Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature paper burns, and the title of Ray Bradbury’s famous apocalyptic novel. It takes us to a futuristic world where books are burned. I remember reading it as a teenager and loving his ideas.
Ray Bradbury died on Tuesday. In his honor I’m posting 5 quotes from his most famous novel, Fahrenheit 451. They say a lot about writing, books and life. Below the quotes I’ll put a video clip from AP on his life. Enjoy.
“There must be something in books, things we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”
– Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, Part 1
The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.(83) Wikiquote
The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. They’re Caesar’s praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, ‘Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal.’ Most of us can’t rush around, talk to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven’t time, money or that many friends. The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. (86)
Remember the firemen are rarely necessary. The public stopped reading of its own accord. You firemen provide a circus now and then at which buildings are set off and crowds gather for the pretty blaze, but its a small sideshow indeed, and hardly necessary to keep things in line. So few want to be rebels anymore. (87)
Somewhere the saving and putting away had to begin again and someone had to do the saving and keeping, one way or another, in books, in records, in people’s heads, any way at all so long as it was safe, free from moths, silver-fish, rust and dry-rot, and men with matches.
Quote 6 (okay, so I can’t count)
Some day the load we’re carrying with us may help someone. But even when we had the books on hand, a long time ago, we didn’t use what we got out of them. We went right on insulting the dead. We went right on spitting in the graves of all the poor ones who died before us. We’re going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we’re doing, you can say, We’re remembering. That’s where we’ll win out in the long run. And some day we’ll remember so much that we’ll build the biggest goddamn steam-shovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in and cover it up. Come on now, we’re going to go build a mirror-factory first and put out nothing but mirrors for the next year and take a long look in them.” (163-164)
Note: quotes 2-4 come from Wiki Quote. The first quote comes from About.Com. My copy of the book is tucked away, cozy in a cottage bookcase.
0 Replies to “5 Quotes from Fahrenheit 451”
What a lovely tribute, Jo-Ann. Good to be reminded what we do is important. Ideas are important. Ideas scare some people. They respond by trying to burn them out. No matter whether I like the words or hate the words, I have to defend authors’ right to write them.
I’m late responding, because I’ve become hooked on a Carla Neggar mystery. Thanks for the tip.
Thanks for coming by and adding to the discussion.
Have a great weekend
Just added this blog to my favorites. I enjoy reading your blogs and hope you keep them coming!
So glad you’ve found Carla Neggers. They are hard to put down. Did you start with her most recent or did you go back toward beginning to kind of follow the families? I think I started with the 2003 book COLD RIDGE. Get’em all and enjoy.
I started with The Harbor because I wanted to read a recent one and I like the cover. I wrote a short review for Amazon and copied it to Goodreads. Now I’m reading Stonebrook Cottage. Great stories. Thank you so much for telling me about them.
It’s wonderful when someone remembers a person who touched their life with their words on a page. I’ve never read any of his work, but you’ve peeked my curiosity. Although I’m one of the bad ones you quoted him on, ” The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.” in my novel, there is a rape and yes she is left for the files. But I also love what Marsha said about defending author right to write. THANK YOU Marsha! Me and my twisted mind needs to get back to work.
Did you leave her to the flies, or did her rape serve a purpose in the story? I bet the latter.
I feel vulnerable as a writer when I put things on paper. I have a torture scene, short, but still edgy in one of my WIPs. I believe it fits the story and the characters. But I’m sure others would disagree.
I’m all for defending writer’s rights.
Thanks for stopping by and adding to the discussion. Have a good weekend.
Yes the rape emulate what happen to my villain as a child. It’s the reasons she kills. I know for me it bothers me to write about it. But like you said, its there for a reason.
And I’m sure the reader will be moved to empathize for the villain and what he/she went through…adding emotional depth to your story. I say, good writing.
Wonderful post,glad I happened upon it 🙂
Thanks. I hope you come back and visit.
I love the artwork on your website. It kinda takes your breath away.
The book may be outdated in trivial ways, but in big ways as pertinent as ever. Quote 4 is my favorite. How very prescient.