Ayn Rand was born in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1905. The author of two of the most profound and impactful novels of the 20th century, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, her work continues to influence how I live and write today. Atlas Shrugged was highlighted on my November Reading List. I read Atlas Shrugged first and I am always curious which of the two resonated the most with people who have read both. If you haven’t read these two masterful works, I highly recommend devoting yourself to them; take the time to think about and internalize their concepts.
There is an exchange in Part 1 of The Fountainhead that has been morphed over time to be almost as closely associated with the author as her immortal first sentence in Atlas Shrugged. The attributed quote was adopted from this conversation between the protagonist, Howard Roark, and the dean of his architectural school from which he had just been expelled.
Dean: “Do you mean to tell me that you’re thinking seriously of building that way, when and if you are an architect?”
Dean: “My dear fellow, who will let you?”
Roark: “That’s not the point. The point is, who will stop me?”
Even though the lines are clearly articulated by Howard Roark, if you research Ayn Rand’s life and philosophy these words will carry an even deeper significance. Now get out there! And, like Ayn Rand and Howard Roark, don’t let anyone or anything stop you!