Holleran on Bridging Ayn Rand and Pittsburgh

Writes Scott Holleran at Pittsburgh Quarterly Magazine in Bridging Ayn Rand and Pittsburgh:

“From the parkways, to the old, vertical houses on steep hillsides, to the slums, with narrow, cobblestone streets — then the sudden view of the river and the blurred silhouettes of skyscrapers — the rise to the triumphant goal and spirit of the place, of the great effort that made it.” Rand’s admiration for Pittsburgh was, in at least one important instance, reciprocated — Pittsburgh Press critic Bett Anderson’s glowing review of Rand’s 1943 novel “The Fountainhead.”

“I don’t expect you to remember that review,” Anderson wrote to Rand in care of her publisher in 1948 while requesting an inscribed copy of “The Fountainhead,” which was about to be adapted as a movie starring Gary Cooper. “But I was wildly enthusiastic about the book and still am. I have read it literally dozens of times and have told many people about it. I hope that the picture is as good as the book. I don’t see how it could be.”

Anderson had reported that the epic about an architect who does manual labor in a quarry and is forced to reclaim rather than compromise his creation “gives the reader a new set of values by which to judge not only the building but also the builder… She has set up a temple of words dedicated to all that is good and noble in man. She has written a book that is magnificent and bitter and challenging.” Rand would later write that Anderson’s article was…”

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