June 5, 1946
Mr. Waldo R. Coleman
220 Iowa Street
Oak Park, Illinois
Dear Mr. Coleman:
Here is another letter to leave to your heirs, since you say that is what you intend to do with my first one.
Your confession about your personal problem made me feel that I have to lecture you a little bit. I am afraid that you have misunderstood the relationship of Roark and Dominique in a very improper way. You write as if you thought that the lesson to be derived from it is that a man should force himself on a woman, and that she would like him for that. But the fact is that Roark did not actually rape Dominique; she had asked for it, and he knew that she wanted it. A man who would force himself on a woman against her wishes would be committing a dreadful crime. What Dominique liked about Roark was the fact that he took the responsibility for their romance and for his own actions. Most men nowadays, like Peter Keating, expect to seduce a woman, or rather they let her seduce them and thus shift the responsibility to her. That is what a truly feminine woman would despise. The lesson in the Roark-Dominique romance is one of spiritual strength and self-confidence, not of physical violence.
In regard to the girl who sent you THE FOUNTAINHEAD, I would guess that sex was not the point she wanted you to see in the book; sex is only a minor aspect of a much wider theme—which is man’s integrity—and that is probably what she wanted you to see.
Thank you for saying that the twelve editors who rejected THE FOUNTAINHEAD were “out of character in the publishing business”. I got a kick out of hearing that.