Letter 109, pg. 1

To Archibald Ogden

590 North Rossmore
Hollywood, California

December 18, 1943 

Archie my darling:

Yes, that’s still how I feel about my one editorial genius. I guess distance does that—and slight homesickness. By the time I crossed the continent, you became a kind of shining legend in my mind. Now you and Isabel Paterson stand for New York and for all the best that’s happened to me in New York—and I miss you terribly. 

Everything has gone wonderfully so far, I hope it continues this way, and I hope I don’t get spoiled for battles, if there are to be battles—but so far it’s grand. The trip was sheer luxury—I simply sat and gloated all the way—I’m not quite used yet to the mink coat standard of living—but travelling in a private compartment will teach anyone the pleasure of capitalism. Just look at all the wonderful gadgets next time you’re on a train, see how cleverly designed they are—and see if you don’t feel like blessing private enterprise, as I did for three thousand miles. (And forever.) 

My grand surprise in Hollywood was Henry Blanke, the producer who is to do “The Fountainhead.” Now I don’t want to be rash, but I could almost say that I think maybe he is almost an Archie Ogden—only I don’t use that comparison promiscuously. It was Blanke who discovered the book, that is, he read the book itself, not a synopsis, then he went to the heads of the studio and demanded that they buy it. Doesn’t that remind you of another man in my past? You know, it is very strange how “The Fountainhead” keeps illustrating in real life its own thesis. It will be my fate, like Roark’s, to seek and reach the exceptions, the prime movers, the men who do their own thinking and act upon their own judgment. The Tooheys and the Clifton Fadimans don’t count—and may God damn them. One man out of thousands is all I need—all any new idea needs—and these men, the exceptions, will and do move the world. Whatever I do in my future career, I will always have to seek and reach an Archie Ogden. You were the first and the most eloquent symbol of what I mean. So whenever I come upon that wonderful miracle among men, I’ll give it your name. 

Of course I know it’s too early for me to judge Blanke, my producer, I won’t know until the script is finished. I fully realize that I may be terribly disap-