As you have probably deciphered [after I’ve mentioned it at least 16 times now], I am reading The Fountainhead.
Need I even mention the name of the author?
If you do not know her, see the photo in this morning’s Splash du Jour.
There she is, looking as powerful as ever. As if she could crack walnuts with her elbows!
I am thoroughly enjoying the book, and I am now in the last of the four sections. Part IV, entitled Howard Roark.
My reading partner has suggested that the book in its entirety is as much about Dominique [the woman who loves Roark] as it is about Roark himself. And I agree. When it comes to character development, more time and print is given over to Dominique. Yet, there can be no great degree of character development in Dominique, without the presence of Roark.
He is the quintessential individualist.
He makes a great impression on all who meet him.
And I myself feel that I have met him here, and I am impressed.
I may one day write an essay on my interpretation of Roark and his overall Roarkness, but not tonight.
Tonight, I simply wanted to relate an incident that took place about five minutes ago.
I wandered from my table and ended up in the Rand section of the fiction shelves. I picked out a book entitled The Early Ayn Rand: A Selection From Her Unpublished Fiction.
I flipped through it and my eyes landed upon the title of the penultimate chapter. It’s called Roark and Cameron.
[In The Fountainhead, Henry Cameron was Roark’s architectural mentor.]
Here’s what happened. → I instantly said to myself, “How interesting. I wonder what Roark is up to, in this lost chapter.”
And I started to devour the words.
Nothing unusual in that, except for the fact that I realized, after reading a bit, that I was not thinking of him as a fictional character! I was ACTUALLY WONDERING WHAT HE WAS UP TO!
As though he were REAL, and here on the bookstore shelf I had inadvertently stumbled upon some shards of further information about the man.
And so it is that I find it remarkable that an author has succeeded in doing this to me!
Rand has made me BELIEVE in Roark.
Interestingly enough, in the Fountainhead chapter I just finished reading prior to my wanderings, the character of newspaper tycoon Mr. Gail Wynand was doing the same thing. Finding himself amazed with Roark.
Wynand had just met with Roark for the first time, and in that meeting, had asked, “Have you always liked being Howard Roark?”
I love what Ayn Rand tells us, happened next….
Roark smiled. The smile was amused, astonished, involuntarily contemptuous.
“You’ve answered,” said Wynand.
Too soon it will end.
It’s shaping up to be one of the most enjoyable and significant novels I have read in a long while!