With the stunning and sad news of the passing of author, philosopher and icon Ray Bradbury today, I ran through a mental catalog of his many milestone works and found it overwhelming. Probably one of the most gifted and keen minds the 20th Century had to offer, Bradbury painted a world perhaps more prophetic than fantastic, more visionary than imagined, more real than fancied.
As way of tribute, I ran across this brief excerpt from an interview done in 1958 where he explains the premise of his landmark novel Fahrenheit 451.
In 1958 he explained his reason for writing a piece on the willful and systematic destruction of books, with a sense of optimism that the climate that spawned the piece (the McCarthy era and book censorship) had passed and our culture was becoming more enlightened.
In retrospect, he may have spoken too fast. But then, history has that awful tendency to repeat.
Thank you Ray, for being one-of-a-kind. We do however, need you back right about now.
From Democracy Now -- Chalmers Johnson, 1931-2010, on the Last Days of the American Republic:
The distinguished scholar and best-selling author Chalmers Johnson has died. He passed away in California on Saturday afternoon at the age of 79. Read more...