vacation with Wynand, Roark returns to find that Keating was not able to prevent major changes from being made in Cortlandt's construction. Roark dynamites the project to prevent the subversion of his vision. Roark is arrested and his action is widely condemned, but Wynand decides to use his papers to defend his friend.
This unpopular stance hurts the circulation of his newspapers, and Wynand's employees go on strike after Wynand dismisses Toohey for disobeying him and criticizing Roark.
Faced with the prospect of closing the paper, Wynand gives in and publishes a denunciation of Roark. At his trial, Roark makes a speech about the value of ego and integrity, and he is found not guilty.
Dominique leaves Wynand for Roark. Wynand, who has betrayed his own values by attacking Roark, finally grasps the nature of the power he thought he held. He shuts down the Banner and commissions a final building from Roark, a skyscraper that will serve as a monument to human achievement. Eighteen months later, the Wynand Building is under construction. Dominique, now Roark's wife, enters the site to meet him atop its steel framework.
Rand's stated goal in writing fiction was to portray her vision of an ideal man. Rand described the inspiration as limited to specific ideas he had about architecture and "the pattern of his career".
Introduced to the reader as Roark's classmate in architecture school, Keating does not really want to be an architect. He loves painting, but his mother steers him toward architecture instead. He becomes a social climber , focused on improving his career and social standing using a combination of personal manipulation and conformity to popular styles.
By middle age, Keating's career is in decline and he is unhappy with his path, but it is too late for him to change. Rand asked this young woman to explain her goals in life. The woman's response was focused on social comparisons: the neighbor wanted her material possessions and social standing to equal or exceed those of other people.
Rand created Keating as an archetype of this motivation, which she saw as the opposite of self-interest. Only at the end of the novel does she accept that she can be happy and survive. Philosopher Chris Matthew Sciabarra called her "one of the more bizarre characters in the novel".
Brutally Honest Review Of 'The Fountainhead' By Ayn Rand
While Wynand shares many of the character qualities of Roark, his success is dependent upon his ability to pander to public opinion. Rand presents this as a tragic flaw that eventually leads to his downfall.
In her journals Rand described Wynand as "the man who could have been" a heroic individualist, contrasting him to Roark, "the man who can be and is". When Rand finally found a publisher, the novel was only one-third complete. Macmillan Publishing , which had published We the Living, rejected the book after Rand insisted they provide more publicity for her new novel than they had done for the first one. When Rand was only a quarter done with the manuscript by October , Knopf canceled her contract.
When Rand's agent began to criticize the novel, Rand fired the agent and decided to handle submissions herself. A recently hired editor, Archibald Ogden, liked the book, but two internal reviewers gave conflicting opinions.
One said it was a great book that would never sell; the other said it was trash but would sell well.
Ogden's boss, Bobbs-Merrill president D. Chambers, decided to reject the book. Ogden responded by wiring to the head office, "If this is not the book for you, then I am not the editor for you. Rand offered The Mainspring as an alternative, but this title had been recently used for another book. She then used a thesaurus and found 'fountainhead' as a synonym. Initial sales were slow, but they began to rise in late , driven primarily by word of mouth.
In , a 50th anniversary edition from Bobbs-Merrill added an afterword by Rand's heir, Leonard Peikoff. As historian James Baker described it, "The Fountainhead hardly mentions politics or economics, despite the fact that it was born in the s. Nor does it deal with world affairs, although it was written during World War II. It is about one man against the system, and it does not permit other matters to intrude. Rand chose the profession of architecture as the background for her novel, although she knew nothing about the field beforehand.
In the opening chapter, the dean of his architecture school tells Roark that the best architecture must copy the past rather than innovate or improve. In contrast, Keating's mimicry of convention brings him top honors in school and an immediate job offer. The Fountainhead does not contain this explicit philosophy,  and Rand did not write the novel primarily to convey philosophical ideas.
Rand sent DeCasseres a letter thanking him for explaining the book's themes about individualism when many other reviewers did not. Other negative reviews called the characters unsympathetic and Rand's style "offensively pedestrian". She called Rand "a traitor to her own sex".
In an essay specifically explaining this scene, Andrew Bernstein wrote that although much "confusion" exists about it, the descriptions in the novel provide "conclusive" evidence of Dominique's strong attraction to Roark and her desire to have sex with him. Although Rand had some mainstream success previously with her play Night of January 16th and had two previously published novels, The Fountainhead was a major breakthrough in her career. It brought her lasting fame and financial success.
She sold the movie rights to The Fountainhead and returned to Hollywood to write the screenplay for the adaptation.
Bobbs-Merrill offered to publish a nonfiction book expanding on the ethical ideas presented in The Fountainhead. Though this book was never completed, a portion of the material was used for an article in the January issue of Reader's Digest. When she moved back to New York in , she gathered a group of these admirers to whom she referred publicly as "the Class of '43" in reference to the year The Fountainhead was published.
The group evolved into the core of the Objectivist movement that promoted the philosophical ideas from Rand's writing.
By , it had sold over 6. It has also been referred to in a variety of popular entertainments, including movies, television series, and other novels. Rand, Lane, and Paterson have been referred to as the founding mothers of the American libertarian movement with the publication of these works. Yannella said the novel is "a central text of American conservative and libertarian political culture". Eventually falls to pieces.
Ellsworth Toohey - a reporter, and organizer of communities in unions which all has quite a clear goal, as we later find out. The main theme of "The Fountainhead" is the struggle of the free mind, creativeness and individualism all symbolized in Roark against the common opinion, "second-handers", people who think only about what other people think mostly symbolized in Keating.
This main theme is very important, as it is THE philosophical main idea of the book, and most of the characters revolve around it. Roark is the spirit itself. He is an independent architect, caring little about the opinion of others.
He builds in order to build, to create "right" buildings. Dominique, Wynand and Toohey all "understand" the theme, but differently. Dominique seemingly thinks that she's not really fit in that world, in which "second-handers" rule. Therefore, she really tries to make herself suffer. It's not always clear why she is sacrificing so much, by the way. Wynand raises himself about all others. He is a freak of power, caused by a difficult childhood. He despises all "second-handers" and aspires to rule them, bending their opinions at his will.
Toohey is a wird bird, and his intentions are unclear until the very end. He is a very smart and sleek man.Dominique decides that since she cannot have the world she wants, in which men like Roark are recognized for their greatness, she will live entirely in the world she has, which shuns Roark and praises Keating.
Ayn Rand , born Alisa Rosenbaum in St. In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the architectural style that still dominated American building was Classical.
Eighteen months later, the Wynand Building is under construction. Her first novel, We the Living, published in , tells the story of three individuals who dare to think for themselves in the Communist dictatorship of Soviet Russia. Keating knows his most successful projects were aided by Roark, so he asks for Roark's help in designing Cortlandt.
Macmillan Publishing , which had published We the Living, rejected the book after Rand insisted they provide more publicity for her new novel than they had done for the first one. He keeps faithful to his beliefs and ideology. He is an independent architect, caring little about the opinion of others.