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OK, I looked it up, first time I've opened the covers of The Fountainhead in years.

I noticed on the way to finding the scene that Dominique's father predicts:

"He'll be acquitted, Dominique" (pg. 730, original hardcover).

pp. 733-734, original hardcover

Twelve men sat in the jury box. They listened, their faces attentive and emotionless. People had whispered that it was a tough-looking jury. There were two executives of industrial concerns, two engineers, a mathematician, a truck driver, a bricklayer, an electrician, a gardener and three factory workers. The impaneling of the jury had taken some time. Roark had challenged many talesmen. He had picked these twelve. The prosecutor had agreed, telling himself that this was what happened when an amateur undertook to handle his own defense; a lawyer would have chosen the gentlest types, those men most likely to respond to an appeal for mercy; Roark had chosen the hardest faces.

Ellen

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OK, I looked it up, first time I've opened the covers of The Fountainhead in years.

I noticed on the way to finding the scene that Dominique's father predicts:

"He'll be acquitted, Dominique" (pg. 730, original hardcover).

pp. 733-734, original hardcover

Twelve men sat in the jury box. They listened, their faces attentive and emotionless. People had whispered that it was a tough-looking jury. There were two executives of industrial concerns, two engineers, a mathematician, a truck driver, a bricklayer, an electrician, a gardener and three factory workers. The impaneling of the jury had taken some time. Roark had challenged many talesmen. He had picked these twelve. The prosecutor had agreed, telling himself that this was what happened when an amateur undertook to handle his own defense; a lawyer would have chosen the gentlest types, those men most likely to respond to an appeal for mercy; Roark had chosen the hardest faces.

Ellen

Excellent.

Thanks Ellen. I thought I remembered it correctly.

I find it interesting that she chose all men, and yet, I am not surprised.

I think it is time that I reread The Fountainhead, I was brought to her through

the movie and that prepared the way for Atlas when my best friend said he thought

I would like the book lol.

A...

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I read AS first. A mistake, since I was too young & semi-conscious to really digest all it contained. It was a difficult read at first.

Add to that it was in direct opposition (putting it mildly) to the brainwashing I received during my attendance at a Catholic elementary school and 1 yr at a Christian Brothers H.S. (I left after the 1st. yr and attended a public school). After re-reading many of the AS passages I began to get her "drift".

It was then that I read, understood & thoroughly enjoyed The Fountainhead.

-J

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Not all jurisdictions allowed women on juries in Roark's day. I don't know about New York, but I once looked up Penthouse Legend (later The Night of January 16th) in the LA Times. A letter to the editor ca. 1934 complained that the production accepted women as jurors but the local courts did not.

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Not all jurisdictions allowed women on juries in Roark's day. I don't know about New York, but I once looked up Penthouse Legend (later The Night of January 16th) in the LA Times. A letter to the editor ca. 1934 complained that the production accepted women as jurors but the local courts did not.

That is amusing.

My wife was selected for the jury when it was playing in Manhattan.

A...

tall, blond, German with a dash of French...

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My step-Mother graduated from NYU law school around 1948-49. I think there were a few over a thousand who stood for The Bar and passed. Maybe three of them women. She had worked full time during the day for the Department of Justice (Immigration and Naturalization) and went to school at night. (Can't do that today.) She came down with double-lobar pneumonia. Dad carried her to a cab which took them to the hospital. (I was in Arizona.) Doctors continually came to her room to see the "miracle" of penicillin. It saved her life. She ended her career in 1971 for health reasons as a GS-15 and what is now known as an Immigration Judge, then Special Inquiry Officer. I visited her office on the 14th floor where she held court in civilian clothes. She soon after got robes. I walked to the other side of her floor and looked down on the excavations for the World Trade Center, two great holes in the ground with tiny bulldozers going back and forth. Some years earlier I had seen photos in The Daily News of what the buildings would look like. Critics were sounding off against the esthetics of the design. (Once they were built they shut up.) I wondered what would happen if an airplane accidentally flew into one. I was thinking of the B-25 that had flown into The Empire State Building in the middle of WWII. I thought they ought to have swimming pools on the top story of each and ducts that would direct water down to any fire. I didn't know that with proper asbestos insulation of the structural steel they would be able to withstand a fire. I also didn't know that in response to a new city ordinance passed while they were going up asbestos was banned and the builders switched to an inferior product. An engineer at that time wrote a letter to The Times flatly stating that a serious fire would bring down either building. (I read that the jet fuel only started the fire, that it was sustained to catastrophe by what was already in the buildings.) So, why didn't the Empire State Building come down? It's structure came off a central core and the steel was slathered in concrete insulation. The Trade Center was basically supported by its outer walls. That's why NBI had to use the basement--no large rooms upstairs for an auditorium.

