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A conversation between Roark and Mallory. (The Fountainhead.)

Posted by LetsShrug 2 years, 8 months ago to Philosophy
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I have SO many examples of Ayn Rand's writings that have hard smacked me into seeing reality more clearly, but this conversation between Roark and Mallory has got to be the biggest ass kicker of them all....


"Now, talk. Talk about the things you really want said. Don't tell me about your family, your childhood, your friends or your feelings. Tell me about the things you think."
Mallory looked at him incredulously and whispered: "How did you know that?" Roark smiled and said nothing. "How did you know what's been killing me? Slowly, for years, driving me to hate people when I don't want to hate.... Have you felt it, too? Have you seen how your best friends love everything about you--except the things that count? And your most important is nothing to them, nothing, not even a sound they can recognize. You mean, you want to hear? You want to know what I do and why I do it, you want to know what I think? It's not boring to you? It's important?" "Go ahead," said Roark. Then he sat for hours, listening, while Mallory spoke of his work, of the thoughts behind his work, of the thoughts that shaped his life, spoke gluttonously, like a drowning man flung out to shore, getting drunk on huge, clean snatches of air."





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  • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 8 months ago
    At age 14 I read the Fountainhead. Over the years I re-read it many times, from three mutilated, dog-eared copies located where I could reach them easily. There were many times at that age in that era ('48 thru the 50s) that I thought that either I was insane, or the whole world was. The Mallory paragraph had me devoutly wishing for Roark to be real. Even more than "Atlas", could, I believe, Roark got me through my teens without self-destructing. I thought that if Rand could have such a vision and create such a character, then maybe -- just maybe there were those to whom I could actually relate. It took a while, but I found many of them. When A.S. came out in paperback, I was already married and had children. In it was a notification for NBI, which led me to my first encounter with people calling themselves Objectivists. Some of the really were.
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    • Posted by johnpe1 2 years, 8 months ago
      Herb, the fact that those words were written proved,
      for me, that there were such people. . Rand was
      the first. . I have found several others, and many of
      them here, but she proved it FIRST! -- wow. -- j

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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 2 years, 8 months ago
    Our current society runs screaming in panic from such a conversation. Trivialities, irrelevancies, "small talk", "selfies", bumper sticker slogans, are about as deep as they dare. Anyone who attempts to speak of motivations, ethical standards, moral conflict, are attacked and reviled at worst, or treated with a dismissive "whatever". We've lost that sincere interest in what motivates people to make the decisions they make. Listening is an art not easily taught, and being open to discuss what really is meaningful is not promoted.
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    • Posted by  $  winterwind 2 years, 8 months ago
      nicely put, DrZ. I think most people can only pay attention for 140char. and really, it is possible to say something real in that space, but with the flow of information, it's hard to converse.
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      • Posted by DrZarkov99 2 years, 8 months ago
        So far, I've refused to engage in Twitter, and only have a Facebook account to keep track of friends and family. While it is possible to say something thoughtful and clever in 140 characters, there are few Mark Twains or Oscar Wildes among the many who chatter intellectually "content-free" on Twitter. I am appalled at the huge number of Facebook participants who share entirely too much personal information in a public arena, which makes it a free range for all sorts of predators.

        It's surreal to me to hear my granddaughter chatter on about a "boyfriend" she's had for months without ever seeing or actually speaking to him in person. There are many of these "text-only" relationships, and the young participants are a rich field of victims. I've seen the look of horror on a number of young girls faces when I suggest that the pictures of the good-looking young man they see may actually be sent to them by a 50 year old pedophile. Thankfully, most have taken my advice and terminated exchanges with these unidentified strangers.
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  • Posted by Petri 2 years, 8 months ago
    I am reading The Fountainhead for the first time and also found that passage to be a, "Yes!" moment. So much wisdom in Rand's writings that helps one begin to know oneself. Thank you for posting this.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 8 months ago
      Thank you! :) (I shed 9 friends shortly after reading that... it became apparent that I was wasting my time with them. That was a year ago. If only I had read Rand in high school! )
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      • Posted by Petri 2 years, 8 months ago
        Indeed. I have mentioned to my husband that I would be a different person (myself!) had I read it in high school. Would that I could get my liberal-influenced high school daughter to do so. Thank you for the reply!
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    • Posted by  $  winterwind 2 years, 8 months ago
      In some ways, I would love to be you. I remember reading it the first time very vividly, but that sense of discovery, of intelligence used and required, of meeting people on pages who were more real than any flash-and-blood ones you knew......and all the time, knowing that there was a mind behind the words, putting them together in just that way.
      It is still a rush for me, and even more so for Atlas.
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  • Posted by PURB 2 years, 8 months ago
    One of many fine Rand passages that hits you like a fist, particularly at its close with that adverb (which she used sparingly) followed by the simile. Still astonishes me that English professors call her a "bad writer". Even if you disagree with her ideas, you must admit she is a powerful (and powerfully persuasive) writer. Passages like this underscore that truth. Thanks!
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