The Tao of Roark

by Peter Saint-Andre

Chapter 4: Reason

Previous: Chapter 3: Joy

Working like a convict in the unbearable heat and dust and noise of a granite quarry in midsummer, Howard Roark glanced up to see the incongruous sight of an elegantly dressed woman on the cliff's edge above him. Their eyes met and immediately he knew with intimate, wordless, flagrant understanding that he meant more to her than any man she had ever met, that he caused in her an overwhelming feeling of both shame and pleasure, that she wanted him to take ownership of her in the most masterful, degrading, scornful way possible. From that first glance, they shared a secret, unspoken understanding that she was openly inviting him to rape her.

This may be many things — passion, fire, drama, force, power, will, intuition, insight, projection, mania, lust, intoxication, infatuation, madness — but it is not reason.

Reason is what Roark displayed in his buildings: their logical economy of plan, their organic integration with the site, their crystalline efficiency, their supreme respect for the inhabitants, their comprehensive integrity of design.

Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to build those qualities into my relationships and my own character than into stone and glass.

Next: Chapter 5: Meaning

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