June 23, 2003

Rand’s Brand :p

I was unable to make the entry about "The Fountainhead" today in the morning as promised yesterday (mostly due to me getting so busy that I found I had no time for blogging in the morning – but more on that at my other blog <g> and so I will move on …) so here is that entry – delayed maybe by about twelve hours but still finally here :p

I’ve had Ayn Rand’s "The Fountainhead" in my library for close to ten years now I think. I bought the book because of the blurb on the back cover which claimed that it was a great love story – or in the words of the cover itself "The Fountainhead is about ambition, power, gold and love – a love so firm that it triumphed like the hero’s massive stone towers over slander, separation, jealousy and the cruel assaults of those who sought to destroy it". Me being the utter romantic that I am, could you fault me for buying the book? :p Of course, once I did get home with it and got ready to read it, I read the blurb on the inside cover and this talked about Ayn Rand’s philosophy of "objectivism" which the book called enlightened self-interest. This seemed like such an oxymoron – it was like saying positive selfishness – that I didn’t feel like reading the book after all. So, I put the book down, then took it up again but again put it down and so on till a few weeks ago when I decided to give fantasy and SF a rest for a bit and read something new … and turned to "The Fountainhead".

The book captured my imagination with almost the first chapter – I liked the character of the protagonist – Howard Roark – immensely. Like most of the protagonists I really like, I could see bits of myself in him. In fact, in this case I went so far as to see a lot of myself in him and a little bit of myself in his opposite, Peter Keating. At the same, time, I could see the same mixture reversed in Robin – one of my closest friends :-) Not that that explains anything to anybody but this kind of brought home to me how real two of the very first characters you meet in the book are. Some of the other characters have captivated me just as much – probably because all of them are so complex … their motivation is not so cut-and-dried as would appear with most characters in books but instead extremely complicated and in some instances entirely hidden from the reader till later on since you don’t get a glimpse into their mind but just a front-row seat to their actions :-)

I could probably go on and on about the book and even spoil the story for somebody who might actually want to read it … but I won’t :p Because for one thing, I haven’t finished reading it and so don’t know how I myself feel about the book as a whole but for another, I’d like you to read it if all I’ve said so far does arouses your curiosity :-) So go on, take a look at the book (which I realized just a little while ago had been written as far back as 1947 :p) and see what you think – if you enjoy complex characters and some fine storytelling, you might just enjoy the book …

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Tags: Books, Entertainment
Posted by Fahim at 6:22 pm   Comments (0)