Letter 079

To George Bruce

George Bruce was a screenwriter, whose credits include The Man in the Iron Mask (1939) and Two Years Before the Mast (1946). In Bruce’s letter to AR, he called The Fountainhead “the most beautifully conceived and exquisitely executed work of fiction I have ever read.” 

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139 East 35th Street
New York City

June 19, 1943

Mr. George Bruce
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures
Culver City, California

Dear Mr. Bruce:

“Thank you” is an inadequate thing to say in exchange for a letter such as yours. Look at page 348–349 of “The Fountainhead,the first meeting of Roark and Mallory. I am not a sculptor nor broke and jobless, but what Mallory felt in that scene is what I felt when I received your letter. Let that scene tell you how grateful I am to you. As a writer, you know what a letter like yours means to a writer. 

May I ask where you found out my full name [Ayn Rand O’Connor] and address? I am deeply grateful that you cared for “The Fountainhead” enough to inquire about its author. 

You say that you regret having to pursue “pure commercialism.” I do not think there is anything wrong in that. To earn one’s living is an honorable motive. Commercial writing becomes offensive only in those who hold it as the highest form of art, on the ground of majority appeal, and are incapable of doing anything else. You are obviously not one of those. It is my turn to envy you the ability to be commercially successful while preserving your own vision and standards.

Gratefully yours,


Ayn Rand