November 12, 2009

Graphic Fahrenheit 451

syndetics-lcJust out and much praised, Tim Hamilton's graphic adaptation of Fahrenheit 451, authorised by Ray Bradbury, the man who just over fifty years ago wrote the original novel about a book-burning future where rebellious souls pick books and memorise them to keep them alive, has now arrived at the Library.

It's very pleasing: the cover shiny and sharp-cornered, the pages that when you flip through them smell like vanilla and cream, the drawings going along all dark and then exploding into flame and then dying down again.

And a great dedication:

To David Passalacqua
Whose voice is still in my head every day
And I would like to thank the following:
Ray Bradbury, Thomas LeBien, Deep6 Studios,
Chris Sinderson, Tory Sica,
Howard Zimmerman, Dean Motter,
My mom, and Jean lee.



And then there was a passionate introduction by the big man, Ray Bradbury himself:

"... so what you have here, now, is a pastiche of my former lives, my former fears, my inhibitions, and my strange and mysterious and unrecognised predictions of the future. I say all this to inform any teachers or students reading this book that what I did was name a metaphor and let myself run free, following my subconscious to surface with all kinds of wild ideas.

Similarly, in the future, if some teacher suggests to his or her students that they conceive metaphors and write essays or stories about them, the young writers should take care not to intellectualise or be self-conscious or overanalyse their metaphors; they should let the metaphors race as fast and furious and freely as possible so that what is stirred up are all the hidden truths at the bottom of the writer's mind...

Finally, may I suggest that anyone reading this introduction should take the time to name the one book that he or she would most want to memorise and protect from any censors or "firemen" and not only name the book, but give the reasons why they would wish to memorise it and why it would be a valuable asset to be recited and remembered in the future. I think this would make for a lively session when my readers meet and tell the books they named and memorised, and why."


I am sure some of you out there will already be thinking of your choice. Me, I thought first of Macbeth, because you do tend to think of Shakespeare, or I do, and it's my favourite of the plays. Then I thought oh I should leave it for Paul Reynolds, he's much better suited, with that sublime Scots speaking voice.

Next I came up with Stuart Little. It's perfect for me: funny, sentimental, heroic and with a final message I really love, ie that even though Stuart hasn't accomplished what he hoped to do when he set out, which was to find his lovely lost Margalo, it's a happy ending.

"That's the way I look at it," said Stuart. "I rather expect that from now on I shall be traveling north until the end of my days."
"Worse things than that could happen to a person," said the repairman.


And then I thought, actually, even better, I might do the Odyssey, Stuart Little being a sort of starter Odyssey, if you think about it, the hero with more brain than brawn, the journey which becomes its own end.  For dessert, I could recite the final lines of Tennyson's Ulysses, which I already know by heart:

Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars until I die.

On the publisher's website you can see a video of an interview with Ray Bradbury ‌in which he talks about the genesis of the novel and the graphic adaptation.

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Fahrenheit 451: the authorised adaptation by Tim Hamilton, Ray Bradbury
Ray Bradbury's original Fahrenheit 451

Ditulis Oleh : tosca // 05:30
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