--Brant

and that's the way it was . . .

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I wondered what would happen if an airplane accidentally flew into one. I was thinking of the B-25 that had flown into The Empire State Building in the middle of WWII.

--Brant

and that's the way it was . . .

Brant:

My father fought that fire.

He also fought one of the hushed up fires in NY City history in 1956.

Sylvania Electric Products explosion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

On the morning of July 2, 1956, an explosion involving scrap thorium occurred at the Sylvania Electric Products' Metallurgical Laboratory in Bayside, New York. Nine people were injured,[1][2] some severely.One employee died on August 6, 1956. Workers described three fireballs.[3]

Sylvania was experimenting with large-scale production of thorium metal from thorium dioxide. Part of

the process of shutting down this experiment was the reprocessing and burning of thorium metal powder

sludges that went unprocessed during the experiment. It was during the incineration of this material

that the explosion occurred. At the time the metallurgical properties of thorium were not well

understood. The employee died from the effects of radiation, but official reports at the time denied

this. The debris from the explosion was disposed of in the ocean.[3]

References[edit]

1.Jump up ^ Associated Press (July 3, 1956). "Nine Injured In Atomic Lab Blasts". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 2.

2.Jump up ^ Associated Press (July 3, 1956). "No Radiation Threat Seen In A-laboratory Blast". St. Petersburg Times. p. 2.

3.^ Jump up to: a b Mark Harrington, "Sad Memories of '56 Sylvania Explosion", New York Newsday, August17, 2003, archived at the Wayback Machine, February 4, 2012.

External links[edit]

Appendix A-2 Residual Radioactivity Evaluations for Individual Facilities

A...

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"Are my characters copies of people in real life?"

One thought leading to another...

And speaking of the difference between a real-life person who suggests a character to a novelist and what the novelist does with the suggestion...

Here's a letter from Rand - August 18, 1945 - which touches on that issue.

I found the letter because I became curious to see if there's any reference to Henry James in Rand's articles, Journals or letters.

The curiosity resulted from my thinking that there are similarities between the "character arc" of Catherine Halsey - who, to me, is one of the realistically believable characters in The Fountainhead - and that of Catherine Sloper in Henry James' 1880 short novel Washington Square (later the basis of adaptations for film and stage as The Heiress).

I found no references by Rand to Henry James. But noticing a listing in the Letters index of a letter to one "Gerald James," I read the letter.

Letters

pg. 229

[bold emphasis added]

To PFC Gerald James, a fan

August 18, 1945

Dear Gerald James:

Thank you. I'm glad you thought The Fountainhead was "out of this world." That's what I intended it to be - in more ways then one.

To answer all your questions in proper order:

1. How was the book received by the public? Beautifully - for which I'm very grateful. It was made by the public - against the opposition of all the intellectual Tooheys. The book's been growing in sales for two years, through word-of-mouth publicity, until now it's high on all the bestseller lists.

2. Who is Frank O'Connor? Howard Roark, or as near to it as anyone I know. Incidentally, he's my husband.

3. Are my characters copies of people in real life? No. I'll let you in on a professional secret: Don't ever believe the stories about authors putting people into their novels. That idea is a kind of joke on both authors and readers. All the readers believe that authors do it. All the authors know that it can't be done. What an author actually does is this: he observes real life, deduces the abstract principles behind certain actions or characters, and then creates his own characters out of the abstraction. The resemblance to real people is one of principle - not of literal, personal copying.

4. Have I embodied some of my own qualities in Dominique? Yes. Am I Dominique? No. As the enclosed picture of me will demonstrate. Sorry to disappoint you there, but I never thought I'd live to be a pinup girl, so I couldn't pass up such a chance - if that space on your wall is still blank.

5. Have I published any other novels? One other. My first novel was called We the Living and was published in 1936.

6. What type of house am I living in now? In a house which I own and which is extremely modern - made of steel, glass and concrete, mostly glass. So you see, I'm the kind of ballplayer who endorses only what she really smokes - and smokes only what she really endorses. And that goes for all the other ideas, principles and philosophy endorsed in The Fountainhead, besides architecture.

I'm glad you liked my book. We're even. I liked your letter.

Ellen

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Nice find Ellen. Especially enjoyed #'s 4 & 6.

