'Fahrenheit 451' Book Review

Fahrenheit 451

Ἔτος 1909. Ὁ ἰταλὸς ποιητὴς Filippo Tommaso Marinetti δημοσιεύει τὸ Φουτουριστικὸ Μανιφέστο του (ἰταλ. Manifesto del Futurismo), στὸ ὁποῖο γράφει μεταξὺ ἄλλων:

4. Noi affermiamo che la magnificenza del mondo si è arricchita di una bellezza nuova: la bellezza della velocità. (Σᾶς βεβαιώνουμε ὅτι μιὰ νέα ὀμορφιά, ἡ ὀμορφιὰ τῆς ταχύτητας, ἐνεπλούτισε τὴν μεγαλοπρέπεια τοῦ κόσμου.) […]

10. Noi vogliamo distruggere i musei, le biblioteche, le accademie di ogni specie. (Θέλουμε νὰ καταστρέψουμε μουσεῖα, βιβλιοθῆκες, ἀκαδημίες κάθε εἴδους.)

Fast-forward τώρᾳ στὸ 1953. Ταχύτητα καὶ καταστροφὴ à la Marinetti παίρνουν σάρκα καὶ ὀστά. Ὁ ἀμερικανὸς λογοτέχνης Ray Bradbury δημοσιεύει τὴν δυστοπικὴ νουβέλα του, Fahrenheit 451 - μιὰ νουβέλα ποὺ συγγενεύει μὲ τὰ διάσημα ἀριστουργήματα Brave New World, 1984 καὶ Animal Farm.

Ἤδη ἀπὸ τὶς πρῶτες σελίδες τῆς νουβέλας μᾶς ἀποκαλύπτεται ἡ ταχύτητα. Ἡ κυρία Montag (ἢ Millie) ἐξομολογεῖται στὸν “πυροσβέστη” -στὴν πραγματικότητα, ἐπαγγελματία βιβλιοκαύστη- σύζυγό της καὶ κεντρικὸ ἥρωα τοῦ βιβλίου, Guy Montag:

Have you ever watched the jet cars racing on the boulevards down that way? I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly.

Λίγο ἀργότερα, ἡ νεαρὴ φίλη τοῦ Montag, ἡ Clarisse, γεμίζει τὸν Montag μὲ νέες ἀμφιβολίες καὶ ἐρωτηματικά:

And at the museums, have you ever been? All abstract. That’s all there is now. My uncle says it was different once. A long time back sometimes pictures said things or even showed people.

Πρὸς τὸ τέλος τοῦ πρώτου κεφαλαίου -σὲ ὅλο τὸ προηγούμενο διάστημα οἱ πυρὲς τῆς ματαιοδοξίας καὶ τὰ auto-da-fé τῶν βιβλίων δίνουν καὶ παίρνουν- ὁ σαβοναρόλας διοικητὴς τοῦ “πυροσβεστικοῦ” σώματος, ὁ Beatty, ἀποκαλύπτει στὸν ἐξεγερμένο πιὰ Montag τί πραγματικὰ συμβαίνει στὸν κόσμο τους:

Politics? One column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, all vanishes! Whirl man’s mind around about so fast under the pumping hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters, that the centrifuge flings off all unnecessary, time-wasting thought! […]

School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts? […]

Empty the theatres save for clowns and furnish the rooms with glass walls and pretty colors running up and down the walls like confetti or blood or sherry or sauterne. […]

There you have it, Montag. It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God.

Καὶ ἡ ἱστορία τοῦ Προμηθέα-Montag συνεχίζεται…