Saturday, June 25, 2011

FOUNTAINHEAD ~ A book to remember

There are many situations and reasons which make me crave for time travel into past. Future never interests me more as compared to past. Guess it would feel like watching highlights or replays of our own life and of our ancestors. Never i thought, reading a book would make me want to hop into my time machine. But i'vent read Ayn Rand before. Thanks to Durga, i got introduced to FOUNTAINHEAD. Looking at the size of the book, i kept it aside for months and one fine day, being bored to the core, wanted to know, what could be there in that story to be that big in size. And before i could realise i was on to page 100!! Not that the story was racing fast. But the concept, the characterisation and the word play was so bewitching that, right from word go i began to root for David Roark and was eagerly awaiting the next scene where Peter Keating would bite the dust. The best part about the book is that, it is 75 YEARS OLD!!! I triple checked the dates to confirm that its a story told somewhere in the 1940's!!! I was awestruck at the mastery of Ayn Rand. Her philosophy of objectivism and the era when she came up with this concept. This book would have so much ahead of her time that, wonder how many people could actually relate to the characters. But i was equally stumped to know that, this book has been on bestseller list ever since it was released!! I am not going to write a review on this magnificent book for the simple reason that its way beyond my reach. Would request you to give it a patient try like lazing down with a warm massage. I am sure it would pleasure your senses in no less a way. But you need to be really really patient to soak in the concept for its really really vast. And i dont just mean the size.

Some of my fav quotes from Ayn Rand. Love each of them.

My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.

You seek escape from pain.
We seek the achievement of happiness.
You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment.
We exist for the sake of earning rewards.
Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive.

It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.

You, who have lost the concept of the difference, you who claim that fear and joy are incentives of equal power—and secretly add that fear is the more “practical”—you do not wish to live, and only fear of death still holds you to the existence you have damned.

Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification

I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.

So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors - between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.


Ramesh said...

At some stage in life of everybody who likes reading, Ayn Rand has captivated. There is a certain charm to both her writing and her ideas that is captivating in spite of her tendency to write a million pages !

The charm stays although her ideas cool down. For myself I liked her semi autobiographical, We the Living, the best. For one, its not a 1000 pages :)

Asha said...

For it's literal content 'Fountain head and 'Gone with the wind'( unfinished by me) are two books any literature lover will worship, inspite of the pages.

Having said that I must admit I hated Howard Roark's characterisation and so it does'nt feature in my most fav books list.
I like the book's by-line "Man's ego is the fountain of human progress"

RamMmm said...

Agree to what Ramesh says. But I am not sure if the charm stays beyond a particular period. Objectivism was a rage at that time, with a cult following, but now except for being in elitist discussions on it, it is no more. My first intro into Rand was with Atlas Shrugged. So pacy was the story there that couldn't put it down. So, who was John Galt? :-)

Deepa said...

I am glad you wrote this! I am a huge follower of hers. Her ideas are still so relevant, especially if you are a self respecting human being!

Deepa said...

Oh btw! You may want to check out her interviews on youtube! :)