A great interview with Leonard Peikoff by Professor Robery Mayhew on Ayn Rand’s novel The Fountainhead.




RM: I heard you say in a lecture that you went back to The Fountainhead when you were having trouble with the section on integrity in your book Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand [OPAR], and that that proved to be very helpful. Is that correct?


LP: Yes, but it’s misleading to single out integrity. In OPAR, I tried to reproduce exactly Ayn Rand’s essential thought on everything relating to philosophy. So I steeped myself in her work, including The Fountainhead, for every topic.  The Fountainhead doesn’t offer an explicit epistemology, but I certainly returned to it many times for the sections in OPAR on independence, sex, selfishness versus altruism, physical force and the like. I milked The Fountainhead of everything I thought essential. For instance, at the end of the section on productiveness, I quote from a scene with Austin Heller and Roark, which contains one of my favorite lines in the novel. Heller says: “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.” Roark answers: “Isn’t it?” That’s a wonderful way to describe in condensed form the three components of genuine creative work—the three essential elements of the inner state of a creator. I just wish that in my work I’d had less Indian torture and more sexual ecstasy.


Read the rest.

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