Ray Bradbury, author of ‘Fahrenheit 451,’ dies

“I don’t believe in government. I hate politics. I’m against it. And I hope that sometime this fall, we can destroy part of our government, and next year destroy even more of it. The less government, the happier I will be.”
~Ray Bradbury,
1920 – 2012

The Daily Caller

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ray Bradbury imagined the future, and didn’t always like what he saw.

In his books, the science fiction-fantasy master conjured a dark, depressing future where the government used fire departments to burn books in order to hold its people in ignorance and where racial hatred was so pervasive that some people left Earth for other planets.

At the same time, his work, just like the author himself, could also be joyful, whimsical and nostalgic, as when he was describing the magic of a Midwestern summer or the innocence and fearlessness of a boy who befriends a houseful of ghosts.

Bradbury, who died Tuesday at age 91, said often that all of his stories, no matter how fantastic or frightening they might be, were metaphors for everyday life and everything it entailed. And they all came from his childhood.

“The great thing about my life is that everything I’ve done is a result of what I was when I was 12 or 13,” he said in 1982.

For more than 70 years, Bradbury spun tales that appeared in books and magazines, in the movie theater and on the television screen, firing the imaginations of generations of children, college kids and grown-ups across the world. Years later, the sheer volume and quality of his work would surprise even him.

“I sometimes get up at night when I can’t sleep and walk down into my library and open one of my books and read a paragraph and say: ‘My God, did I write that? Did I write that?’ Because it’s still a surprise,” he said in 2000.

In many ways, he was always that 12-year-old boy who was inspired to become a writer after a chance meeting with a carnival magician called Mr. Electrico who, to Bradbury’s delight, tapped him with his sword and said: “Live forever!”

“I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard,” Bradbury said later. “I started writing every day. I never stopped.”…

The article continues at The Daily Caller.


"Censorship" click on the image to enlarge

The image above is from the blog ENGL2K, “a blog maintained by a composition class at Louisiana State University. Under the direction of their instructor, Joseph Brown, students will explore and discuss ideas pertaining to the course’s assigned texts…”

From their entry “Spiraling Into Oblivion”:

One of the main themes of Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is the topic of censorship throughout the novel. The first amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” In Fahrenheit 451, though, books are banned altogether and even possessing one is crime; restricting not only freedom of speech, but also freethinking.

Bradbury never blatantly tells us why censorship has become so important in the futuristic society in which Montag and the others live. He does, though, give us a little insight as to how it got that way.

One of the main reasons books are banned in Montag’s society is because it sparks intellectual thinking, which the government does not want. The government believes that any kind of knowledge provided by books is harmful because books encourage people to question power, freedom, and society. The government also fears the fact that books have the ability to make certain people or minorities discontent…

We urge you to read the rest.

Quotation H/T Rob Port of SayAnythingBlog

UpdateDeath of Ray Bradbury recalls his feud with Michael Moore

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