Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ayn Rand

I don't quite get the controversy over Ayn Rand. I thought the Fountainhead was brilliant. I don't necessarily subscribe to all of her theories on objectivism, however I thought the main themes throughout the book rang true and are still relevant. Any artist can relate to the character of Howard Roark...that feeling of isolation in your desire to create something different in a world of conformists.  And the inner conflict and self-loathing associated with selling out. I feel like this is especially true of architects. To create art in the face of public opinion and not let your work be dictated by the hands that feed you is a constant struggle that Rand so eloquently explains through her main character. There are so many amazing lines in this book, but i love this...

Austin Heller: "What in hell are you really made of, Howard? After all, it's only a building. It's not the combination of holy sacrament, Indian torture, and sexual ecstasy that you seem to make of it." 

Howard Roark: "Isn't it?" 

Rand and husband Frank O'Connor at their (Neutra-designed!) home in Chatsworth, CA