Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Farenheit 451

Just finished reading it upon the recommendation of one of my children.
Never too much a fan of science fiction (although I did try. In graduate school I lived in a family's attic. There was a bookcase full of science fiction. Over two years I read most, maybe 75-100 books, most of it science fiction. I confirmed without a doubt-not much of a fan.)
F-451 is not so much science fiction as a cautionary tale, like 1984 and Brave New World. (I read one of the latter, maybe both. I just can't remember which one.)
I had never read Ray Bradbury before (I don't think). I wouldn't say it great literature, but an engaging story. I wasn't crazy about F-451 as I thought the ending was pretty vague and not too satisfying in any particular way (endings are important to me). However, I did enjoy reading it, and was glad it did.
It is funny how today in some sense mindless social media curbs ones time and appetite from literature. The schools (we are having some experience with public schools now - but that is a different story) have joined the electronic revolution and even when books are read and assigned, the selections are not classic, but tend to be depressing studies of teenage tragedy. (And we wonder why teenagers are in crisis? This is all we give them to read.)

So in many senses, the first stage of F-451 is actually taking place. Colleges and Universities no longer want to educate the mind and create creative independent thinkers. Great literature almost seems banned from most levels of our education system.
Schools and Colleges are at the service of both social, politically correct agenda, and big business. Turn us out politically correct (and amoral) but submissive workers-no independent thinkers, please.

The great works are not read and explored except for at a few colleges.

Oremus pro invicem!


Charlie said...

We used to debate 1984 vs Brave New World. Would the future be authoritarian or lulled into imbecility through drugs and pleasure? If F451 is 1984, our current culture of distraction would be Brave New World. I suspect books no longer have the ability to provoke thought or sway opinion because people are too distracted by Facebook, internet porn, and pictures of cute cats. Books are not burned in our culture but buried under dust.

Jim Curley said...

I think you are right. They won't burn books because no one will take the time to read them.