Novel by Ayn Rand (published in 1943) centering on the struggles of a young architect named Howard Roark. It presents the idea that man's ego is the fountainhead of human progress. The novel celebrates reason, individualism, productivity, and creativity. It is criticized for its presentation of largely black-and-white characters, and an undercurrent of sadomasochism in Roark's relationship with Dominque Francon (who serves as both an adversary and a love interest). Many who dislike the book despise Rand's philosophical system, Objectivism, or are simply too damn lazy to read a 700-page novel.
"What's up with Maria? She's talking about 'collectivism of the soul'."
"She read 'The Fountainhead' this month."
"Is she going to become an objectivist a-hole?"
"No, probably not. You just can't start thinking you're an unrecognized genius when you're reallly just 5% smarter than the dolts around you.