Wednesday, April 17, 2013

There is no room for caprice, and caprice is the core of man

Letter from Ray Bradbury to Richard Matheson on January 22, 1951. From Out of the Nursery to College, Back to the Nursery by Robert M. Woods. This is Bradbury talking about the context leading to Fahrenheit 451.
One thing I would like to re-emphasize and detail, if ‘The Fireman’ ever goes into book form, is the fact that radio has contributed to our ‘growing a lack of attention’ simply because we tune in, see five minutes of one thing, ten minutes of other [sic], half an hour of this, an hour of that. This sort of hopscotching existence makes it almost impossible for people, myself included, to sit down and get into a novel again . . . Also, I want to re-emphasize the fact that we haven’t time to think anymore. The great centrifuge of radio, television, pre-thought-out movies, etc. gives us no time to ‘stop and stare.’ Our lives are getting more scheduled all the time, there is no room for caprice, and caprice is the core of man, or should be the tiny happy nucleus around which his more mundane task can be assembled.”
Interesting in part because it so closely echoes Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death which I am currently reading.

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