Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Still Counting...

Two more days, two more books.

I'm rediscovering all the great short novels in my house. Who knew the shelves held so many? I might never have remembered them without this urgent need for short books.

I reread Fahrenheit 451 last night for the first time since college, when Ray Bradbury came to speak and I soaked up every word. I still want to "graduate from the library" the way he claims to have done, but I fear I fall short.

I am astonished to think that he wrote F. 451 in 1952, never having seen ear buds and ipods and large-screen TVs; and a whole generation of increasingly obese preteens (30%) who do little besides play Nintendo and Wii; and hoards of teens who sit  in rooms full of other kids and text as if no one else exists. And nobody reads. And picture books are dying a slow death. And literary fiction is dying a speedy one. And book stores have to sell movies and music and coffee to stay alive. And anti-racist books like To Kill a Mockingbird are banned because they use the word "nigger".

Call Bradbury a prophet? Or just perceptive and imaginative?

I also learned that my guess was right, that Ray Bradbury wrote episodes of "Twilight Zone." They were so reminiscent of Martian Chronicles. I figured.

On to my next short book...

1 comment:

  1. I love that book. It's still one of my favorites. I remember the first time I read it, sitting on the bus, just horrified at the thought of a world of burning books.

    Way to go on the goals. Hope you make it!


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