Today FIRE remembers author Ray Bradbury, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 91. He was the author of perhaps the best-known book on free speech ever, the dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451.
In her book Heterophobia, FIRE Board of Directors member Daphne Patai wrote:
The danger of reading is a major theme in Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451 (the temperature at which books burn). Books lead to reflection and even conflict: This is what the fireman Montag, the novel’s protagonist, hears from Faber, a former English professor thrown out of work when the last liberal arts college closed its doors decades earlier due to lack of students and patronage. Books have to be destroyed because they convey the "texture" of life, Faber says. They "show the pores in the face of life. The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless." But by now, Faber explains, the firemen are rarely necessary: "So few want to be rebels any more."
Rest in peace, Ray Bradbury.