-Joe

Yeah, those are fun.

Not being an author, I'll take Rand's word on #3.

I won't. :smile: I've worked with too many novelists and read too much by novelists about their sources of inspiration to believe Rand's statement as a universal. Furthermore, there's what Rand herself wrote about "Naturalist" writers later - and what some of those writers, the ones who called themselves "Naturalists," said about their own methods - which doesn't match the description Rand gave in the letter, although it isn't using particular individuals as templates either.

Thanks for the link. I'll look at that thread later.

Ellen

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Rand's Revelation - 2

Here's Barbara Branden's account of how Rand got the idea for The Fountainhead. Except for the last paragraph, which was added to the version in Who Is Ayn Rand?, a change in position of the next-to-last paragraph, and the addition of the sentence beginning "The prime mover" in the second-from-last paragraph, all the wording in this passage is very close to identically the same - most of it is identically the same - as the Rand-approved telling which appeared in Who Is Ayn Rand?.

For convenience in comparing to Heller's account, I'll repost that in the next post.

The Passion of Ayn Rand

by Barbara Branden

1986 Doubleday hardcover

pp. 132-133

[ellipsis in original; several paragraph breaks added]

The theme of The Fountainhead - which she identified as "individualism versus collectivism, not in politics, but in man's soul" - had been born on the day that Ayn grasped the distinction between two basic types of human motivation. It had been a day while she was still living in Hollywood, before the sale of Night of January 16th to Al Woods had brought her to New York. A young woman who lived in the same apartment house as Ayn and Frank had an important position as an executive assistant at RKO, where Ayn was working in the wardrobe department. Ayn watched the woman's professional struggle with fascination. She was battling, Ayn felt, with a desperate, amoral ferocity, scheming, manipulating, and conniving, to advance her career.

Ayn would later say, "I liked the fact that she took her career very seriously - yet I disliked everything about her and her outlook on her career as against mine." The woman was passionately ambitious; so was Ayn. The woman was enormously hardworking; so was Ayn. Yet Ayn sensed a basic difference in the nature of their ambition - a difference of profound moral and psychological importance.

Seeking a clue to the principle involved, she asked the young woman one day, "What is your goal in life?" What is it that you want to achieve?" The young woman answered immediately, as if the answer had long been clear in her mind. "I'll tell you what I want. If nobody had an automobile, then I would want to have one automobile. If some people have one, then I want to have two.

Ayn was never to forget her feeling of incredulity, indignation, contempt. Her mind raced with the implications she saw in the young woman's statement; she knew that in a few brief sentences, she had been given the key to answer the question she had wondered about for years; the question about people whose values and actions seemed incomprehensibly irrational: But how can they?

In future years she would say wonderingly, "It was like a light bulb going on. Without that statement, I don't think I could have ever arrived at the explanation. I owe The Fountainhead to that."

It was typical of Ayn's method of thinking that she searched for a fundamental principle that would make the woman's attitude intelligible, rather than leaving the matter at: "All she cares about is material possessions," or "She wants to feel superior," or "She's a social climber." It was typical of her method of considering intellectual issues that from a brief verbal exchange, she would work her way to a dissection of human motivation.

The woman, Ayn thought, would conventionally be called "selfish." But wasn't a self - that which thinks, judges, values - precisely what she lacked? I want to achieve things that are important - important in reality, in fact - thought Ayn; she wants only to make an impression on others. I choose my own goals, I decided that I wanted to write, and what I wanted to write; she struggles to imitate the goals chosen by others. I set my own standards; her desires are dictated by the standards of others. Why? What is the concept that will name the essence of the difference involved...?

She was led to define two different ways of facing life - two antagonists - two types of man. The man of self-sufficient ego, of firsthand, independent judgment - and the spiritual parasite, the dependent who rejects the responsibility of judging. The man whose convictions, values, and purposes are the product of his own mind - and the parasite who is molded and directed by other men. The man who lives for his own sake - and the collectivist of the spirit, who places others above self. The prime mover, whose source of movement is within his own spirit - and the soulless being who is movement without an internal power. The creator - and the secondhander. Howard Roark - and Peter Keating.

Her earliest notes for The Fountainhead began with the statement: "The first purpose of this book is a defense of egoism in its real meaning."

She was always to say that she had grasped the political implications of her purpose immediately. "The question of what makes a person an individualist or a collectivist politically, what is the principle! had interested me. the conversation with that girl gave me not just the key to personal motivation, but to political motivation as well."

Ellen

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Originally post #56. Re-posted for convenience of comparison to Barbara's version, post above.

