Archive for January, 2012

TUES Feb 7 - The Fountainhead Session 2

Chapter VII [pp. 86-94; pp. 79-86]

4. What does Keating want, in offering a job to Roark? How does Roark react? And why isn’t Keating pleased by Roark’s acceptance of the offer of a job? [ 86-88;79-81]

5. What is it that Keating understands about Roark, and why does it bother him? [87-89;80-82]

6. What difficult thing must Roark learn in his new job at Francon & Heyer? [89-90;82]

7. What is the difference in Keating’s reactions to Roark’s occasional compliments, no matter how minimal, as compared to those from others? [90-91;83]

8. Keating likes giving orders to Roark that appear to diminish Roark’s status. What does Keating hope for from these occasions? Why? [91;83]

9. Why does Roark accept Mike’s offer to go for a beer, when earlier he rejected Keating’s offer to go for a drink together? [88,93;81,85]

Chapter VIII [pp. 95-103; pp. 86-94]

10. Francon begins his meeting with Roark by complimenting Roark, but then stops. Why does he stop? [95;86-87]

11. When Roark tries to convince Francon to let him design the building the way the client wants, he sabotages his own argument. How? Is Roark right when he says he’s not criticizing Francon’s taste? [96-98;87-89]

12. What was (were) Wynand’s purpose(s) in buying the Austrian village and reconstructing it in the U.S.? [98-99;90]

13. Why does Cameron not want to talk about the rejections Roark has gotten from other architects? Do you think that bothers Roark? [100;91]

14. Do we learn any useful information from Gordon Prescott’s comments to Roark, either about his opinion of Roark’s work or about his own character? [102;92-93]

Chapter IX [pp. 104-115; pp. 94-105]

15. What is unique about John Eric Snyte’s approach to architectural design? What does Roark’s style mean to him? What does this job allow Roark to do? [104-106;94-96]

16. What is different between Austin Heller’s speech and the one by Ellsworth Toohey? The crowd seems to respond well to both Heller’s speech and to Toohey as speaker. How can that be? [109-111;100-102]

17. When Austen Heller says that “unfortunately - we are forced to live together,” how much of that statement do you think represents Rand’s own personal feelings? Is this just a particular characterization, or is it another case of Rand “in a bad mood?” [109-110;100]

18. What is it about Catherine Halsey’s reaction to Toohey’s speech that bothers Keating? Why does he feel fear? Why did she agree to leave without hearing her uncle’s speech, which she wanted to hear? [111-112;102]

19. Why do you suppose Wynand raises Toohey’s salary? Why does Toohey claim it is a bribe? [112;102]

20. What is the focus of Dominique Francon’s column in The Banner about the Ainsworth House? Is the column unfair in its description of the residence? What is Guy Francon’s sole apparent concern about the column? [114-115;104-105]

Chapter X [pp. 116-131; pp. 106-120]

21. Is Ralston Holcombe substantially different from any other of the mainstream architects depicted in the story? He considers himself a man of ideals. Do we learn what those ideals are? [116-117;106-107]

22. Does Dominique Francon tell people what they want to hear from her? Does she always speak the truth to them? Why do you think she acts as she does toward them? [119-124;109-113]

23. Snyte tells his designers that Austen Heller wants a house that is different. Does he have any idea of what Heller really wants? Does he really care what Heller wants? How do we know? [126-130;115-119]

24. What one thing seems to be sacred to Snyte? Does it make any sense? [105,128;96,117-118]

25. When Rand describes the house in the sketches as having been “designed not by Roark, but by the cliff on which it stood,” does that in any way detract from Roark’s accomplishment, or highlight It? Why, and how? [127-128;117]

26. What words does Austen Heller use in describing what he wants but didn’t get from Snyte’s presented design? How does Roark demonstrate that he understands Heller? [129-130;118-119]

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-516-3281
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:
Reply to this message to AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net or
Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-516-3281

BRING:
Snacks or beverage to share or a monetary donation.

SAT Jan 21 - Rand on Humor

WHEN:
SATURDAY, January 21, 2012 at 7 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
Ayn Rand and Humor

SUMMARY:
Some have suggested that Objectivism and Objectivists could do with more humor.  Rand had this to say about humor in the question period following Lecture 11 of Leonard Peikoff’s series “The Philosophy of Objectivism” in 1976.

“Humor is the denial of metaphysical importance to that which you laugh at.  The classic example: you see a very snooty, very well dressed dowager walking down the street, and then she slips on a banana peel…What’s funny about it?  It’s the contrast of the woman’s pretensions to reality.  She acted very grand, but reality undercut it with a plain banana peel.  That’s the denial of the metaphysical validity or importance of the pretensions of that woman.”

“Therefore, humor is a destructive element–which is quite all right, but its value and its morality depend on what it is that you are laughing at.  If what you are laughing at is the evil in the world (provided that you take it seriously, but occasionally you permit yourself to laugh at it), that’s fine. [To] laugh at that which is good, at heroes, at values, and above all at yourself [is] monstrous…The worse evil that you can do, psychologically, is to laugh at yourself.  That means spitting in your own face.”

Jackie will briefly present other views on Rand and humor and lead the discussion.

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-516-3281
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:
Reply to this message to AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net
BRING:
Snacks or beverage to share or a monetary donation.