It's been a while since I read the book, but something doesn't make sense here. If he had all those books and didn't read them, how is he able to quote them and know so much of what's in them?
It does look like a bit of a contradiction.
In the Simon and Schuster "Classic" edition, Bradbury provided a new introduction. In it he says:
"In writing the play, my Fire Chief, Beatty, told me why he had become a burner of books.
He had once been a wanderer of libraries and a lover of the finest literature in history. But when real life diminished him, when friends died, when a love failed, when there were too many deaths and accidents surrounding him, he discovered that his faith in books had failed because they could not help him when he needed the help.
Turning on them, he lit a match.
So that is one of the fine things that came out of the play and the opera. I'm glad to be able to speak of it now and tell you what Beatty had in his background."
So in this version, there is no contradiction, just a kind of bitter cynicism when the Captain can't reconcile his life with the ideals he saw in the books. This seems to make more sense.
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapt in awe, is as good as dead."
Hi--I'm looking for the essay/afterword online. Does anyone have a link to it? I know I read it online a couple years ago. Thanks.
I just read the book for the first time this past weekend. Greatly enjoyed most of it. Haven't seen the movie ever.
Bradbury also wrote an essay about this, which I think was included as an afterword to a 1980s edition of the F451 novel, and also included in Zen and the Art of Writing.
I don't believe it is available online, although it may have been in the past. There is a tiny section of it quoted at:
but that's about all.
There is a vague possibility that it is somewhere on Elron/Pavel's russian Bradbury site, but I haven't been able to find it there. (www.raybradbury.ru). He has a lot of short story texts in full and in English.
Of course, the simple solution is to buy a copy of Zen In The Art Of Writing - for a mere $12 or so, you get this and other excellent essays on writing.
- Phil<br /> http://home.wlv.ac.uk/~in5379
Concerning the development of 451:
As of January 30, 2004, Frank Darabont has finished the Indiana Jones 4 screenplay and is now writing a NEW DRAFT for 451.
My source: http://www.cinescape.com/0/Editorial.asp?this_cat=Movies&obj_id=40717&aff_id=0
Hm. Sounds promising. For me, Darabont has produced a mixed bag. I loved SHAWSHANK, but something like GREEN MILE made me gag.
I liked both of those, James. George Lucas is said to have problems with Darabont's Indiana Jones screenplay so who knows if it will even be used now? With a great story like 451 he should do a brilliant job.
Well, I didn't like either of the first two INDIANA JONES movies (didn't see the third), so I won't be heartbroken that a fourth might be delayed. (Never would be fine with me.) If Darabont can lay off the treacle, he can produce a good screenplay.
I've always wanted someone to remake FARENHEIT 451. It's not a bad movie, and succeeds in the general theme. But so much more could be done now that filmmakers have made such strides in FX.
"I think the Captain told Montag it wasn't illegal to have the books, just to read them."
I'm not saying you're wrong, I don't remember if this was said, but if it was, it wouldn't make sense. Montag thinks of hiding books in the ohter firemen's yards and calling them in too, to make the system collapse on itself. This wouldn't work if it was okay to have books, but not read them, for there would be no proof that the other firemen were actually reading them. It's obvious that Beatty DID read books, and in the end turned against them, but I think it is best that, at least in movie form, Beatty's private library be left out, for reasons of clarity.
To clarify two points: Beatty said, "Well, Montag, take my word for it, I've had to read a few in my time, to know what I was about, and the books say nothing! Nothing you can teach or believe." So it doesn't sound to me like he had a bunch of his own, but just had checked them out occasionally in the past. Also, it was illegal for the firemen to have the books, but a little initial curiosity was tolerated. At one point Montag asked what would happen if a fireman accidentally brought a book home. Beatty's reply: "A natural error. Curiosity alone. We don't get overanxious or mad. We let the fireman keep the book twenty-four hours. If he hasn't burned it by then, we simply come burn it for him." Hope this clears up any confusion.
I hope the new one is better. But what do you think of ,maybe, Peter Jackson (do I have that name right or spelled right?) of 'The lord of the Rings' being the new director? Oh and that is what I re-read just bfore '3 From out there'; that trilogy and the Hobbit!
Peter Jackson still has to film "The Hobbit," though.
OOOh the 'Hobbit' YES!! Can't wait to see 'SMOAG'[sp] if he does!
Oh and Dandelion, on the 'Mechanical hound' fan club...did you or anyone hear of the POSSIBLE new Dr. Who movie that would include 'K9' I heard a bit of scuttlebutt 7, 8 months ago. Anything ever come of that, anyone know?
P.S. On this subject did they put the old 'F 451' on DVD.? Not like have a player yet though, Social Security D. you know how it goes.
The old movie was pretty dissapointing - lack of technology for good SFX is no excuse. I did think Oscar Werner's acting was good though (is that his name? - the guy who plays Montag). But what really annoyed me was the fact that they used that actress (what's her name?) for both the role of Mildred and Clarisse - so maybe they had a low budget but I didn't like her acting and I didn't like it how they made Clarisse a school teacher and everything - no offence to teachers!
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