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Great Quotes from Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead

May 22, 2009

[Summer of 1995]

fountainheadI was introduced to Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead in the Summer of 1995, and devoured it.  The book was extremely motivating to me, during this critical time in my life, before my final year of college at Columbia University.  I had my first corporate job that Summer, an internship at Banker’s Trust (now Deutsche Bank) and was training daily for what was shaping up to be a memorable Senior Year with our nationally ranked Soccer Team.  My motivation was at an all-time high – I have the daily logs to prove it, analyzing every aspect of my life, from diet, to training habits, to quality of game play (I played on 6 teams that Summer!)

The Fountainhead is a classic.  As I developed my thinking over the past 15 years, I have come to disagree with a lot of what Rand stands for; however, that does not detract from my respect for her brilliant work in writing this novel.  It inspired me during a very important period of my life, and for that, I am grateful.  This post is all about some of my favorite Fountainhead quotes.

“Anything may be betrayed, anyone may be forgiven.  But not those who lack the courage of their own greatness…I was not born to be a second-hander.” (Pg. 663)

“To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world.  That’s what everybody does every hour of his life.  If I asked you to keep your soul – would you understand why that’s much harder?” (Pg. 577)

“To get things done, you must LOVE the work you’re doing, not the secondary consequences.” (Pg. 578)

“The only thing that matters, my goal, my reward, my beginning, my end, is the work itself.” (Pg. 579)

“I don’t make comparisons.  I never think of myself in relation to anyone else.  I jus refuse to measure myself as part of anything.  I’m an utter egotist.” (Pg. 583)

“This was pity – this complete awareness of a man without worth or hope, this sense of finality…there was a shame in this feeling  his own shame that he should have to pronounce suc judgment upon a man; that he should know an emotion which contained no shred of respect…there must be something terribly wrong with a world in which this monstrous feeling is called a virtue.” (Pg. 583)

[This is what life’s about – it’s what you make of it.] “Now I can make what I want of it: a bow, a spear, a cane…That’s the meaning of life.” (Pg. 550)

“What you feel in the presence of a thing you admire is just one word – ‘Yes’.  The affirmation, the acceptance, the sign of admittance.  And that ‘Yes’ is more than an answer to one thing, it’s a kind of ‘Amen’ to life, to the earth that holds this thing, to the thought that created it, to yourself for being able to see it.  But the ability to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ is the essence of all ownership.  It’s your ownership of your own ego.  Your soul…[which] has a single basic function – the act of valuing…everything to which you grant your love to is yours.” (Pg. 539)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 7, 2010 9:20 am

    The Fountainhead is and will continue to be a controversial novel.However its beauty lies in the fact that every time you read it- it has something new to offer you, something new that you can think about. Thank you for sharing your favourite quotes here.

  2. Sangtani permalink
    January 14, 2011 1:51 am

    ‘Fountainhead’ and’ Atlas Shrugged’ are two books i read once a year to re-discover myself

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