Fahrenheit 451

ISBN: 844507119X
ISBN 13: 9788445071199
By: Ray Bradbury

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Genres

Classic Classics Dystopia Dystopian Favorites Fiction Literature Sci Fi Science Fiction To Read

About this book

Guy Montag es un bombero, y el trabajo de un bombero es quemar libros, que están prohibidos porque son causa de discordia y sufrimiento. El Sabueso Mecánico del Departamento de Incendios, armado con una letal inyección hipodérmica, escoltado por helicópteros, está preparado para rastrear a los disidentes que aún conservan y leen libros.Edición Aniversario: Fahrenheit 451, con un postfacio de Ray Bradbury, y los cuentos: "El parque de juegos", "Y la roca gritó".

Reader's Thoughts

Tyler

Few appreciate irony as much as I do, so understand that I understand this review. The message of this book is decent: knowledge should not be censored. However, the rest of the book is utter shit. I found myself actually screaming at several points as Bradbury spent minutes and dozens of metaphors and allusions referring to one insignificant detail of the plot. It is too damn flowery to be understandable by anyone! In other words, an English teacher's dream. In addition, the story was about the message not the story in and of itself. Those of you who know me understand that this is that I detest most about classics, tied with how everyone reveres them without reading them.The Coda and Afterword just add to the confuse making me confused on whether Bradbury is a very hateful man or just a hypocrite. The main plot of the novel itself is that the majority rule canceled out intellectualism while in the Coda (maybe Afterword, I don't remember which was which) Bradbury blasts minorities (all, including racial, religious, etc.) for creating an overly sensitive society. Oddly enough, his heroes are the minority. Ha. Furthermore, the Coda is a hefty "Fuck you" to anyone that wants to critique his work in any way not positive. Therefore, I feel obliged to respond in turn: "Fuck you, Ray Bradbury. Your writing style is shit and I won't force it on my worst enemy." Harsh, I know, but true. If you do need to read this book, I suggest a Cliff Notes version as long as you can appreciate that irony.

Alex

"The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies."That is a very unpleasant metaphor, and Fahrenheit 451 is an unpleasant book. It feels like it was written by a teenager, and if I were his teacher I'd give it a B- and not let my daughter date the weird little kid who wrote it.Its protagonist, Montag, lacks any character; he changes as Bradbury's shitty story requires him to, from the dumbest kid on the world (his cousin once offered to pay him a dime to fill a sieve with sand and he sat there for ages crying and dumping sand into it - I understand that's a metaphor, but it's a metaphor for a moron) to a mastermind (telling Faber how to throw the Hound off his scent). You ever see film of someone skipping a pebble in reverse? Me neither, but I bet it's like this: plop plop skip skip wtf?Each other character exists solely to advance the plot. There's the hot underage Manic Pixie Dream Girl - "her face fragile milk crystal" - who teaches him how to smell dandelions (and whose beauty is harped on endlessly) and then disappears off-stage; Faber, who's all of a sudden like best friends and then disappears off-stage; the bonfire circle of retired professors who happen to be right there when he stumbles out of a river looking for them.There's his wife - "thin as a praying mantis from dieting, and her flesh like white bacon." He seems to loathe her, and all real women."Millie? Does the White Clown love you?"No answer."Millie, does - " He licked his lips. "Does your 'family' [TV entertainment] love you, love you very much, love you with all their heart and soul, Millie?"He felt her blinking slowly at the back of his neck. "Why'd you ask a silly question like that?"There's a real conservative streak to this book. It looks backwards, as conservatives do. Bradbury blames his world's disgust with books on "minorities," what we nowadays call "special interest groups":"Colored people don't like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don't feel good about Uncle Tom's Cabin. Burn it."These are the only specific examples given during Captain Beatty's central speech about why literature has been banned.There are some nice moments here. A disturbed and immature but intelligent kid flailing around will hit a few marks. The central idea? No, no props for that; book-burning was invented centuries ago. But the moment when the TV instructs all citizens to open their doors and look for Montag, that's nice. And the suicidal Captain Beatty is the book's only living character, although his speech is littered with what I swear are just random quotes. I even like the idea of a circle of book-readers, each responsible for remembering a certain book - but it's dealt with so lamely here. "We've invented ways for you to remember everything you've ever read, so it's no problem." Well, in that case I got like half the Canon, y'all can go home. Losers. Wouldn't it be cooler if these people had to work for it? Point is, those little flashes of competence are so overwhelmed by terrible philosophy and so ill-sketched themselves that I have no idea how this book has escaped the bonfire of apathy, the worst and most blameless fire of all. It's just a lame, lame book. I wouldn't burn this or any book. But I'll do worse: I'll forget all about it.

