Adapté du roman publié en 1943 par l’Américaine Ayn Rand, il raconte la confrontation entre deux architectes amis, que leur conception de leur métier va vite opposer : Peter Keating, le consensuel sans imagination, qui obéit scrupuleusement aux desiderata de ses commanditaires ; et Howard Roark, idéaliste visionnaire, en recherche permanente de formes nouvelles, quitte à choquer ses clients. Le premier connaîtra la fortune et la gloire ; le second, la misère et l’opprobre.
Mendelsohn: I think there is a little more to it than just Ayn Rand. I could understand if the title character in the 2112 suite was named John Galt, but the album’s lyrical content lifts only loose ideas from Rand’s earlier work Anthem. It wasn’t until her later novels, Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, that she really got into the Objectivism. I read Rand’s books because of 2112. I enjoyed Anthem, found Fountainhead to be entertaining if not a bit overbearing, and I contemplated suicide as I slogged through Atlas Shrugged. Having read Rand and listened to a lot of Rush, I can tell you that Neil Peart, Alex Lifeson, and Lee are anything but Rand acolytes. That doesn’t mean they aren’t a bit Objectivist, especially when it comes to recording their music. After Rush’s 1975 effort Caress of Steel flopped commercially, their record label pushed the group to record something a little more radio-friendly. Instead, Rush went into the studio and put together 2112. If that isn’t a least a little self-centered, I don’t know what is. But I think that is the real stumbling block for critics when it comes to Rush — the band just does whatever they want and most of the time it takes the form of a ten-minute song with several extended solos.