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The Fountainhead

"I don't want to meet him. Not through you...you see, Katie, you don't know me. I'm the kind that uses people, I don't want to use you. Ever. Don't let me. Not you."

"Use me how? What's the matter? Why?"

"It's just this: I'd give my eyeteeth to meet Ellsworth Toohet, that's all." He laughed heartily. "So he knows something about architecture, does he? You little fool! He's the most important man in architecture. Not yet, maybe, but that's what he'll be in a couple of years -- ask Francon, that old weasel knows. He's on his way to becoming the Napoleon of all architectural critics, your Uncle Ellsworth is, just watch him. In the first place, there aren't many to bother writing about our profession, so he's the smart boy who's going to corner the market. You should see the big shots in our office lapping up every comma he puts out in print! So you think maybe he could help me? Well, he could make me, and he will, and I'm going to meet him some day, when I'm ready for him, as I met Francon, but not here, not through you. Understand? Not from you!:

"But, Peter, why not?"

"Because I don't want it that way! Because it's filthy and I hate it, all of it, my work and my profession, and what I'm doing and what I'm going to do! It's something I want to keep you out of. You're all I really have. Just keep out of it, Katie!"

Even though this is Peter's and not Howard Roark's, I thought it was interesting cause it brings forth the issue of whether you use people/opportunities to move forward or not. Years ago, I was offered the chance to get in to Princeton and I turned it down. I figured if I didn't truly deserve to get in, I shouldn't. I wasn't about to sneak my way in. Now, when I think back, I wonder whether that was the right choice...

I bought The Fountainhead a long time ago but didn't get around to reading it until my freshman year in college. I had quite a few architect friends and they recommended it so I read both that and Atlas Shrugged during the summer after my freshman year. Though 1700 pages of Ayn Rand was a bit much, I must say I enjoyed The Fountainhead. After reading a few of her books, though, I've decided she has severe issues with women (at least female characters).

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