Monday, March 03, 2008

Reciting Farenheit 451 From Memory

As a meta-reference to Bradbury's excellent book, a student at Northwestern has memorized the content of Fahrenheit 451 for the purpose of recitation. At the end of the book, former firefighter Guy Montag escapes from his world and meets up with a community of book-lovers whose sole desire is to read and memorize books, so that their contents will not be lost to reckless destruction. The performance, excruciatingly long at 6 hours, did show the human flaw in Bradbury's dystopia: the human mind is fallible and the student was unable to perform without referring to the book. I've acted before, and it's tough enough to memorize just my own lines benefited by reacting to outside cues, let alone hundreds upon hundreds of words as a single sequence (although oral traditions do show that, with the right training and culture, it can work). If anything, it's an emphasis on how we need books in a permanent, bound way, one resistant to the random loss of data, whether in a brain or in a computer.

Labels: , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read this book in Middle School. It wasn't the best book I ever read, but it was kind of interesting to know how the world would be if we were all restricted from thinking for ourselves.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Azrael Brown said...

I read it in middle school too -- being unadventurous, I knew Ray Bradbury was a good writer, so I just read everything he wrote. Eventually I branched out, but this is one of the books I read just because it was by Bradbury.

11:07 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home