Sean

What if books ceased to exist? What if the society you live in, goodreaders, brainwashed you into thinking books were bad? Every single printed word on bookshelves, in homes, in libraries, in schools was forbidden and to own a book meant that you would be imprisoned or (even worse) killed for such an action. What if you knew that such printed words were important? What if you believed maintaining their existence was a necessity regardless of the serious consequences of preserving their survival? Guy Montag, a fireman, whose primary job in a dysotopian reality is to set fire to these books instead of putting the fires out. But he knows there is something fundamentally flawed about this concept. He doesn’t want to burn books. He wants to preserve them so that mankind can continue to acquire knowledge instead of witnessing ideas and works of imagination cast into the flames of censorship. The world around him does not understand this conviction. To do so would be extremely dangerous. Guy Montague is willing to take that risk and go against the very society that made him question his role in the world.

فاتن

٤٥١ الدرجة التي تحترق عندها الكتب____________________خير اللهم اجعله خيركابوس هذا وليست روايةهذا الكتاب وإن كان مصنفا ضمن الخيال العلمي، إلا أنني أكاد أجزم أن بوادر حصوله في عالمنا العربي قريبة، وإرهاصات وقوعه عندنا ليست ببعيدةتخيل أن يتم الاستغناء عن العلوم الإنسانية؟!!! وتغلق أقسامها في الجامعاتتصور كيف سيعيش الناس وحيازة الكتب عامة ممنوعة ومخالفة للقانون ويحرق بيت صاحبهابل حتى التفكير يصنف على أنه من قلة عقل والتفكر يصبح جنونا صرفا بلاأدنى ريبوالناس يتم التحكم بهم وتوجيه مسارهم للانشغال بالتفاهات عن طريق سماعات في أذانهم وشاشات في جدارن منازلهم مربوطة بشبكة تبث السخافات لتلهيهم عن واقعهموغير هذا وذاك من المآسييقال أن المؤلف ألف هذا الكتاب ردا على عضو الكونجرس (مكارثي) في هجومه على المثقفينوالسؤال: كم من مكارثي عندنا في عالمنا العربي:/لا أريد أن أفكر في عددهم فهو جنون كما تعلمت من الرواية:$

Manny

The strange thing about Fahrenheit 451 is that the bits I found most moving, and that I remember most clearly, are all quotations from other books. The passage where Montag is trying to memorize "Consider the lilies of the field" over the sound of the toothpaste ad is one of my favourites. I also love the scene where he reads out Dover Beach to his wife and her friends, and they become weepy and distraught without understanding why.Given that it's all about how wonderful books are, that seems entirely right. He made the correct artistic choice in gracefully ceding the floor to his more distinguished colleagues at the critical moments, rather than trying to hog the limelight himself, and I greatly respect him for it. Applause, Mr. Bradbury!

She-Who-Reads

Somehow, I have gotten through life as an English major, book geek, and a science-fiction nerd without ever having read this book. I vaguely remember picking it up in high-school and not getting very far with it. It was an interesting premise, but far too depressing for my tastes at the time.Fast-forward 15 years later. I just bought a copy the other day to register at BookCrossing for their Banned Books Month release challenge. The ALA celebrates Banned Books Week in September, so one BXer challenged us to wild release books that had at one point or another been banned in this country during the entire month. Fahrenheit 451 fits the bill -- an irony that is not lost on anyone, I trust. (Everyone knows Fahrenheit 451 is about the evils of censorship and banning books, right? The title refers to the temperature at which paper burns.)I didn't intend to start reading it. I really didn't. Somehow it seduced me into it. I glanced at the first page and before I knew it, it was 1:00 in the morning and I was halfway through with the thing. It's really good! No wonder it's a modern classic. Montag's inner emotional and moral journey from a character who burns books gleefully and with a smile on his face to someone who is willing to risk his career, his marriage, his house, and eventually his life for the sake of books is extremely compelling. That this man, product of a culture that devalues reading and values easy, thoughtless entertainments designed to deaden the mind and prevent serious thought, could come to find literature so essential that he would kill for it...! Something about that really spoke to me.It raises the question: why? What is it about books, about poetry, about literature that is so essential to us? There is no doubt in my mind that it is essential, if not for all individuals (although I find it hard to imagine life without books, I know there are some people who don't read for pleasure, bizarre as that seems to me), then for society. Why should that be? Books don't contain any hard-and-fast answers to all of life's questions. They might contain great philosophical Truths, but only subjectively so -- there will always be someone who will argue and disagree with whatever someone else says. In fact, as Captain Beatty, the evil fire chief, points out, no two books agree with each other. What one says, another contradicts. So what, then, is their allure? What is it that made Mildred's silly friend start to weep when Montag read the poem "Dover Beach" aloud to her? Where does the power of literature come from?I think the reason that books are so important to our lives and to the health of our society -- of any society -- is not because they give us answers, but because they make us ask the questions. Books -- good books, the books that stay with you for years after you read them, the books that change your view of the world or your way of thinking -- aren't easy. They aren't facile. They aren't about surface; they're about depth. They are, quite literally, thought-provoking. They require complexity of thought. They require effort on the part of the reader. You get out of a book what you put into the reading of it, and therefore books satisfy in a way that other types of entertainment do not.And they aren't mass-produced. They are individual, unique, gloriously singular. They are each an island, much-needed refuges from an increasingly homogeneous culture.I'm glad I read Fahrenheit 451, even if the ending was rather bleak. It challenged me and made me think, stimulated me intellectually. We could all do with a bit of intellectual stimulation now and then; it makes life much more fulfilling.

