Saturday, 2 June 2007

Ray Bradbury: "Fahrenheit 451 wasn't about censorship!"

Well, this gave me a bit of a start. In the LA Times it is reported that Ray Bradbury is now saying that his dystopian novel about book censorship, Fahrenheit 451, isn't actually about censorship:
"It is, in fact, a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature."
Makes sense. After all, Fahrenheit 451 was written in the 50s, and TV was the "new" medium, and like all "new" mediums, the unfamiliarity alone is often enough to garner a bad rep. That's how it was with novels in the 18th century and comics in the 50s. These days it's the video games that get the bad rep.

4 comments:

  1. a writer is not the person to ask what his novel is "about". he only knows what he intended it to be about. remember this?

    the book is about censorship if the readers agree it is. shut up, author. this ain't your book no more.

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  2. Agreed. I'd prefer regarding F-451 as being about book censorship rather than the negative effects of TV.

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  3. Well then, you've just supported his decision to reaffirm what his book was about. Since everyone, even both of you, seems to want Fahrenheit 451 to be about censorship - then why wouldn't Ray Bradbury offer a friendly reminder? What kicked off the censorship in his book, was in fact apathy amidst the 'idiot box' watching public... that's something more subtle and more dangerous than direct censorship from a government, he knows this, and he's hoping some of his readers might give pause for a moment, even if they then go back to their own elegant conception of the work. At least he can say he tried.

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  4. Point taken, but I still disagree with you. Yes, at least he tried.

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