Rand's Revelation - 1

First Heller's version. I've left out a few sentences which I think are either a bit facile regarding what Rand saw as Bannett's characteristics or a subtle slam at Rand herself.

Ayn Rand and the World She Made

by Anne C. Heller

2009, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday

pp. 109-110

The conversation was a revelation to Rand. By her standards, Marcella seemed not to want anything for herself. [....] Although some people might have called Marcella selfish because she set her sights on luxury and status, Rand didn't look at it that way. On reflection, she saw that the young woman was actually "selfless," in the sense that she had no authentic self with which to desire or create anything that was hers alone.

Marcella's quality of selflessness, or lack of passionately held ideas and values, explained why she and so many other people Rand knew conformed to apparently meaningless conventions. It gave her the key to a problem that had puzzled her since childhood: why people who were so much less intelligent and passionate than she was treated her with such unfriendly indifference or even malice, seemingly because of her gifts.

Pondering her conversation with Marcella, she concluded that her resolve to do and think what she wanted, so different from what others seemed to want, challenged the premises of their existence. Not only was she a genius surrounded by mediocrities, as her mother had often reminded her in letters. She also possessed a moral independence and integrity that the others did not. to some degree, she, like her 1934 character Kay Gonda, shamed them merely by living. [Ideal was written about two years after the conversation with Marcella.]

Marcella's admission stirred a broader revelation. It explained the psychological source of what she called "the collectivist motivation," by which she meant the drive to seek the meaning of one's life outside oneself. Collectivists hunger for an all-knowing deity, an altruistic purpose, or a dictator to tell them what to do as a fig leaf for their own inadequacy and emptiness; they love what is average and "selfless" and fear what is exceptional, original, and has to be created by the self. Such people live by others' choices. They exist at second hand. The absence of an authentic selfishness - that is, a desire to live by one's own principles, based on the action of one's own mind - this, she decided, was what the Bolshevik mobs, Russian Orthodox votaries, and ordinary Americans had in common.

And so Peter Keating was born, with the soul of a second-hander.

Ellen

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I've worked with too many novelists and read too much by novelists about their sources of inspiration to believe Rand's statement as a universal.

Ellen,

Not to mention libel laws for thinly disguised resemblances.

:)

There's a reason for the disclaimer that none of the characters resemble real people at the beginning of fiction books.

Even so, celebrity baiting fiction is still with us.

Michael

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Regarding the change of title from Second-Hand Lives to The Fountainhead --

and re-capping how I got going looking up material I've been posting on this thread --

In post #198 on the thread "Why is modern art so bad?", I mentioned:

The original title of The Fountainhead was Second-hand Lives. Someone, I forget who, pointed out to her that this gave the negative the emphasis.

Brant then - post #200 on that thread - wanted a reference.

I was pretty sure that where I'd gotten the information was from one of Barbara's biographical accounts, but at first I couldn't find it in The Passion of Ayn Rand, so I looked in the Journals.

One thing has subsequently led to another...and another...

Repeating what Barbara said:

The Passion of Ayn Rand

pg. 175

From the inception of the theme in her mind, she had called the novel Second-hand Lives; that had remained its working title until the end. But when Archie Ogden pointed out that it stressed the negative, that it made it appear the novel was essentially focused on Peter Keating, Ayn agreed at once and chose The Fountainhead instead.

I'm still not finding any other source which specifies why the title was changed.

However, I found a letter from Rand to Ogden which confirms Barbara's statement that Second-Hand Lives "had remained [the book's] working title until the end."

The letter is dated December 8, 1941 the day after Pearl Harbor Day.

Letters

pg. 63

December 8, 1941

Dear Mr. Ogden:

I should like to have included in our contract for the publication of my novel at present entitled Second-Hand Lives, the following paragraph which appeared in my contracts with the publishers of my first novel:

"It is understood and agreed that no changes of any nature whatsoever will be made from the copy as submitted without the approval of the Author."

I shall, however, welcome the editorial suggestions which you might care to make, and give them earnest consideration.

The next letter in the book, also to Ogden, is dated February 19, 1942. The text as printed has no mention of the book's title.

There's then a gap of almost a year to the next letter, written to Gerald Loeb and dated January 15, 1943.

I suppose that Rand was working so intensely finishing the book in 1942, she had no time for letter writing. (There might have been incidental notes which aren't included. The editor, Michael S. Berliner, says in the Preface that the volume includes "approximately 35 to 40 percent" of the "more than 2,000 letters" left by Rand and that the selection omits "repetitious material and many routine business letters.")