Chris

It’s time to do it, isn’t it? You know it is. We’ve all done it before, no sense in resisting the temptation to do it yet again. The sun has set, the skies have turned a sensational shade of indigo, the interior lighting is seductively dimmed. The house is otherwise empty, and not expecting additional occupancy any time soon. The blinds are down, curtains drawn tightly. The stereo is playing softly; isn’t that your favorite slow-jam? Of course it is. Thwart all possible interruptions; turn off your cell phone and disconnect the house line, only after placing a fraudulent call to the guy manning the nearest tornado alert siren telling him he’s got the night off. Nothing is going to get in your way. You lay back slowly, hardly able to contain the anxiety of awaiting the pleasures which are soon to commence. Relax. Examine the articles which you’ve assembled to increase the forthcoming flood of sensations; silk boxers and a plush robe for maximum comfort and style, instead of the usual barrage of Coors and Captain, you’re tapping into the reserves of Lindeman’s and Chambord, a fresh pack of Camels. You’ve even put a new dryer sheet in the blow-tube. Give in to any last minute impulses: feel free to slick your hair back, put a foot over that line in the sand you ordinarily wouldn’t cross. Everything is going your way. You’re set.Slowly place it in your hand, lift it up a little, don’t be afraid to gaze at it with affection and admiration for its worth. It’s quite a marvel, isn’t it. Perhaps the careful application of a gentle caress or a little squeeze before beginning will make all the difference. Feel free to use your non-dominant hand should you get to indulge in this more frequently than most. As a last precaution, double-check that the reduced lighting is ample for your needs, heed your mother’s warning that this can make you go blind. While still softly cradling the underside, lovingly wrap your thumb around the side and over the top. You’re ready to manhandle it bilaterally now. It responds accordingly, the cover opens smoothly, a sharp intake of breath: Fahrenheit 451 begins. As strange as it may seem, I don’t think I enjoyed this quite as much as I did on previous reads. Perhaps Bradbury’s classic is getting stale, or maybe I should take my own advice and employ a switch-handed approach next time. What I found to be really unexpected is that this time around I appreciated different aspects of the book than I did previously. On my first few reads of F451 I was naturally consumed (not to mention mortified) by the prospect of Fireman enlisted to seek out and destroy the world of literature my young mind was coming to embrace. Now, nearing the age where I’d always imagined I’d be sent off to the savannah to die alone, I’ve come to realize that while the Fireman aren’t necessary, I’m all for a reduction in the publication of completely pointless, brain-damaging crap. While I don’t fathom I’ll ever be entirely convinced of the heralded merits of ‘Living Green’, I will say that I’ve always considered stock car racing and the release of shitty books to be equally poor usage of natural resources. This is probably because in the elapsed time I’ve read “The Bell Jar” and “Story of the Eye”, which I am sure some people will cherish and find significant, but naturally it’s my taste that ultimately matters. Sarcasm probably doesn’t come across too well without italics.There was the time I thought maybe Clarisse was the engrossing aspect of the book. That inspirational, blossoming young woman who contrastingly stands out in the nightmarish landscape of Bradbury’s future like a daisy springing from the concrete on Wacker drive in downtown Chicago. In time I’ve come to expect that nothing good will come to these liberated souls, and like the daisy, she is also duly pulverized by oncoming traffic. Then came the reading where I sought to find significance behind the enigmatic nature of Fire Captain Beatty and the Hound. Beatty, who is the head book-burner capable of quoting from significant works through the ages, the self-hating bibliophile. It almost seems like a gyp that the Captain’s obviously interesting and divergent past isn’t recounted. I also thought maybe there was something more going on behind the cold, lifeless eyes of the Hound; prompted by the hostile (almost precognitive) attitude which it directs at Montag, and the announcement in the book that a Hound was released against the firemen in it’s own precinct. What might have been going on in that nameless Firehouse? Perhaps a whole station of firemen stockpiling, storing, hoarding books, the Hound finally unable to passively stand by and endure this dereliction of duty. Again, I got older and wiser, and realized what was going on here: in Montag’s world, everything has been fireproofed, thus no more need for fire hydrants, thus one upset pooch that’s been holding an aching urination for its entire existence.Reading F451 now, what I probably liked most was the world and backstory which Bradbury built around Montag’s awakening. Previously, I felt that the story completely revolved around the concept of the Firemen, and that the ridiculous society which spawned such an occupation was mere filler. I’m now leaning the other way, mainly because I agree with a small message which Bradbury buries in the book; that the reason the world ended up this way was because the voice of the minority clusters rose up and was obeyed; as Beatty states “It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick.” In an effort to make sure nobody’s feelings were hurt, anything which offended anyone was destroyed, a pure sign of progress. Yes, sarcasm again. “I protest, sir! Your book contains a statement in which the narrator derides someone for dancing ‘as if he had two left feet’!” trills the pear-shaped, discontented mother. “That’s possible.” The pothead author meekly rebuts, trying to recount just what the hell his latest book was even about. “My son was born with two left feet, and your vile, thoughtless trash insults his very nature,” she continues, “do you have any idea how he will feel should his innocent eyes happen to stray upon your story?” “Um, I guess he might feel like clumsily side-shuffling over to kick my ass?” And straight to the incinerator with book and author both.I sincerely do loathe this pandering to the minority at the expense to the majority, and can only expect the bleakest outcome to follow should we persist in this path. I think about this every time I have to confirm to the ATM machine that I do indeed want my transaction in English, and feel the bile rising up as I try to ignore the Braille beneath each number, seeing as this is a drive-thru machine. You’re not supposed to voice those unpopular opinions though, that’s cruelty, probably prosecutable these days. I envision a future in which the only person you can beat the shit out of without it being recorded as a ‘hate crime’ is a clone of yourself. It’s probably me just getting old and crotchety, but I now feel like I can better appreciate Bradbury’s dreary imaginings. The pace of life sped up beyond reason, the incessant babble pouring from the morons Mildred associates with via the wallscreens, espousing their inane thoughts on voting and child-rearing, and all the while, the few non-mutants simply falling into lockstep with this insanity, barely raising their voices to call for a cessation of the madness. I finally see F451 as something beyond a statement on censorship, I see it as an indictment of the people we’re allowing ourselves to become.

