29+ quotes from The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

Quotes from The Fountainhead

Ayn Rand ·  704 pages

Rating: (265.9K votes)


“Freedom (n.): To ask nothing. To expect nothing. To depend on nothing.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“To say "I love you" one must know first how to say the "I".”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“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.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“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?”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“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.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“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.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“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.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“You have been the one encounter in my life that can never be repeated”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“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.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“Listen to what is being preached today. Look at everyone around us. You've wondered why they suffer, why they seek happiness and never find it. If any man stopped and asked himself whether he's ever held a truly personal desire, he'd find the answer. He'd see that all his wishes, his efforts, his dreams, his ambitions are motivated by other men. He's not really struggling even for material wealth, but for the second-hander's delusion - prestige. A stamp of approval, not his own. He can find no joy in the struggle and no joy when he has succeeded. He can't say about a single thing: 'This is what I wanted because I wanted it, not because it made my neighbors gape at me'. Then he wonders why he's unhappy.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“I love you so much that nothing can matter to me - not even you...Only my love- not your answer. Not even your indifference”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“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.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“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.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“Integrity is the ability to stand by an idea.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline. Particularly when one can't see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? And then people tell me about pilgrimages to some dank pesthole in a jungle where they go to do homage to a crumbling temple, to a leering stone monster with a pot belly, created by some leprous savage. Is it beauty and genius they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window - no, I don't feel how small I am - but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“Patience is always rewarded and romance is always round the corner!”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“But I don't think of you.

(Howard Roark)”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“She knew that even pain can be confessed, but to confess happiness is to stand naked, delivered to the witness...”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“Self-sacrifice? But it is precisely the self that cannot and must not be sacrificed.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received — hatred. The great creators — the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors — stood alone against the men of their time. Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“Do you mean to tell me that you're thinking seriously of building that way, when and if you are an architect?”
“Yes.”
“My dear fellow, who will let you?”
“That’s not the point. The point is, who will stop me?”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“Self respect is something that can't be killed. The worst thing is to kill a man's pretense at it.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“One loses everything when one loses one's sense of humor.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“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.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“I don't wish to be the symbol of anything. I'm only myself.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“Never ask people about your work.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“She thought how strange it would be if she ever said 'Hello' to him. One did not greet oneself each morning.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


“Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artists metaphysical value judgments.”
― Ayn Rand, quote from The Fountainhead


About the author

Ayn Rand
Born place: in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Born date February 2, 1905
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