Ray Bradbury on Fahrenheit 451


“You’re watching Fahrenheit 451 on a Friday night and on Saturday morning you go to the library, or to the bookstore, because the story of that is not complete. There’s not enough time, even with a three hour film, to tell the whole story.  So a really good film provokes your curiosity, and you don’t stop there, you go on being curious if you have any brain at all.  The same for Lawrence of Arabia.  When that film came out, god knows how many copies of Lawrence of Arabia and the other books on Lawrence were sold in the next year, and countless other books since.  So when you see really good films you’re curious about the directors, you’re curious about the actors, you’re curious about the screenwriters, and you’re curious about the personal histories of these films.  So my attitude hasn’t changed in any way.  Fahrenheit was never a prediction, it was a warning.  There’s a big difference.  And it’s being used as a warning in every country of the world now.  So I wasn’t predicting videos, I was just saying be careful that you do not move into an area of political correctness.  We’re going through that crap in this country right now, aren’t we?  It’s called political ineptness, by me.  If you get all the Jews together to get rid of Shylock, those books go off the shelf; if you get the Catholics to ban together against Sean O’Casey, then his books vanish; if you get the black people to eliminate Huckleberry Finn, those books vanish.  And the first thing you know is you got an empty library.  So this whole political correctness thing is totally wrong, and I predicted it very well, and warned about it, in Fahrenheit 451.”

–recorded live in Los Angeles in 1989

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