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“Kill by Laughter”: Humor in The Fountainhead and Its 21st-Century Relevance

Robert Mayhew

Presented at: OCON 2018

Date: Jun 29, 2018

The Fountainhead is the novel in which Ayn Rand’s conception of humor (good and bad) comes across most clearly. The novel begins: “Howard Roark laughed.” Yet the villain Ellsworth Toohey, presenting his recipe for achieving power, recommends that we “kill by laughter.” This lecture discusses humor in The Fountainhead and the prevalence of the bad kind of humor in today’s culture.


Parts: 1

Handout: none