In the crowded tension of…

In the crowded tension of the days that followed he never spoke to them, except of their work. They felt, entering the office in the morning, that they had no private lives, no significance and no reality save the overwhelming reality of the broad sheets of paper on their tables. The place seemed cold and soulless like a factory, until they looked at him; then they thought that it was not a factory, but a furnace fed on their bodies, his own first.
There were times when he remained in the office all night. They found him still working when they returned in the morning. He did not seem tired. Once he stayed there for two days and two nights in succession. On the afternoon of the third day he fell asleep, half lying across his table. He awakened in a few hours, made no comment and walked from one table to another, to see what had been done. He made corrections, his words sounding as if nothing had interrupted a thought begun some hours ago.
“You’re unbearable when you’re working, Howard,” Austen Heller told him one evening, even though he had not spoken of his work at all.
“Why?” he asked astonished.
“It’s uncomfortable to be in the same room with you. Tension is contagious, you know.”
“What tension? I feel completely natural only when I’m working.”
“That’s it. You’re completely natural only when you’re one inch from bursting into pieces. What in hell are you really made of, Howard? After all, it’s only a building. It’s not the combination of holy sacrament, Indian torture and sexual ecstasy that you seem to make of it.”
“Isn’t it?”

This excerpt from ‘The Fountainhead’ says everything I feel about what one’s work should mean to them

One thought on “In the crowded tension of…

  1. In the crowded tension of standards. Not the standards set by the government or society; but your independent self. Roark’s struggle was understanding that most people were not like him. I love the naivete in Roark’s responses. Rand uses that technique to develop his character, beginning with his first meeting with the dean. I wish Rand had hi-lighted Dominique’s need for this emotion, more. Even Katie emersed herself in her work, which was a very effective way to show that just because someone has a good trait it does not make them moral. It’s interesting that Rand chose college to point out the flaws of society’s standards, even then. There isn’t a way to be successful today without a traditional degree. Her insight is timeless.

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