Tolkien vs Ayn Rand

C.S. Lewis, in a personal letter to Arthur Greeves, 1930

a1442531001_16Tolkien once remarked to me that the feeling about home must have been quite different in the days when a family had fed on the produce of the same few miles of country for six generations, and that perhaps this was why they saw nymphs in the fountains and dryads in the wood—they were not mistaken for there was in a sense a real (not metaphorical) connection between them and the countryside. What had been earth and air and later corn, and later still bread, really was in them.

Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

fountainhead_01He looked at the granite. To be cut, he thought, and made into walls. He looked at a tree. To be split and made into rafters. He looked at a streak of rust on the stone and thought of iron ore under the ground. To be melted and to emerge as girders against the sky. These rocks, he thought, are here for me; waiting for the drill, the dyna-mite and my voice; waiting to be split, ripped, pounded, reborn; waiting for the shape my hands will give them.


2 Replies to “Tolkien vs Ayn Rand”

  1. So much to the point. Synthetic man is uprooted in many ways. How can you develop a sense of belonging if you live in a desert of concrete and blacktop? How can you preserve a sense of awe if the only natural thing you see is the little patch of sky overhead when (if!) you look up?
    If your whole world is man-made (in the sense of the Ayan Rand quote) and your food is as processed as your thoughts, your inside is as much of a desert as your surroundings are, with nothing left to transcend your material existence.

    Liked by 2 people

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