The Fountainhead as a Romantic Novel
by Tore Boeckmann
In the first chapter of The Fountainhead, we learn that Howard Roark’s drawings “were sketches of buildings such as had never stood on the face of the earth.” Yet the Dean, a champion of classicism, tells Roark that “all the proper forms of expression have been discovered long ago.”
The conflict between the classicist, who copies, and an artist like Howard Roark, who originates, runs through The Fountainhead and illustrates the novel’s wider theme: the conflict between the parasite and the creator.
Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead is itself the work of a creator. In fact, as Tore Boeckmann shows in this lecture, the novel was written by the same basic method as its hero, Howard Roark, follows in creating his architectural designs.
But the work of a creator is original. Can there be a method for creating the new? Mr. Boeckmann demonstrates that there is such a method. Identifying its nature, he shows how this method gives rise to every concrete aspect of The Fountainhead. And he shows how the method of The Fountainhead, and of Howard Roark, is essential to the romantic school of art.
In this talk, Peter Schwartz examines the roots of this tragic phenomenon and presents the case for a philosophy of reason, science, progress and capitalism.