Lou

Visionary writing from the very skilled writer/artist Ray Bradbury. The plot and characters all done well. He writes about an era where firemen create fires to burn books, one fireman decides to see what all the fuss is about and one day keeps one book for himself. This sets himself on a deadly path of self-discovery that turns him into the hunted. His life turns upside down, eventually he meets a group of people who have memorized and preserved books to memory, this society wanted to keep books of the past in hope of a new generation and society to come and benefit from the knowledge. This story is in the same sort of vein as 1984 and i rate very highly and recommend. Bradbury portrays a dystopian future that could one day come about, start making those panic rooms! Bradbury's face is in there, from one of his books.. The movie images.. http://more2read.com/?review=fahrenheit-451-by-ray-bradbury

Emily May

As I write this review, the year is 2012. We do not live in a perfect world; in fact, in many ways we don't even live in a good world. But one thing I believe with all my heart is that we live in a world which, on the whole, is better than it was fifty years ago. Now, I know I'm writing with limited perspective and that progression and development hasn't been the same all over the globe and even the definition of those words can change depending on what part of the world you live in. But here's what I do know: the average world life expectancy is higher, the infant mortality rate is lower, access to education is greater and the amount of countries that hold regular, fair elections has increased.On average, people today are smarter than they were fifty years ago. And I know this is where older generations throw up their hands in indignation and start yelling about how exams were much harder in "their day" and they really had to work for it. I am not disputing this, I have no idea if it's true or not. But what is true is that more people today than ever before are going on to further education after high school, the barriers that once stopped the working class from being as smart as society's more privileged members are slowly starting to break down bit by bit. Literacy rates have been on the rise the whole world over:It's true. We have entered the age of computers and electronics, social networking and personal media players... and the world has not ended, the robots haven't taken over and people haven't become so stupid that they feel the need to rage a war against books. And this is the main reason why I think Bradbury's dystopian tale is out of date and ineffective. The author was writing at a time when technology was really starting to get funky, the digital age was still decades away but people were doing all kinds of crazy things like listening to music with little cones plugged into their ears. Bizarre. Readers often choose to view Bradbury's story as one about censorship instead of technology because that allows a more modern reader to connect with the world portrayed. But taken as it was intended, I just don't share the author's sentiments. Not all technology is good, but I'm of the opinion that the good outweighs the bad: medical advancements, entertainment, access to information via the internet... I'm the very opposite of a technophobe because, in my opinion, forward is the way to go. And I'm sure it's because of the age I was born into, but I cannot relate to the apprehension that Bradbury feels when he tells of this true story (note: this is not in the book):"In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction."I know many still think today that we are becoming a completely unsociable species because of mobile/cell phones, social networking sites, etc. but I have made friends from all over the world thanks to technology. I have talked to people that fifty years ago I would never have known, I have learned about different cultures and ways of life because I have access to most areas of the world through the web. So, no, I'm not scared of this so-called technological threat that is somehow going to turn our brains to mush and create a society where we cannot concentrate long enough to read a book. And here is where I (finally) get on to details of this novel.What I am supposed to believe in here is that - because of technology - humanity has become so stupid that they couldn't concentrate on books. So books were simplified at first for easier understanding, then banned, then burnt. Why? I am okay with the realistic aspect of "people have short attention spans because of technology so they don't want to read books", but why burn books? I don't see why this would need to happen and why it would become a criminal offense to have books in your home. This is where I understand why so many people prefer to apply this novel's message to censorship, because it works so much better that way. The argument for the technological side of it is weak - even for the time in question.The best thing about this whole book is the discussion about the phoenix and the comparisons made between the legendary bird and humanity: in the same way that the bird dies in flames only to be reborn again from the ashes, humanity constantly repeats mistakes made throughout history and never seems to learn from them. Secondly, to give credit where it's due, the writing is suitably creepy for a dystopian society and I understand why people who do actually share Bradbury's concerns would be caught up in the novel's atmosphere. But, overall, this wasn't a great dystopian work for me, I didn't agree with the point it was trying to sell me and I don't think it made a very successful case for it. Furthermore, I had some problems with the pacing. The book is split into three parts and the first two are much slower and uneventful than the last one - which seems to explode with a fast sequence of events in a short amount of time and pages. Disappointing.

