F^451 vs. 1984

竹人
2009-08-26 看过
I finished 180 pages (roughly) on the 10hr-ish flight back from San Francisco to Beijing; that's the entire novel plus Bradbury's own afterwards and Coda. In terms of pages per minute, this might be a personal record.

But that doesn't mean much; I've read far fewer pages on other flights and came out feeling more filled up.

Why? That's the question I am pondering about, a rather personal one. Closing up on the last page, I can't help comparing this with 1984 (by George Owell). This is odd indeed. In many ways, Bradbury has been far more precise in predicting what's going to happen -- we are (or will be, as the young Bradbury wrote many years ago) living in a world so compressed by too many conflicting ideas from too many interest groups, to the point of an absolute reversal: burning the books so as to make space for cheap entertainments, which is what all the non-book people want.

And Bradbury carries the ultimate optimism, just like Camu does (my favorite philosopher): the return of hope, characterized by the symbol of Phoenix. Owell, on the other hand, paints a more depressing future, one that is plausible only under -- shall we say -- speculations?

It's like photography -- there is no objective taking of a picture. The picture says something about the taker himself. So here it is, a truth that would be rude if I were 10 years younger: I prefer to read or imagine a world of non-existance (quite possibly because of its very absurdity), so I can find a reason to love this world instead.
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