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#112 Frank Lloyd Wright
February 24th, 2020 | E112

What I learned from reading Plagued by Fire: The Dreams and Furies of Frank Lloyd Wright by Paul Hendrickson. 


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[0:01] Frank Lloyd Wright suffered a personal catastrophe that would have destroyed a man of lesser will and lesser ego. 

[7:20] Ben Franklin writing about vanity 250 years ago: Most people dislike vanity in others, whatever share they have of it themselves; but I give it fair quarter wherever I meet with it, being persuaded that it is often productive of good to the possessor. 

[12:38] He held a press conference on Christmas Day to explain his actions. He said ordinary people can not live without rules to guide his conduct. He - Frank Lloyd Wright - is not ordinary. 

[13:44] Frank Lloyd Wright had a single minded pursuit of his own potential

[18:50] Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. 

[19:30] Find something you love to do and don’t stop until you die

[23:00] Everything is malleable. Including the truth. 

[25:25] All Frank Lloyd Wright had was a complete faith in himself

[31:57] Frank Lloyd Wright had a point of view—a conviction— and he tied his point of view to larger ideas

[35:29] Frank Lloyd Wright was terrible with money: So long as we had the luxuries, the necessities could pretty well take care of themselves.  

[36:20] The early career of Frank Lloyd Wright / his mentor was one of the greatest architects ever 

[39:30] You are going to go far. You’ll have a kind of success; I believe the kind you want. Not everybody would pay the price in concentrated hard work and human sacrifice you’ll make for it. 

[50:05] Wright turned down a fantastic opportunity. He preferred to bet on himself

[53:28] Wright’s mid life crisis and the abandonment of his family. 

[56:00] We’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets. We’d like to be writers, but as everybody knows—we can’t earn any money that way. What do you want to do? When we finally got down to something which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him you do that—and uh—forget the money. If you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time...

You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid! It is absolutely stupid! Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way. And after all, if you do really like what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what it is—somebody is interested in everything—anything you can be interested in, you will find others who are...

But, it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like and to teach our children to follow in the same track. See, what we are doing is, is we’re bringing up children and educating them to live the same sort of lives we are living—in order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life, by bringing up their children, to bring up "their" children, to do the same thing. So, it’s all retch and no vomit—it never gets there. Therefore, it’s so important to consider this question...

"What do I desire?" —Alan Watts 

[1:01:50] The volume of work Wright completed after the age of 60 was astonishing. A third of his total output came after the age of 80! 

[1:17:30] What the tumultuous relationship of his parents gave Frank Lloyd Wright: “A will and inner strength that seems unquantifiable.” 


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