Thursday, February 9, 2017

Brenton Booth writes

Fahrenheit Zero

Bradbury got it
wrong with
Fahrenheit 451
books didn't even
need to get
no one reads
them anymore
and if they do
they rarely understand
their purpse
or fire
theirs having been
from the time
they learned
to lsten
a tragedy far
greater than
burning books.

 Fahrenheit 451 Photograph - Book Burning Inspired By Fahrenheit 451 by John Haldane
 Book Burning Inspired By Fahrenheit 451 -- John Haldane

 Saint Dominic and the Burning of the Heretical Books painting

 Saint Dominic and the Burning of the Heretical Books -- Domenico Beccafumi

 The Other 1492: Christian Book Burning, Jewish & Muslim Expulsion

 St. Dominic de Guzman and the Albigensians [detail] -- Pedro Berruguete

 [North Korea]

 A painting of Nazi book burning
 [Berlin 1934]


 Image result for book burning painting 
Three Suns and Book Burning -- Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493 

 Image result for book burning painting

 Diego de Landa Destroying Mayan Books -- Keith Walbolt


 St. Paul at Ephesus -- Gustave Doré 

[This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed. (Acts 19:17-20)]



  1. Ray Bradbury wrote 27 novels and over 600 short stories; more than 8 million copies of his works have been sold around the world in over 36 languages. Although he was almost univrsally regarded as a writer of science fiction, he rejected the label: "I've only done one science fiction book and that's Fahrenheit 451, based on reality. It was named so to represent the temperature at which paper ignites. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal." His first published story was "Hollerbochen's Dilemma", which appeared in the January 1938 number of Forrest J. Ackerman's fanzine "Imagination!" and Ackerman also funded Bradbury's own fanzine, "Futuria Fantasia," which lasted for four issues. His first paid piece, "Pendulum," co-written with Henry Hasse, was published in the pulp magazine "Super Science Stories" in November 1941 (he earned $15). At 22, he sold his first sold short story, "The Lake," for $13.75 at the age of twenty-two, and became a full time writer by age twenty-four; his first collection of short stories, "Dark Carnival," was published in 1947 by Arkham House, a small press that August Derleth had founded primarly to publish H. P. Lovecraft's material in book form. After a rejection notice from "Weird Tales," he submitted "Homecoming" elsewhere, and Truman Capote, then a young editorial assistant, picked it from a slush pile and had it published in "Mademoiselle;" it was one of The O. Henry Award Stories of 1947. He did much of his writing at the University of California Los Angeles' Powell Library, where he could rent a typewriter for 1o cents per half hour; it was there that, in nibe days, he wrote the first, 25,000-word draft of "The Fireman" about a future American society in which books are outlawed and "firemen" burn those that are found. It was published as a 50,000-word novella, "Fahrenheit 451," in the February 1951 issue of "Galaxy Science Fiction." At the urging of Ballantine Books, he doubled the size again and published the novel in 1953. In a 1956 radio interview he said he wrote it because of his concerns about McCarthyite suppression of ideas. In 1966 François Truffaut' adapted it for film, and Bradbury wrote his own dramatzation in 1979. Ironically, the novel has frequently been banned, censored, or redacted. Its own publisher altered the book in 1967 for sale to young readers; its "Bal-Hi Edition" removed the words "hell," "damn," and "abortion," modified 75 passages (in one, a drunk man became a "sick man" and cleaning fluff out of a human navel became "cleaning ears"), and changed two episodes. For a while the censored and uncensored versions were both available but by 1973 Ballantine published only the censored version until 1979 when Bradbury demanded that Ballantine restore the original version. In an afterword to the 1980 reinstated work Bradbury insisted that he could not support manuscript "mutilation." In 1987 the Bay County School Board in Panama City, Florida, put the book in its "third tier" status, meaning that it had to be removed from the classroom, but a class-action lawsuit, student protests, and media attention the school board abandoned its tier-based censorship system. In 1992, Venado Middle School in Irvine, California, used copies with all "obscene" words blacked out, but parental and media pressure again forced the school end the practice. In 2006 a school in Montgomery County, Texas, assigned the book during Banned Books Week but the parents of a 10th-grade high school student demanded that it be barred from the English class reading list.

  2. Of course, the practice is not new. In 213 BCE Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a unified China, followed the advice of his chancellor Li Si: "I, your servant, propose that all historians' records other than those of Qin's be burned. With the exception of the academics whose duty includes possessing books, if anyone under heaven has copies of the Shi Jing [Classic of Poetry], the Shujing [Classic of History], or the writings of the hundred schools of philosophy, they shall deliver them to the governor or the commandant for burning. Anyone who dares to discuss the Shi Jing or the Classic of History shall be publicly executed. Anyone who uses history to criticize the present shall have his family executed. Any official who sees the violations but fails to report them is equally guilty. Anyone who has failed to burn the books after thirty days of this announcement shall be subjected to tattooing and be sent to build the Great Wall. The books that have exemption are those on medicine, divination, agriculture, and forestry. Those who have interest in laws shall instead study from officials." Three years later, after two alchemists deceived the emperor about prolonging his life, he "directed the imperial censor to investigate the scholars one by one.... More than 460 of them were buried alive at Xianyang, and the event is announced to all under heaven for warning followers. More people were internally exiled to border regions." (In the 2nd century historian Wei Hong added another 700 to the figure.)

