07 06/08

Fahrenheit 451 (R. Bradbury)

Tags: , | Categories: science fiction


This is time for: “IT WAS A PLEASURE TO BURN”.

Fahrenheit 451 was written by Bradbury in 1953 and is one of his master pieces next to The Martian Chronicles. In F-451 is depicted a weird future where firemen don’t put out fire but burn books. It happens in a hedonistic society where all intellectual work is suppressed, it is said that books make one thinks, and because of that one gets sad. Anyone caught reading book is taken to mental facilities and books are burned, in contrast a television-driven entertainment is everywhere. This society-description is related, in my opinion, to the one found in the works of Huxley and Orwell, and is not too far away from today’s entertainment culture and gives some hints to criticise our current model of values.

An excerpt from its beginning.

It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and change. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history.

In 1966 Truffaut directed a film version of Fahrenheit 451 here two short clips.

451 is the temperature at which paper autoignites.