MJ Nicholls

Bradbury was wrong. In our dystopian future, so many books of no value are published, and all the genuinely worthwhile ones are squeezed into insignificance, left to rot out of print, or are refused publication. See the BURIED Book Club for professional help. People are avaricious, brainless, crassholic, dreary, ectoblastic, fungible, gravideonasties, hopelessismore, imbecilickal, jugheadish, knobbled, leery, moronic, Neanderthal, octopusillanimous, protopathetic, querulouselike, rumplestiltskinless, simpletonian, twitchy, unloveababble, vertiginous, weak-mindead, yoghurt-obsessed, and zoologically backward. Bradbury’s short pulp novel is weakly written, full of functional and creakily literary prose, but delivers the message with minimum condescension. Truffaut trumped, but Bradbury dreamt. Great art gains in every medium.

Traveller

Since this book, Fahrenheit 451, is about burning texts, and Goodreads is currently indulging in burning our texts, and will delete my review regardless of whether what I write here is ON TOPIC or not (yes Goodreads staff member, this book is about burning books, so if I write that here, what I write is both ON TOPIC and ABOUT THE BOOK (you obviously have not read the books on which we have written reviews that you've been deleting)), I will not bother to write a review, since some pretext will be devised to delete it anyway.

Mohamed Al Marzooqi

كان الروائي الأمريكي راي برادبيري في آخر أيامه يقود حملاتٍ لإنقاذ بعض المكتبات العامة المهددة بالإغلاق نظرًا لعجز ميزانيتها. فيقوم بمساعدة هذه المكتبات عن طريق إلقاء محاضرات عن حياته وكتاباته على أن يذهب ريع تذاكر الدخول إلى خزنة المكتبات لدعمها!يقول برادبيري في هذا الصدد "المكتبات ربتني. أنا لا أؤمن بالكليات والجامعات. أنا أؤمن بالمكتبات لأن أغلب الطلاب لا يملكون المال. عندما تخرجت من المدرسة، كانت تلك أيام الأزمة الاقتصادية ولم يكن لدينا مال، فلم أستطع الدراسة في كلية. لذا، كنت أذهب إلى المكتبة لثلاثة أيام في الأسبوع لمدة 10 سنوات. قرأت كل شيء في المكتبة. كل شيء. كنت أستعير 10 كتب في الأسبوع، فيكون لدي حوالي 200 كتاب في السنة في الأدب والشعر والمسرحيات، وقرأت جميع القصص القصيرة الشهيرة، مئات منها. تخرجت من المكتبة في الثامنة والعشرين من عمري. تلك المكتبة هي التي علمتني، لا الكلية"هذا الهوس بالكتب ليس بمستغرب على هذا الكاتب الاستثنائي الذي بنى شهرته على رواية "فهرنهايت ٤٥١" التي بيع منها أكثر من ٥٠ مليون نسخة، حيث يخلق برادبيري في هذه الراوية عالمًا مجنونًا يعيش على إحراق الكتب وإعدام المكتبات!(هل هناك غيري من ذكرته هذه الرواية الموجهة لليافعين بالتنين الصغير الذي كان يحلم بأن يصبح رجل إطفاء!)يمكن القول إن "فهرنهايت ٤٥١" التي نشرت عام ١٩٥٣تقع ضمن "الروايات الاستشرافية"، فقد تتكهّنت بظهور العديد من الأشياء التي لم تكن موجودة آنذاك، كشاشات التلفاز المسطّحة، سماعات الأذن لأجهزة آيبود، وأجهزة الصراف الآلي!غير أن أعظم تكهنات هذه الرواية في رأيي كانت محاربة الكتب، لا عن طريق إحراقها ومنعها، فهذه ممارسات قروسطية لا تليق بهذا الزمن الذي تشهد فيه حركة النشر والتأليف إزدهارًا لم تتمتع به أي حقبة من حقب التاريخ، ولكنه للأسف إزدهار سلبي يكرس التفاهة ويحارب الجدية والأصالة!أذكر أننا عندما أعلنا عن إطلاق صالون الأدب الروسي قبل أشهر، واجهنا سيل من الانتقادات والتعليقات المحبطة من كثيرين (وبعضهم من زملائنا الكتاب للأسف) تسخر من محاولاتنا المتواضعة لإعادة ضبط بوصلة القراءة في الوسط الثقافي الذي ينوء بأثقال من التفاهة تعجز عن حملها أعتى مكتبات العالم!إن هذا الترويج للتفاهة مع السخرية من أي جهود -مهما صغرت- لتصحيح الأوضاع القائمة جريمتان لا تقلان سوءا وبشاعة عن جريمة إحراق الكتب!

