Sunday, June 03, 2007

Ray Bradbury, the Monsters and the Critics

His classic Fahrenheit 451 tells of a dystopian future of mass book burnings and groups of people who retreat from the cities to memorize whole texts so as to carry human culture through a new dark age. For over 40 years critics have called it a novel about government censorship. Now the author wants us to know that the intellectuals were wrong. The problem was never censorship-- it was television.

1 comment:

Deep Furrows said...

Yes! When the house is burned, Mildred cries because it means the loss of her "family" - those characters who are present in her house through the full screen TVs.

Bill Gates has these screens in his house and he wants us to have them in our coffee tables.

And it wasn't the books that were the thing, it was the encounter with humanity in the books that was valuable - TV tends to minimize humanity ...