Upbeat Cynicism

what do you mean i lost my mind?

Quote of the day

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“God damn you,” said Cameron softly.

“God damn you” roared Cameron suddenly, leaning forward. “I didn’t ask you to come here! I don’t need any draftsmen! There’s nothing here to draft! I don’t have enough work to keep myself and my men out of the Bowery Mission! I don’t want any fool visionaires starving around here! I don’t want the responsibility. I didn’t ask for it. I never thought I’d see it again. I’m through with it. I was through with that many years ago. I’m perfectly happy with the drooling dolts I’ve got here, who never had anything and never will have and it makes no difference what becomes of them. That’s all I want. Why did you have to come here? You’re setting out to ruin yourself, you know that, don’t you? And I’ll help you do it. 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’d have punched your face with the greatest of pleasure. You’re coming to work here tomorrow at nine o’clock sharp.”

“Yes,” said Roark, rising.

“Fifteen dollars a week. That’s all I can pay you.”


“You’re a damn fool. You should have gone to somebody else. I’ll kill you if you go to anyone else. What’s your name?”

“Howard Roark.”

“If you’re late, I’ll fire you.”


Roark extended his hand for the drawings.

“Leave these here!” bellowed Cameron. “Now get out!”

— Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead. (People who say her fiction is humorless must read with their eyes closed or something.)


Written by [IMH]

6 June 2006 at 11:59 pm

Posted in Quotes

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  1. I’m surprised that you consider that passage humorous. I find it more conveying the sad position Cameron is in regarding how he views the world so negatively, and has given up on it, but still grasps for Roark as a sliver of light. I know the sudden contradictions may sound a little bit funny, but I take that more as conveying desparation, and see the overall tone here to be very dark.

    Now the description of Lois Cook’s “salon”, that’s what I remember as being funny, though also in a dark way.


    8 June 2006 at 11:17 pm

  2. I take it as more affectionately humorous than sad (though there is sadness involved). The sudden contradictions are funny, especially as Cameron keeps failing to do the “right” thing, and keeps following his own judgement against his better judgement.

    Lois Cook’s salon was definitely a black sort of humor.


    9 June 2006 at 11:42 am

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