Have you felt it too? Have you seen how your best friends love everything about you- except the things that count? And your most important is nothing to them; nothing, not even a sound they can recognize.
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?.
I regret nothing. There have been things I missed, but I ask no questions, because I have loved it, such as it has been, even the moments of emptiness, even the unanswered-and that I loved it, that is the unanswered in my life.
Don't fool yourself, my dear. You're much worse than a bitch. You're a saint. Which shows why saints are dangerous and undesirable.
But you see," said Roark quietly, "I have, let’s say, sixty years to live. Most of that time will be spent working. I’ve chosen the work I want to do. If I find no joy in it, then I’m only condemning myself to sixty years of torture. And I can find the joy only if I do my work in the best way possible to me. But the best is a matter of standards—and I set my own standards. I inherit nothing. I stand at the end of no tradition. I may, perhaps, stand at the beginning of one.
Man cannot survive except through his mind. He comes on earth unarmed. His brain is his only weapon. Animals obtain food by force. man had no claws, no fangs, no horns, no great strength of muscle. He must plant his food or hunt it. To plant, he needs a process of thought. To hunt, he needs weapons,and to make weapons - a process of thought. From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and we have comes from a single attribute of man -the function of his reasoning mind.
I love you so much that nothing can matter to me - not even you...Only my love- not your answer. Not even your indifference.
It's easy to run to others. It's so hard to stand on one's own record. You can fake virtue for an audience. You can't fake it in your own eyes. Your ego is your strictest judge. They run from it. They spend their lives running. It's easier to donate a few thousand to charity and think oneself noble than to base self-respect on personal standards of personal achievement. It's simple to seek substitutes for competence--such easy substitutes: love, charm, kindness, charity. But there is no substitute for competence.
There’s nothing as significant as a human face. Nor as eloquent. We can never really know another person, except by our first glance at him. Because, in that glance, we know everything. Even though we’re not always wise enough to unravel the knowledge.
She knew that even pain can be confessed, but to confess happiness is to stand naked, delivered to the witness...
Love is reverence, and worship, and glory, and the upward glance. Not a bandage for dirty sores. But they don't know it. Those who speak of love most promiscuously are the ones who've never felt it. They make some sort of feeble stew out of sympathy, compassion, contempt and general indifference, and they call it love. Once you've felt what it means to love as you and I know it - total passion for the total height - you're incapable of anything less.
She thought how strange it would be if she ever said 'Hello' to him. One did not greet oneself each morning.
Toohey: "Mr. Roark, we're alone here. Why don't you tell me what you think of me? In any words you wish. No one will hear us." Roark: "But I don't think of you.
Every form of happiness is private. Our greatest moments are personal, self-motivated, not to be touched".
People want nothing but mirrors around them. To reflect them while they’re reflecting too ... Reflections of reflections and echoes of echoes. No beginning and no end. No center and no purpose.
Is it advisable to spread out all the conveniences of culture before people to whom a few steps up a stair to a library is a sufficient deterrent from reading?.
No speech is ever considered, but only the speaker. It's so much easier to pass judgement on a man than on an idea.
I don't want to see you. I don't like you. I don't like your face. You look like an insufferable egotist. You're impertinent. You're too sure of yourself. Twenty years ago I would have punched your face with the greatest of pleasure.
And what, incidentally, do you think integrity is? The ability not to pick a watch out of your neighbor's pocket? No, it's not as easy as that. If that were all, I'd say ninety-five percent of humanity were honest, upright men. Only, as you can see, they aren't. Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea.
I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone's right to one minute of my life. Nor to any part of my energy. Nor to any achievement of mine. No matter who makes the claim, how large their number or how great their need. I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others." - Howard Roark.
Thousands of years ago the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burnt at the stake he'd taught his brothers to light, but he left them a gift they had not conceived and he lifted darkness from the face of the Earth.
Degrees of ability vary, but the basic principle remains the same: the degree of a man's independence, initiative and personal love for his work determines his talent as a worker and his worth as a man. Independence is the only gauge of human virtue and value. What a man is and makes of himself; not what he has or hasn't done for others. There is no substitute for personal dignity. There is no standard of personal dignity except independence.
Have you noticed that the imbecile always smiles? Man's first frown is the first touch of God on his forehead. The touch of thought.
Compromise now, because you'll have to later, anyway, only then you'll have gone through things you'll wish you hadn't.
She thought: at this moment, the glass stem between his fingers feels just like the one between mine. We have this much in common.
Why no. I’m too conceited. If you want to call it that. I don’t make comparisons. I never think of myself in relation to anyone else. I just refuse to measure myself as part of anything. I’m an utter egotist.
Why have you been staring at me ever since we met? Because I’m not the Gail Wynand you’d heard about. You see, I love you. And love is exception-making. If you were in love you’d want to be broken, trampled, ordered, dominated, because that’s the impossible, in the inconceivable for you in your relations with people. That would be the one gift, the great exception you’d want to offer the man you loved. But it wouldn’t be easy for you.
Don't worry. They're all against me. But I have one advantage: they don't know what they want. I do.
She knew that even pain can be confessed, but to confess happiness is to stand naked, delivered to the witness, yet they could let each other see it without the need of protection.
Never ask people. Not about your work. Don't you know what you want? How can you stand it, not to know?.
She knew that she could not have reached this white serenity except as the sum of all the colors, of all the violence she had known.
Before you can do things for people, you must be the kind of man who can get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing, not the secondary consequences. The work, not the people. Your own action, not any possible object of your charity.
Ask anything of men. Ask them to achieve wealth, fame, love, brutality, murder, self-sacrifice. But don’t ask them to achieve self-respect. They will hate your soul.
Love is reverence, worship, glory, and the upward glance. But they don’t know it. Those who speak of love most promiscuously are the ones who’ve never felt it. They make some sort of feeble stew out of sympathy, compassion, contempt and general indifference, and they call it love. Once you’ve felt what it means to love–the total passion for the total height–you’re incapable of anything less..
Now take a human body. Why wouldn't you like to see a human body with a curling tail with a crest of ostrich feathers at the end? And with ears shaped like acanthus leaves? It would be ornamental, you know, instead of the stark, bare ugliness we have now. Well, why don't you like the idea? Because it would be useless and pointless. Because the beauty of the human body is that is hasn't a single muscle which doesn't serve its purpose; that there's not a line wasted; that every detail of it fits one idea, the idea of a man and the life of a man.
Look, Gail." Roark got up, reached out, tore a thick branch off a tree, held it in both hands, one fist closed at each end; then, his wrists and knuckles tensed against the resistance, he bent the branch slowly into an arc. "Now I can make what I want of it: a bow, a spear, a cane, a railing. That's the meaning of life." "Your strength?" "Your work." He tossed the branch aside. "The material the earth offers you and what you make of it . ..
There is no affirmation without the one who affirms. in this sense, everything to which you grant your love is yours.
You want to do it?" "I might. If you offer me enough." "Howard—anything you ask. Anything. I'd sell my soul..." "That's the sort of thing I want you to understand. 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?.
One must never allow oneself to acquire an exaggerated sense of one's own importance. There's no necessity to burden oneself with absolutes.
Not selfishness, but precisely the absence of a self. Look at them. The man who cheats and lies, but preserves a respectable front. He knows himself to be dishonest, but others think he’s honest and he derives his self-respect from that, second-hand. The man who takes credit for an achievement which is not his own. He knows himself to be mediocre, but he’s great in the eyes of others.