To Mrs. M. Beyleiter, a fan in Haifa, Israel [Letter 365]

Item Reference Code: 036_01D_003_001

Date(s) of creation

December 28, 1948


Mrs. M. Beyleiter


December 28, 1948

Dear Mrs. Beyleiter:

Thank you for your letter. I am glad that you liked THE FOUNTAINHEAD, but I do not understand what it is that you want to write and why you are asking my permission.

If you want to write a novel of your own about architects in your country, you are free to do it and do not need my permission—provided that the content of your book comes entirely from your own imagination and is not taken in any way from my novel. Any writer is free to handle the subject of architecture in his own way. But if you want to use the story of my book and paraphrase it into a book of your own, or use my title, THE FOUNTAINHEAD, or use any part of my novel—then my answer is: No, I do not permit it. It is a request which nobody should make and which no author can permit. It is the same as if you asked me to use parts of my child to make a child of your own. No parent would permit it and that is not how children are made. If you want to write a book, it must come entirely from your own observation and imagination. You cannot use parts of somebody else’s work.

I am enclosing a printed letter which may interest you. As you see, I am not “Mr.” Rand, but “Miss”, but I consider it a compliment that you thought my writing was masculine.



Ayn Rand