  3. Before the birth of Domingo Félix de Guzmán (St. Dominic), the patron saint of astronomers, scientists, and the falsely accused, and founder of the Dominican Order (Ordo Praedicatorum, the Order of Preachers. which became infamous for its role in the early Inquisition established soon after his death) in 1216, his barren mother made a pilgrimage to Silos and dreamed that a dog leapt from her womb carrying a torch in its mouth and "seemed to set the earth on fire." While a student he gave away his books, telling his fellow students, "Would you have me study off these dead skins, when men are dying of hunger?" After becoming a monk he was sent early in the 13thcentury to southern France to convert the Cathars (from the Greek "katharoi," "the pure [ones]"), a heretical Christian sect with gnostic and dualistic beliefs which the Roman Catholic Church deemed heretical; they were also called the Albigensians because many of them were thought to live in Albi. Their ministers ("parfaits," perfected ones) were vegetarians and could be either male or female; they lived lives of extreme devotion, simplicity, and poverty. Lay Cahars were permitted to eat meat and engage in sex, believed that if sex was agreeable to both partners then it could not be disagreeable to God, and probably practised birth control and abortion. They were pacifists, declined to take oaths, denied the validity of clerical hierarchies and of ordained intercessors between man and God, and thus read the Bible on their own without dpending on a literate priesthood, criticized the accumulation of land and the forcible extraction of tithes by the clergy, and added "For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever" to the Lord's Prayer (which the Catholic Church at the tme regarded as heretical though it later adopted to formula). St. Domingo spent a decade trying to to extirpate the sect's intellectual foundation, then supported the genocidal crusade against them, which was continued by the Inquisition he partly inspired. The Cistercian abbot Arnaud Amaury of Cîteaux, the military leader during the first stages of the war, was responsible for the massacre of 20,00 people at Béziers, ordering his men to "Kill them all. God will know his own." His successor, Simon de Montfort, took the castle at Bram in 1210 and cut off the noses and lips of 100 prisoners and gouged their eyes out but let one man kep an eye so he could guide the others away.

  4. In the 9th century the Decretem Glasianum was the first index of prohibited books prepared for the Catholic church but it was never officially authorized. The practice was resumed in the Catholic Netherlands in 1529, Venice in 1543, and Paris in 1551, and pope Paulus IV promulgated the first Index Librorum Prohibitorum (List of Prohibited Books) in 1557 to protect the faith and morals of Christians by preventing the reading of heretical and immoral books, including unauthorized editions and translations of the Bible. Two years later he published a new index that banned the entire corpus of some 550 authors in addition to individual proscribed titles. Under Pius IV the Council of Trent replaced it with a more moderate version in 1564, which remained the basis of all later lists until Leo XIII's 1897 version, which also provided for excising partiular passages rather than entire books and provided a grading system of restriction. In 1571 the Sacred Congregation of the Index was created to examine texts andprovide guidance; it was merged with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (the former Sacred Congregation of the Inquisition) in 1917. Most of Europe's most important philosophical and scientific works were effected; for instance, all books advocating the heliocentrism of Copernicus were banned until 1758, and Johannes Kepler's "Epitome astronomiae Copernicanae" was proscribed from 1621 to 1835. The 20th and final edition appeared in 1948 with 4,000 titles censored for various reasons, and the Index was formally abolished in 1966 by Paulus VI; however, in 1985 cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the prefect of the Congregation (and future pope Benedictus XVI) instructed that the Index retained its moral force despite its dissolution. Catholic canon law still recommends that works on the Bible, theology, canon law, church history, and any writings on religion or morals be submitted for approval, and members of religious institutes are required to submit their writings on religion or morals to submit them to their major superior to publish.
    In 1490, the grand inquisitor of Spain, Tomás de Torquemada, burned Hebrew books by order of Ferdinand and Isabella and later conducted an auto de fe in Salamanca, where more than 6,000 volumes “infected with Jewish errors" were burnt. In 1492, after the Spanish conquered Granada, Cardinal Cisneros organised mass conversions of Muslims and the burning of all religious texts in Arabic. In 1499 the Muslim religious leaders of Granada were forced to hand over more than 5,000 books for destruction.France burned printer/writer Etienne Dolet at the stake for atheism in 1546, and the 1551 Edict of Châteaubriant comprehensively summarized existing censorship rules, including provisions for unpacking and inspecting all books brought into France. The 1557 Edict of Compiègne applied the death penalty to heretics, and in the same year England chartered the Stationers' Company and restricted the right to print to two universities and 21 printers in London.
    Diego de Landa Calderón was sent to the Yucatán in 1549 to convert the Maya to Chritianity. Prior to conducting an Inquisition in Mani in 1562 he jailed scores of leaders pending interrogation and "hoisted" many others during the examination itself. (Hoisting involved lifting a person's body off the ground by his bound hands and then attaching stone weights to the ankles; they were often whipped while they were thus suspended), then he held an auto de fé in which he burned 5,000 Mayan cult images and 27 deerskin codices of hieroglyphics; only three, and perhaps fragments of a fourth, survived, the only remaining written records of their culture. In his words, "We found a large number of books in these characters and, as they contained nothing in which were not to be seen as superstition and lies of the devil, we burned them all, which they (the Maya) regretted to an amazing degree, and which caused them much affliction."


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