8 votes

Reflections on Farenheit 451, published 65 years ago

Finished this last night. It's been so long since I read any Bradbury for the first time. His style shows some age, but he's a really poetic and visionary writer.

Published in 1953, this tale is a battle between visual media and books, but taking the form of the fleeting versus the permanent, the here and now versus history, pop culture versus capital C Culture.

In a way, its datedness is a strength, because of so much of Bradbury's prophetic vision and because of the way his 1950's idea of dystopia contrasts with the more numerous recent ideas.

If there was ever an object lesson about filter bubbles, Farenheit 451 is it: recent enough to be relatable and distant enough to be outside our current filters. Readers should take note of this when relating and evaluating fiction and any work that lies outside their personal space. A valuable lesson in itself.

So often we're totally unaware of the walls we create for ourselves, our comfort zone. It's precisely because they provide comfort that we tend to stay within them.

And of course, Bradbury's whole novel is both about this issue and again a reference object for it.