mai ahmd

جاءت هذه الرواية بذلك المضمون الذي سيحبه أي عاشق للقراءة أي عاشق لرائحة الكتب وأغلفتها وأي عاشق لزيارة المكتبات والتجول بين أرففها فكل هؤلاء سيلتفتون بلا أي شك لموضوع يمس الكتاب فمابالك لو كان الحديث عن حرقها !تلك الكتب التي أشبعت العطش للمعرفة و أنارت التفكير وأشعلت الأسئلة ،أثرت العقول و أثارت العواطف .. لا يمكن أن لا يخطر في الذهن إنه قبل اختراع الطباعة كانت الكتب تنسخ نسخا وبالرغم من ذلك المجهود الهائل الذي كان من الممكن أن يؤثر على نظر هؤلاء النساخ ويعدم الرؤية لديهم إلا إنهم لم يتوقفوا يوما واستمروا في النسخ إلا إن تلك الكتب نفسها التي أفنى البعض حياته لأجلها اعتبرها البعض أيضا ذلك الكائن التخريبي الخطير والعدو المحتمل فخلال عصورا مختلفة خضعت العديد من الشعوب للعبودية الفكرية ومورست الديكتاتورية في محاولة لخنق الهواء وقد نالت الكتب حظها من الإهمال ، الإغراق والحرق ! أمام هذا الكنز الهائل الذي تقدمه الكتب التي تمتلك تلك الرائحة الجذابة التي لا يدركها سوى عاشق للقراءة والأغلفة الملونة البراقة ذات الملمس البريء الناعم والذي يخطف قلوب وعيون عشاقها ! كانت السلطة تضطهد بشراسة أي شخص يمتلك كتابا ، أو أولئك الذين كانوا يخبئونها سرا .. فالقراءة وياللعجب جريمة يعاقب عليها القانون .. ولا عجب أن يصاب مونتاغ بأزمة ضمير وهو الإطفائي في زمن يقوم فيه بالنقيض من عمل الأطفائي المعتاد مونتاغ كان يشعل النار ولا يطفئها ، يرتكب واحدة من أخطر الجرائم لتدمير التراث الأدبي والإنساني .. يحول المكتبات المنزلية وأصحابها إلى رماد ويساويها بالأرض .. كلاريس هي أرض أخرى هي المطر هي العشب هي النحل إنها تقول أمورا رائعة وتمتلك عيونا مختلفة بينما أصابهم العمى ، هي الحياة الحقيقية و الجانب المشرق في الليالي الباردة ، وهي السبب الرئيسي في تحرّك ضمير مونتاغ في عبارة صغيرة وخاطفة وبريئة : هل أنت سعيد ! كلاريس تسير في طريق لا يجب أن تمر به الكلاب الآلية ولا النار المستعرة ! والتي تنتظر القوم الضالين من عشاق الكتبميلدريد زوجة مونتاغ المرأة الصقيع حوارها مع مونتاغ يخلو من أي دفء أي حميمية إنه كأي حوار آلي ، ميلدريد تجلس طوال الوقت على الصوفا لعلها تقشرلبا أو تمضغ علكة في يدها زر الريموت كونترول تقلب التيلفزيون من قناة لأخرى تتناول حبوبا منومة إمعانا في النوم ! غير مبالية لا تتحرك تظل في مكانها تكرر نفس العملية ، لو كانت في زمن اخترع فيه التيلفون لأمضت وقتها في التحدث والغيبة والنميمة نموذج للإنسان الإستهلاكي فارغ الرأس والذي يعيش كيفما أتفق ولا يمكن أن يكون قد عرف في حياته لذة أو متعة القراءة .. ميلدريد لم تعرف كيف ممكن أن تبقى رائحة الكتاب في اليد لم تشمها يوما لم تتنقل من مكتبة لأخرى لتبحث عن كتاب و لم تطارد كتابا في حياتها لذلك كم كان سهلا عليها أن تتخذ قرارها وتخضع للنظام وتتخلى عن زوجها !الكُتب منارات تضيء العالم فيما الكابتن بيتي أراد إغراق العالم في العتمة كما كان يفعل هتلر عندما أوعز بحرق الكتب عام 1933 كما فعل المغول عندما أغرقوا الكتب في نهر دجلة كما فعل من فعل عندما أحرقوا مكتبة البابا سروج في لبنان إن حرق الكتب هو حريق في القلوب العاشقة وكل من أحرق الكتب لهو الشيطان بعينه ! بيتي يمثل أي شيء شرير ينوي الإضرار بتلك المنارات العالية قد يمثل نظاما سياسيا يسيطر على الجمهور قد يكون الرداءة في الفكر قد يكون الصرامة في الرقابة وإن كان راي برادبري قد نفى ذلك قد يكون ركود الأفكار أو شيء آخر قبيح أشبه بذلك التنين الهائل الذي يقذف النار ولا يملك أحدا السيطرة عليه ! في النهاية يبدو أن راي كان يتنبأ بأن التكنولوجيا ستسيطر على عقل الإنسان في مرحلة ما وعلى الرغم من شعور القارىء بأن راي يقدم الأمل فهناك حفظة ينتشرون على طول الطريق إلا إنه يتركه محتارا هل تكفي ذاكرة الإنسان ! تلك الذاكرة المعرضة للإهتراء وللمرض والموت .. الرواية على الرغم من إنها رسالة تحذيرية إلا إنها أغنية في حب القراءة وعشق الكتاب وهي موجهة لعمر معين فيها رسالة واضحة ومباشرة للأجيال التي لا تقرأ .. للأجيال التي وضعت الكتاب جانبا واستبدلته بأشياء أخرى أقل أهمية وأقل ثراءا ورسالة لكل من له دورا في رسم الثقافة التي تحدد قيم المجتمع وتؤثر فيه وللأنظمة الساسية أيا ماكانت والتي تحاول أو حاولت غسل العقول أو التلاعب بها .. إنها دعوة أيضا لفضاءات واسعة في القراءة و حرية في الكتابة ..!قرأتها بنسخة للجيب بترجمة د أحمد خالد توفيق*

