It’s the fate of most new blogs – a flurry of posts and enthusiasm and then everything dries up. I was doing so well(ish) with the philosophical side – and I tried with The Fountainhead, I really did.
It’s par for the course for bloggers to say that at this point, life got in the way – but in this case just having something better to read was what drew me away. It was always one of the intentions of this blog to get me back into a literature mindset, and to measure Rand against the writers I admire. Well, it turned out that I liked reading the writers I admire a lot more than I did The Fountainhead. It didn’t help that Rand was constantly telling me, through the not-so-subtle medium of the novel, that I should never compromise my essential authenticity and try to see the virtues in art I dislike. In the words of the wonderful PEL guys, it really did feel like an un-Randian act of self-sacrifice to be engaging with the stuff in the first place.
Well the joke’s on her, because I have no essential authenticity. When the other content of my kindle ran dry, I went back to The Fountainhead (if you think these metaphors are bad, you should see some of Rand’s figurative language – to ease us back into the novel in my next post). My strategy this time was to use TF as a palette-cleanser in between reading Nabokov’s lovely The Luzhin Defence, which for some reason I hadn’t opened in years. Serendipitously this revealed a surprisingly apt pairing – both contain treatments of what is supposed to be some kind of transcendent genius. Another post will go into some of the comparisons I think are interesting, and why I vastly prefer one over the other.
Currently I’ve read the first “book” of TF – including the infamous rape scene. It is frankly amazing there is so much left, and reading the plot precis on wikipedia the rest of the novel seems to revolve around a character that hasn’t even been introduced yet and contain lengthy courtroom scenes, neither of which are exactly driving me to continue (I also get the impression Rand hasn’t got much else left to say which she hasn’t already). But we’ll see how it goes…