The Fountainhead. Spoiler. (53)

1 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-22 21:42 ID:14b4bo2S

Okay, anyone here read that shit? I gave up on it when Dominique got raped and liked it.

Fuck Ayn Rand. Her characters suck.

2 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-23 02:54 ID:eXQeVO1F

I read Atlas Shrugged. It was embarassingly bad!

3 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E : 2006-02-23 03:12 ID:Heaven

"Ayn Rand" and "Mary Sue" have the same number of characters.


4 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-23 05:12 ID:QGVkK6vK

Could you guys, like, elaborate on why Ayn Rand's writing is bad? Some specifics, maybe? You see, >>1-2, as it is your remarks are utterly unenlightening for those of us who haven't already read her work.

5 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-23 13:21 ID:Heaven


Maybe you're happier not finding out. I don't know, I haven't read her either, but to anyone but nutty objectivists, the mere mention of her name brings hilarity.

6 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-23 14:42 ID:tzSKXd+6

Not to mention the ideas she tries to convey.

7 Name: bubu : 2006-02-23 18:16 ID:Heaven

Her characters are "bad", because they're more abstract role-models than real individuals.
The books are just very shoddy vehicles for Rand's abstruse ideology.
The fountainhead's risible allusions to Wright, Johnson, &c. actually brought me to hold Johnson in much higher esteem than his Pritzker did.

8 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-23 21:53 ID:Heaven

>>7 has got it right about the characters.
It's hard to pinpoint exactly what's making the whole book bad. How about this -- imagine a shitty "dramatic" webcomic about teenagers. Replace the teenagers with 30-year-olds and the magic/advanced technology with money.
Or you could imagine the worst serious-style fanfiction you've ever read. Ayn Rand writes just like that. In other words, her books read like something immature and unrevised!

9 Name: Bookworm : 2006-02-23 23:21 ID:Heaven

A is A!

10 Name: cosmo gunny : 2006-03-28 14:51 ID:Heaven


I've read most of what Ayn has written, mostly when I was a senior in high school and highly impressionable, and was turned into a stark raving capitalist. Luckily, it was a phase. I rather enjoyed her wonderfully lurid prose, and her absolutist heroes and heroines. You can get away with just reading her little parable "Anthem" and learn all about her philosphy, but I'd still recommend reading "Atlas Shrugged" just for the rip-roaring adventure of it. Although I've never, ever met a person who could actually read the 90-some pages of the "This is John Galt Speaking" diatribe all the way through. I recommend you skip that chapter entirely, and just enjoy the trainride.

11 Name: LeDQN!LeDqnM1Jj2 : 2006-03-31 06:35 ID:jGNLI0XR

Ayn Rand is shit because she writes massive books filled with pages and pages of inane repetition and attacks on liberalism without any real backing. The 'plot' in her books is a toothpick stand for her baseless ideas. You'd think that with the reams of essays by Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau et al that she'd be able to counter the points they make.

And besides, all the 'Let us live like we want! We're so talented we're special!' crap sounds oddly like a LiveJournal I read once. Also Maddox's page on goths.

12 Name: Bookworm : 2006-04-02 14:09 ID:Heaven

Time for a Bob the Angry Flower link!

13 Name: Bookworm : 2006-04-03 11:56 ID:Heaven

this board is finished.

14 Name: holdincourt : 2006-05-22 07:54 ID:G9yc8vzk

"Mary, Mary" by James Patterson

Anyone else read the Alex Cross series by Patterson? Or the Bosh one by Michael Connelly?

15 Name: Bookworm : 2006-05-23 12:18 ID:Heaven


Would you please try to learn how to post?

16 Name: Bookworm : 2006-05-23 16:32 ID:xUm1mTT8

>>15 Deathworshipper!

17 Name: Bookworm : 2006-06-01 08:00 ID:oGT47xCB

I get the feeling this entire thread is full of whiny leftists....:/

18 Name: Bookworm : 2006-06-01 12:06 ID:Heaven

Oh no! People who different views from your own! Gee, all they do is whine! They don't even understand that Ayn Rand is the most brilliant political philosopher of the century!

19 Name: Bookworm : 2006-06-01 23:00 ID:Sn1ANd8y

Is Ayn Rand really known outside the English-speaking world? The only time I've heard of her here in social democratic Finland was in an episode of South Park.

