The Fountainhead

The Fountainhead



The Pequod Review:

The flaws of The Fountainhead are obvious to even Ayn Rand's most devoted fans. Nonetheless, there are a few things to admire in the book — specifically, (i) The characters have a dynamic and self-made nature that help overcome an inconsistent narrative; (ii) The moments when Howard Roark realizes his architectural dreams are so exhilarating that they become profound statements on human creativity and human achievement more generally; and (iii) The book is a classically American (and specifically New York City) novel, and captures the sense of excitement and opportunity that I (and surely many others) felt when I first moved to a big city and began life as an adult.

I also admire the feminist influence of Rand, who was not only a role model for countless women, but more importantly provided in The Fountainhead one of the few instances in mid-century Western literature of a woman actually enjoying sex. Her accomplishments as a female writing in the 1940s and 1950s can’t be understated — and I strongly suspect the coolness she received from William F. Buckley and the National Review crowd was in part because of her gender.