Fountainhead

Now that Ayn Rand’s ‘the Fountainhead’ is put on stage by ‘Toneelgroep Amsterdam‘ I started re-reading some of its chapters/dialoges, after having first read it long ago. Once again I find it stunning, in the sense that much of what Rand wrote in 1947 is still valid and maybe more valid then in her days. One example:

“A building is alive, like a  man. Its integrity follows its own truth, its only single theme, and to serve its only purpose. A man doesn’t borrow pieces of his body.  A building doesn’t borrow hunks of its soul. Its maker gives it the soul and every wall, window and stairway to express it.” (p.16)

Of course; one can see/listen again to Roark’s  famous fountainhead – roarks defense. he provides when he is in court, after being – correctly – accused of demolishing one of his (though build by another) buildings. Still; also after heaving seen/listened to Ramsey Nasr recently about his role:  an architect has a client, a framework within which he builds. The Fountainhead is about holding on to one’s ideas and principles: but, referring to Nasr’s remarks, architecture is not ‘free art’ but does have its limits.

Nevertheless: after almost 70 years it remains fascinating, contemporary reading; without having seen it on stage yet, it is remarkable that it is practically sold out. I do hope not all visitors will be architects.

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