Thursday, June 7, 2012
"I've got to read. I've got to…catch up with the remembrance of the past!" - Guy Montag from Fahrenheit 451.
That quote from Fahrenheit 451 (the movie) explains how I sometimes feel these days. With a birthday just passed, I more than ever feel that time is something I can waste little of. I've long joked that I probably have a stack of books stuffed in my closets and elsewhere enough to last me until my dying day. It was once hyperbole, but alas I fear no longer. I probably do have enough books at this point waiting to be read that it might require the rest of my time here on the planet to get it done.
That idea is something I got from Ray Bradbury indirectly. I've taught Fahrenheit 451 many times and always the students can be downright gleeful to read a book which describes a society in which reading is outlawed. They think this is a dandy idea sadly enough, so sometimes the point of Bradbury's deeper themes escape this younger audience. But we must keep trying.
I don't regard Ray Bradbury with the same veneration as many I guess, but he's always seemed a worthy enough writer. He is an artist who validated a useful and worthwhile romantic view of the world for many of us. For that I thank him.
Rest in peace Mr.Bradbury.
Now I've got reading to do.