20 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E : 2006-06-02 00:41 ID:Heaven

> They don't even understand that Ayn Rand is the most brilliant political philosopher of the century!

Ain't that but true? People like John Rawls could do nothing but cower in her shadow!

21 Name: Bookworm : 2006-06-02 12:22 ID:Heaven


She is well known to anyone who enjoys the study of crazy people and idiots!

22 Name: cosmo : 2006-06-02 16:50 ID:xUm1mTT8

Her writing is just plain FUN. Absolute good! Absolute Evil! Anyone who is non-absolute is evil! etc, etc, etc.

I just realized how much she reminds me of HP Lovecraft.

23 Name: shaolintrooper : 2006-06-07 17:52 ID:GZoGQBe4

Ayn Rand can be a serious dick with her writing. Its so depressing it makes Emo kids even happy to be alive. I read all of her work just to say I read them. "Atlas Shrugged", "We the Living", and "The Fountainhead" were monotonous reads.

24 Name: 19 : 2006-06-10 23:21 ID:Sn1ANd8y

You've got me intrigued. Which of her books would be the looniest and least painful to read?

25 Name: Bookworm : 2006-06-11 09:57 ID:lvE4w9lk

Anthem is not too long. Maybe a few chapters of The Fountainhead could give you an idea of her, well, ideas.

26 Name: cosmo : 2006-06-11 17:05 ID:MiC4+lJn

>>19, by all means, read Anthem. It sums up 90% of all she has to say, and as brevity is the soul of wit, it is indeed her wittiest novel.

27 Name: 19 : 2006-06-12 10:55 ID:Sn1ANd8y

I think I'll pick up Anthem, should I see it somewhere cheap. Thanks a bunch.

28 Name: Bookworm : 2006-06-19 05:29 ID:aBZWwjvh

ayn rand is for adolescent-minded psuedo-philosophers who aren't intelligent enough or too lazy to understand and read real philosophy. she is hardly brillant, she doesn't even have a original thought, she just steals other people's ideas and propounds them mostly through the medium of emotive FICTION, not by rational and logically rigorous arguements, which is what a real and serious philosopher uses.

i grew out of her by 20.

(although she does have some good points and i agree with some of "her" ideas, mostly about religion being a political invention of the elite class to control the ignorant masses.)

for real libertarian philosophy see J.S. Mill On Liberty, Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, Locke, Montesquieu, Spencer, Robert Nozick, Thomas Nagel, some aspects of existentialists.

as for brilliant 20th century philosophers, Russell, Ayer, Popper, Sartre, Camus, Singer, Dewey, James,...etc. all have her beat by pure intellectual ability as well as writing/arguement style, irregardless of whether one agrees with them or not.

and for anti-collectivism fiction, Utopia, 1984, Animal Farm, Fahrenheit 451, and Brave New World have any of her preachy and obvisous drivel beat.

29 Name: Bookworm : 2006-06-19 12:33 ID:L0H+78qS

> religion being a political invention of the elite class to control the ignorant masses

Gee, this sounds kind of familiar, I wonder where I heard it before.

30 Name: Bookworm : 2006-06-19 22:44 ID:Heaven


31 Name: Bookworm : 2006-10-06 02:46 ID:6tst5Rj/

Surprisingly Ayn Rand was really popular for a while, selling tens of millions of copies. While her thoughts are halfbaked she usually managed to make them sound appealing to readers. The trick is to make the ideas sound like a shared secret, obvious to anybody who is smart, while everybody else is either stupid and/or maliciously working against the ideals. In other words, massage the reader's vanity and you get a convert.

32 Name: Bookworm : 2006-10-06 22:59 ID:Heaven

Ayn Rand and Nietzsche: the definitive duo of twenty-something nihilism.

33 Name: Bookworm : 2007-11-21 14:54 ID:q6RNbnjW

For what it was, I quite enjoyed Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and Anthem.

34 Name: Anonymous : 2007-11-22 02:28 ID:Heaven

Anthem /thread

35 Name: Bookworm : 2007-11-23 21:23 ID:pSqpprsH

I thought the Fountainhead was overdramatic and her characters more archetypes than something like real people.

36 Name: Bookworm : 2007-12-22 09:21 ID:adPBSbL+

I enjoy Ayn Rand's books. Her writing is dry and monotonous, but I always viewed her fictional works as a means to learn her philosophy than escapism. In that sense, she does well.