Shannon (Giraffe Days)

Guy Montag is a fireman. At night - always at night - when the alarm comes in, he and his team rush out on the Salamander, the fire engine, to the condemned house where the police should have already removed the guilty home owner to an asylum so the firemen can go in without obstacle and burn the place down.Montag has always loved his job. He goes to sleep with a grin on his face, and tries not to look at the ventilator in the home he shares with his wife Mildred, where he's hidden something forbidden. When a new family moves in next door and he meets their young daughter Clarisse, he finds himself fascinated by the things she says and does. She talks about the little details in life, from a leaf to a dandelion held under the chin. She talks about her classmates killing each other, and tells him about a time when firemen used to put out fires, not start them.At home his wife is lost in her own world, a world of constant baffling television and sleeping pills. At work he feels like the Captain knows his guilt, his doubt. And when Montag steals another book from a fire and feels his whole world shaken up with new thoughts, he can no longer go back to being the same as everyone else: happy, because they don't think, don't need to think, and aren't confronted with anything remotely troubling. Including what's in books.There's a wallop packed into this short book, and for a book written in the early 50s, its message certainly hasn't diminished.The world of Fahrenheit 451 is one stripped of anything that can alarm people, that can make them feel excluded, misrepresented, confronted, confused. It is a world designed to ensure everyone's happiness, that began with a people's revolt against a thing that symbolised contradictory, contrary views, that enabled some people to feel superior and thus others inferior: books. The written word. Fiction and non-fiction alike, the people turned their backs on books. To help things along, the firemen began to burn them. Now the ideas in books are so long gone the people have no thoughts in their heads at all. They do not sit in silence and contemplate things; instead, a tiny radio sits in their ear and babbles constantly, or they sit in their living rooms where the walls are giant television screens, watching shows into which they themselves can become a part, that aren't about anything at all but which totally engross them. It is a world of fast pleasures - joy rides through the city at ridiculous speeds - and constant war with some unnamed country far away.As Montag's friend Professor Faber says in his explanation of where the world went wrong, "We are living in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of growing on good rain and black loam." (p.83) What he means is that there is no substance anymore, that happiness must come from something, not the "nothing" that they have created. We recognise happiness because we have known sadness, stress, tragedy, and so on. Thinking critically, analysing, having our assumptions and opinions confronted - this is healthful, beneficial, not something to be scared of and denounce because it upsets people to have to think.Another thing lacking from this world is the idea of leaving something behind, of leaving an imprint of yourself on other people - that people would remember you for your gifts, your abilities, your personality, and so on. Montag can't even remember where or how he met his wife Mildred, and they certainly aren't happy. What else is lacking is knowledge, and self-awareness: no one has the ability to understand themselves, to say "I am unhappy" and discover why, or do anything about it. They are hollow people, and the historical path Bradbury traces is one of minority rule and shorter and shorter sound bites: books and television etc. reduced to single lines and 10 seconds of air time. This trait - with television at least - is apparent today. Aside from commercials, which can be dizzying, video clips for songs are equally headache-inducing, spending barely a single second on any one shot. While I don't think people will, on mass, ever turn their backs on books, our shorter and shorter attention spans is worrying.As for the prose, it's at times quite obfuscating. Descriptions become metaphors that might or might not be really happening, it's hard to say. The cloudiness of the language is poetic in tone but confusing in substance. I wouldn't say the strength of the book lies in its prose, the style of the writing, but in its ideas - for an "ideas" kind of book, it's surprisingly plot-driven. I find that this is the best way to bring ideas across, rather than through people just talking or confounding, "clever" descriptions. To see the ideas in action, that is more rewarding.There was a slip - I only noticed one but there may have been more - when Montag likens his wife's friends' smiles to the Cheshire Cat. There's no way he could have known what a Cheshire Cat smile was like, no way he'd have even heard of it. There is an emphasis on the fact that when Montag tries to read the books he's stolen, they make no sense to him because he lacks the basics, the foundations of knowledge. He has no culture or understanding with which to interpret what he reads. To him it's just gibberish.This is an older edition that I picked up secondhand; it contains a surprising number of very obvious typos - things like "th" instead of "the", and quotation marks in the wrong places. It has an Afterword by the author, and a "Coda" where Bradbury unashamedly rants a bit more about minorities complaining and why his books are, essentially, sexist. To the first, I was puzzled: I haven't really seen much of that. But then I recalled where I have heard these kinds of things, where librarians have locked away books (like the first Tin Tin comic) because they are too confronting or insulting to one group or another: Bradbury's home country, America. So if anything, he wrote this book in answer to what was happening, and continues to happen, in his own country. It's bound to have more of an impact there, for that reason, though it's relevant elsewhere as well. It's impossible to appease everyone, so when you try to the only thing you can do is simply remove what was upsetting a few, rather than talk openly about it and air the issues. You can't make everyone happy, but that is what the people in Bradbury's world set out to do, by making them all the same.In answer to why he doesn't put more women in his books, he avoids the question and instead lumps women - half the population - in with minorities. I get his point but it's a weak argument.The book reminded me of a more recent movie, Equilibrium, with Christian Bale - a sort of 1984 world where people are burned alive for owning anything from the past, and where children spy on their parents. Those stories always have a whiff of anti-communism fascism - something strikingly absent from a book like this, written as it was during the Cold War. It was quite refreshing really.On a final note, I did once try to watch the movie, from the 70s I think, several years ago but it was incredibly slow and boring, I had no idea what was going on and after a while I gave up. From what I remember of it, I'm not sure I'd like it any more now that I've read the book.

