Howard Roark has been entering and leaving my thoughts at his own will over the past fortnight. If I was not thinking about his character, someone else was reminding me of him. Finally, there came a weekend on which I picked up “The Fountain head” for a re-visit. I remember reading the novel for the first time in 2003. Back then, I liked it as a highly interesting novel. I liked Roark as a hero. On a re-visit now, I still find it a must read, though from a different side. I am now enjoying it in a different way compared to the first experience.
I don’t know if age and mood has anything to do with the effect that a book can have on us. If they have, its certainly that effect that I am feeling at the moment. I am not exactly re-reading the whole novel, which is why I called it a re-visit. I am just randomly visiting pages and reading them. It now appears a more relevant read for me (perhaps, as I said, because of MOOD) and also demands a compulsive re-visit. It has remained an irresistable temptation for me for the past 2,3 days to open the book and randomly read. Perhaps, I saw more life in the middle and I understand the underlying things better now. Perhaps not.
The way I am seeing Roark has changed significantly between the two reads. I was like a Roark fan during the first read. But, as I thought more and more, I realized that I don’t like Roarkishness in humans as much as I did then. I have been imagining a scenario in which say Roark has some family responsibilities or some kind of emergency because of which he has no option but to earn money. In this scenario, will it be good to shun those responsibilities and be what he is or compromise a bit and fulfil his duties? Such a question has been ringing in my mind since the past few days. In that sense, now, I am a cautious fan of Roark. I am not totally in support of Roark now. Ofcourse, it doesn’t matter to the world! I know that! 😉
At any rate, its a wonderful novel. The dialogues are just amazing. I don’t know how many times I read and re-read some of them. Narration is amazing too. I somehow like it better now than at the first read. Perhaps, as I said before, I was in teens when I read it first. The world I saw in these five years might have made me see the other side.. I dunno.
More details on the book can be found by the links provided here.