I do feel like her perspective on women is a little submissive. I mean, take the rape of Dominique for example, or in Atlas Shrugged, how Dagny enjoys putting on jewelry and clothing on the orders of her lovers to please them. In Atlas Shrugged and We The Living, it is always the males that initiate sex and the females always accept.

But, I wonder if that is just due to Rand's cultural time period where women were considered second class citizens, and that conditioning was so strong that even she bought into that? Do note that the gender roles in her books are stark. Masculine men, feminine females, with the exception of some women like Dagny who is more masculine or 'tomboyish.' This reveals a sort of masculinity worship in Rand's works, which I believe could be attributed to cultural conditioning of the time where heterosexuality was enforced, hence, women were encouraged to look up to masculinity.

Or, maybe this is more biological and women, on average, or predestined to this kind of passivity, or submissiveness and it's no surprise it shows in the romantic parts of her books since Rand is a woman.

37 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E : 2007-12-23 02:10 ID:Heaven

> that conditioning was so strong that even she bought into that?

I suggest you read up on Ayn Rand's personal life. Quite the sordid tale.

I'm surprised nobody snapped and bashed her head in.

38 Name: Bookworm : 2007-12-23 04:45 ID:adPBSbL+


36 here. Do you know any sources I could read?

39 Name: dmpk2k!hinhT6kz2E : 2007-12-24 06:58 ID:Heaven

It's been a few years, so not really.

Try googling "Ayn Rand Nathaniel Branden affair". No matter which side you choose to believe, it's a miserable sight.

I recommend you don't bother though, unless you also partake in the pointless activity of watching street bums yell at each other. Objectivists just use more grandiloquent language.

40 Name: Bookworm : 2007-12-29 00:21 ID:cj1+cMpk

Ayn Raynd is an alien.

41 Name: Bookworm : 2008-01-03 20:28 ID:QtpdnZL1

I just can't agree with Rand's Objectivist philosophy. I agree with some of her notions of ontology, but when she starts ragging on Kant and his Categorical Imperative, she crosses a line. Kant was a g, straight up.

42 Name: Bookworm : 2008-01-07 05:07 ID:adPBSbL+

Kant's categorical imperative is unrealistic. For example, prohibiting lying under all circumstances, even if it was to save a life, or basically ascribing to an imperative, to an 'ought,' without a purpose. Clearly, Kant's deontology is so far removed from human nature which relies on purposes, goals, and ambitions. Rand saw this and rightfully ascribed self-interest as the moral imperative, and not some vague 'ought.'

43 Name: Sergio : 2008-12-14 02:39 ID:RIU2lZaY

I must say, I am quite shocked at the conduct of the people posting here. There is not one single claim that is backed up in any way. It is simply not enough to assert that "Rand is bad because of X, and X is just a self evident truth", yet this is precisely the form of so many of the arguments here! That is a logical fallacy. There must be a reason WHY x is bad. For example, people have asserted that a work of fiction is bad because no one in their personal lives act like the novels' characters. Yet, they make no attempt to back why this makes it bad, just leaving it up in the air, a hanging non-sequitur. The rest of you seem perfectly fine to keep up this charade and prop up this evasion. Even if you agree with the ideas presented here, by not calling them out on their irrational form, you are giving them sanction? Don't you know how this looks? I'm sure you people would like to expect more from yourselves than this.

44 Name: Bookworm : 2008-12-15 10:19 ID:Heaven

and I for one am quite shocked at how people here write baseless fan-fiction about Kant.

I mean no offence >>42, but one has to wonder whether you ever read a single line of Kant in full. Kant very much acknowledges human nature as what it is; however the Categorical Imperative's primary purpose is to liberate people from reliance on an external authority (God, Scripture, Tradition, Priesthood, Monarchs) when it comes to judging one's own actions as to whether they are morally "good" or "bad": By applying the Categorical Imperative to your own actions, he asserts, you can find out whether they are morally flawed or not, by yourself, instead of having someone else impose their judgment upon you (sapere aude!). How so? Because the Categorical Imperative is an effective logical apparatus to judge whether an action will benefit you and the social group around you. Seeing how man very much operates as a zoon politikon, that ends up being less unrealistic than the reductionist Randian self-interest as a moral imperative. Kant may seem naive at first glance, but he was well aware of "how the world works", videlicet "Towards Eternal Peace"...

