Ayn Rand’s introduction to The Fountainhead, written 25 years after it was first published, is both a reflection on her trials in the publishing process and a call to the youth. As recent graduates from architecture school the novel, and Rand’s introduction, are particularly poignant.
Rand briefly recounts her struggle to get The Fountainhead published and recalls that her conviction in what she was doing always exceeded the challenge and discouragement of the situation. The introduction is infused with her passion and confidence that she is right. She was then, she is now, and she continues to believe in her work and brilliance. The fervor of her youth remains with her today. In her view the greatest failing of man is the loss of the spirit of youth, the betrayal of the fire, giving up. She contends that age and time persistently rob man of their mind, values, and self-esteem. She concludes by offering these words of inspiration:
“This is one of the cardinal reasons of The Fountainhead’s lasting appeal: it is a confirmation of the spirit of youth, proclaiming man’s glory, showing how much is possible.
“It does not matter that only a few in each generation will grasp and achieve the full reality of man’s proper stature – and that the rest will betray it. It is those few that move the world and give life its meaning – and it is those few that I have always sought to address. The rest are no concern of mine; it is not me or The Fountainhead that they will betray: it is their own souls.”
Ayn Rand, May 1968
Forty years have passed, but these words ring as true as they did on that spring day. We have the opportunity to carry the torch, to preserve the fire to the fulfillment of life’s potential. We are young and ambitious and hold the belief that anything is possible. The Architecture and Anthropology Curiosity Collaborative can be a vehicle for us. This blog, our projects, research, drawings and collaborations are not only outlets of creativity, ideas and experiments, but also a source of inspiration, a source of fuel for the fire. May it burn bright and long.