So, Ray Bradbury insists that the public has been “misreading” Fahrenheit 451 since, well, 1952. According to this article he wants to “make news” by speaking out about his real intent behind writing the book. It is not a book about censorship. It is “a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature.”
Bradbury imagined a democratic society whose diverse population turns against books: Whites reject Uncle Tom’s Cabin and blacks disapprove of Little Black Sambo. He imagined not just political correctness, but a society so diverse that all groups were “minorities.” He wrote that at first they condensed the books, stripping out more and more offending passages until ultimately all that remained were footnotes, which hardly anyone read. Only after people stopped reading did the state employ firemen to burn books.
So…. the people… censored… the books?
I’m thinking his issue is more about disuading the belief that it’s some heavy-handed government doing all the censoring, and not the people themselves.
It’s the people who are participating in their own oppression. They censor and burn their own books.
Governments are run by people, too.