45 Name: Bookworm : 2009-02-26 22:57 ID:TVSMJpzI


No, Kant's imperative is irrational. In his article 'On a Supposed Right to Lie from Altruistic Motives' (, he was in favor of Absolute Principles (e.g. never lie) regardless of the context of reality.

Rand saw Kant as a destroyer of reason, reason being the thought process required for understanding reality. Since Kant's imperative departs from reality, Kant's ethics are unsound.

46 Name: Bookworm : 2011-07-24 06:01 ID:lFxJSavw

Maddox is a timeless classic.

47 Name: Bookworm : 2012-01-17 03:37 ID:lXitXLL6

Master and Margarita... Mikhail Bulgakov

48 Name: Bookworm : 2012-05-05 19:19 ID:zUSuXe7d

Both Rand and Kant are stupid. They each tell you that you don't have to rely on authority, yet they presuppose having authority to tell you that. This is also why relativism is not true.

Also, spoiler for every Rand book: They include mediocre plots and Mary Sue characters that are used as Rand's mouthpieces. Least thinly veiled books ever.

49 Name: Bookworm : 2012-07-12 10:23 ID:OFUKDAAA

Kant isn't stupid, his ideas are just dated. People like Hegel built upon them, though.

Rand is just an idiot.

50 Name: Bookworm : 2013-01-15 00:35 ID:RJGwG21C


I think Rand's error is that she simply takes the default of human nature and says "that's natural, therefore it's good", which isn't true. For example, human nature is to basicly take as much as you can get away with, yet no human society could run that way, as those who aren't getting a "good deal" will refuse to play.

Kant's deontology ignores human nature, however, it does provide a really useful social "rule of thumb" that Rand cannot. Rand cannot tell you if something you really really want is good for the society you live in. She sees us as loose atoms in a sea of other atoms, so no act that you do is going to negatively affect another person. If I own a company town in West Virginia, I can effectively have slave labor -- I simply make sure that the charges for necessities and rent are greater than the paycheck -- Rand cannot tell me that I'm wrong to do it. Kant would ask the question "what if everyone in society did that", and you would quickly see that such a system is unjust and unsustainable, so it would be a bad idea to do it.

51 Name: Bookworm : 2013-01-27 21:27 ID:Z4uQF+I2

I know you wrote this four years ago and you'll never read my response, but this comment was so stupid I can't help myself.

>For example, people have asserted that a work of fiction is bad because no one in their personal lives act like the novels' characters. Yet, they make no attempt to back why this makes it bad, just leaving it up in the air, a hanging non-sequitur.

If a work of fiction has characters who aren't realistic, it is probably a self-indulgent piece of shit. Lots of godawful writers love to write characters who epitomize what they consider to be the good and the evil, the strong and the weak, etc. Inevitably, the character that results will seem plastic and fake, because he has been written purely to represent an idea and not to be a believable human being. This fakeness will be evident in the character's actions, his inner monologues and his dialogue with other characters. If your characters act all weird and plastic and fake, they're not relatable to the reader as human beings, and they don't draw the reader in. A character should only seem unrealistic if that's the way he is meant to seem, and in that case other characters should recognize it (see Brave New World for a good example of this.)

So yes, characters who don't act like human beings are generally not effective characters. And it doesn't matter whether Ayn Rand was trying to prove a point about independence or reliance on others or any of that. The Fountainhead is a novel, so it should have characters who fucking act like people and not robots with pre-programmed responses. If Rand couldn't handle not writing a preachy political/philosophical text, she should have stuck with her essays.

By the way, it is possible to write a political or philosophical novel that also feels "real". 1984 and Brave New World are great examples. Rand just wasn't any good at it.

52 Name: Bookworm : 2013-05-24 04:51 ID:JZTiDyQY


Art isn't nearly that clear-cut. There are countless great works that feature characters who are "weird and plastic and fake" and yet pull it off. Ayn Rand's novels are a bad example, I grant, but that doesn't mean that a work of literature can only function with characters who meet the standard of "realism".

53 Name: lon puar : 2013-06-19 05:32 ID:NUJ7V1NM

It's funny how the conservatives can overlook the fact that Ayn Rand was a militant atheist that hated god and loved abortion.

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