Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Architect Hero

Ayn Rand, much-reviled by anyone who reads, is considered at best a "philosophical" novelist or more often, a loopy right-wing ranter who formed her own cult. I am a longtime Rand fan and ignore the politics, the philosophy, and Rand's own skeevy personal life. What Rand is, for me, is a fantasy writer. She is brilliant in her creation of what I would call "Randworld." She created an Art Deco-styled world of socialites, industrialists, and hilarious satirical characters. Towering over it like Art Deco sculptures are her heroes, such as the guy above. Strong men, dazzling women, meant for the stylized lines of Randworld. Only in Randworld ("The Fountainhead") could a heroic architect design a building in someone else's name under a private contract, and when he finds the contract betrayed and the building's design altered and desecrated, single-handedly blow the place up. And even more, only in Randworld could this heroic architect defend himself with a long philosophical speech, and be acquitted. Can you imagine what his future clients will say to him? "Hey Roark, we'd love to hire you, but if we have to change something on your building, are you gonna blow it up?" 

I depict Roark as the architectural hero of Randworld: dedicated, ruthlessly creative and pure, hard-edged, tall, and rugged, and colorized in Photoshop.

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