Fahrenheit 451 and other temperatures

Now, Senoras, how would you feel if I told you to hand over all your books … so that I could put them on a big bonfire and burn them? You see, books cause dangerous thoughts so it’s best to hand them over to me for safe disposal.

Okay … only kidding, but that’s the story behind Fahrenheit 451 by the American author Ray Bradbury, who died on 5th June last aged 91. In addition to Fahrenheit 451, which was made into a movie, you may like to look up a couple of his other books The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man.

If you feel so inclined, pull out that brand-new notebook of yours – the one that you’ve hardly used – and throw down some thoughts …

Write On: Here’s a question for you. From your home library collection (you do have a home library, don’t you?), which five books would you hide and save from the pyre?

And here’s a quote from Fahrenheit 451 to set your thinking:

Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there. It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away.

Write On: What, then, will you leave behind?

Finally, here’s Ray Bradbury in 2008, aged 87, talking about reading, imagination, doing what you love and … writing.

(Credit: National Endowment for the Arts, 2008)

And here’s a poem from me for Ray Bradbury:

In the chronicles:

Illustrated homecoming

To dandelions.

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