Brian

I am in 6th grade. My Language Arts teacher assigns us a book report; tells us we can choose the book but that our grade will be based on the maturity of the novel the report is based upon.My mother and I are in K-mart. I've mentioned to her about this book report to be done, and so before we leave with a basket filled with clothes I know I will be embarrassed to wear, we stop by the rack of books. She selects a few pulp paperback titles, throws them into the cart.A few days later she hands me Fahrenheit 451. "I've read those books I purchased," she says. "I think this is the best of the bunch. You should like it."I am skeptical. When does a 12 year-old boy like anything that his mother does? I admit to myself that the cover looks really awesome - a black suited, menacing man shooting flames over something that looks like books. I give it a go.Tearing through the pages, the chapters, the three sections, I finish it over a weekend and am in awe. A fireman that starts fires? Books are outlawed? I look at the small library that I've had since childhood; a shelf of about 30 books. They now look to my 12 year old eyes as books of a child. Fahrenheit 451 is the book that launched me from childhood, my first book dealing with the adult world.I ask my mother to box up my old books and put them in the attic. I am proud to start a new library with this novel as my first edition. I carefully, lovingly, sign my name on the inside cover. Let the firemen come, I think, I am proud to be a book-reader. I continue to read this book again and again through the years. I enroll in a college course at Penn State my freshman year, simply because this book is on the course materials. I memorized the entire poem Dover Beach because it is the selection Bradbury chose to have Montag read aloud to his wife and her friends. As the years roll by, and I age through my 20s and 30s, I noticed that fewer and fewer of the people I know read any books. Even my avid reading friends from childhood moved on to their careers, their marriages, their children. In the late 1990s a friend invited me to his house to show off a proud new purchase - a television screen the size of one of his walls. I mention how frightening this was, that he was basically mainlining Bradbury's foreshadowing. He handed me a beer and fired up Star Wars; told me to relax. I watched the movie and felt like a traitor.The last time I read F451 was about 10 years ago - I think I was afraid that if I were to pick it up again that it would diminish in its importance to me - much like Catch-22 and The Sun Also Rises. But on this first day in May I have a day-trip to Socal for business and I bring this book with me. And I love it, all over again, as if reading it for the first time. Until Infinite Jest came along, this was my favorite book. I remember why.I joined Goodreads in 2009 with low expectations. I am not a social media person. I've given up twice on Facebook; the last time for good. But there was something I found here that reminded me of Montag's joining the campfire of fellow readers. We may all be from different walks of life from places all around the world, but we come here often and with excitement - because we love books. They are some of the most important things to us and our lives would be ruined without them.So to you, my fellow Goodreaders, tonight I raise a glass to each of you, and I want to say thank you thank you thank you for making my life better, for exposing me to authors I would have never known, and for reminding me that although I'll never get to all of the books I want to read in this life, I can stand on the shoulders of you giants and witness more of the wonders of the written word.

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