Ellen

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  • 1 month later...

There is a letter from Rand to Ogden on August 24, 1967, which is on pages 643–44 of Michael Berliner’s collection. Rand had asked Bobbs-Merrill to ask Mr. Ogden to write an introduction for the 25th anniversary edition of The Fountainhead. Ogden had done so, and this letter to him is her painful rejection of it. You can see from her letter how horribly wrong was his draft introduction. She makes one parenthetical remark with an interesting tidbit: “(Your suggestion about changing the title is presented correctly, only the original title was Second-Hand Lives and the title The Fountainhead was found by me in a thesaurus.)”

I looked up Source in the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, and it includes Fountainhead.

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  • 6 months later...

.

“The book I return to is Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. My first daughter was named after its heroine, Dominique Francon.”

. . . . . . . .–Michael Caine*

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In any case, at Roark's trial, it's "ordinary" people on the jury who acquit Roark.

-- the least convincing, most implausible passage of the story. Ordinary Americans rejected Rand, re-elected FDR, Obama.

"Ordinary Americans" do not know her so they couldn't reject her. Rand wrote mostly for work-oriented men who use their heads apart from their hearts. Hugo wrote for one and all, so to say. When Rand died 900 came to the funeral home. When Hugo died people poured out onto the streets of Paris to honor him. One account mentioned it was in excess of six figures. Such is the appeal of socialism-emotionalism-nationalism. (France had just had its ass whipped by the Prussians.) Hugo wrote for people. Rand wrote for philosophy. (These are basic points. Rand, of course, had an audience in mind. Her kind of "man.")

--Brant

I think it makes perfect sense that a philosophy of rational individualism's originator [this new approach] would, by definition, be celebrated individually.

A...

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  • 5 months later...

This is a photo of New York in 1936. Rand began making notes for The Fountainhead near the end of 1935.

from%20tower%20of%20GW%20bridge%20-%20Ja

The photo is by Jack Rosenzweig. It is taken looking southeast from a tower of the George Washington bridge.

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I've driven across the GW many times and walked across it two or three. I've flown a small airplane over it a few times--including over Aristotle Onassis's yacht moored in the Hudson below. It feels like "my bridge" to me which is the only bridge I have any feeling for aside from The Golden Gate. Nearby Washington's troops were ferried to New Jersey to escape advancing British forces in New York City. Frank Lloyd Wright had his own competing design for the bridge, not built of course, so he called what was put up an "agonized extravaganza" while motoring on the West Side Highway. ("Look at that agonized extravaganza!") His design was one of strength, grace and lace--quite beautiful in fact, but you had to wonder about his structural ability although I assume he would have had to have had serious engineering help if his had been accepted.

--Brant

I'd have to bet his design would have been a maintenance nightmare (and what was put up was meant to have a second level eventually--and it got one, eventually)

anybody got a Wright link?

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There is a letter from Rand to Ogden on August 24, 1967, which is on pages 643–44 of Michael Berliner’s collection. Rand had asked Bobbs-Merrill to ask Mr. Ogden to write an introduction for the 25th anniversary edition of The Fountainhead. Ogden had done so, and this letter to him is her painful rejection of it. You can see from her letter how horribly wrong was his draft introduction. She makes one parenthetical remark with an interesting tidbit: “(Your suggestion about changing the title is presented correctly, only the original title was Second-Hand Lives and the title The Fountainhead was found by me in a thesaurus.)”

I looked up Source in the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus, and it includes Fountainhead.

That's funny. It's funny because Rand was (officially?) an anti-thesaurusian.

--Brant

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Here Brant, an interesting piece of reverent adoration about the bridge...

"The George Washington Bridge over the Hudson is the most beautiful bridge in the world. Made of cables and steel beams, it gleams in the sky like a reversed arch. It is blessed. It is the only seat of grace in the disordered city. It is painted an aluminum color and, between water and sky, you see nothing but the bent cord supported by two steel towers. When your car moves up the ramp, the two towers rise so high that it brings you happiness; their structure is so pure, so resolute, so regular that here, finally, steel architecture seems to laugh… The second tower is very far away; innumerable vertical cables, gleaming across the sky, are suspended from the magisterial curve that swings down and then up. The rose-colored towers of New York appear, a vision whose harshness is mitigated by distance." - Le Corbusier

A lot of good historical info in this link, it even shows three (3) sketches that were rejected.

http://www.nycroads.com/crossings/george-washington/

A...

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