Post by David Johnston
Bradbury used to complain that people took Fahrenheit 451 as being about
censorship when really it was about people abandoning reading for
television. The government can only start destroying the written word
because the the public at large has already abandoned recreational
reading. The minority who still hang on to their love of reading are
too small to stop it.
There were two other Bradbury stories I can recall which had the same
thing of the government trying to limit the human mind by limiting the
written word. In Pillar of Fire in a bright shiny (ie. cold and
soulless) science fiction future for reasons of "mental health" horror
stories have all been banned and burned and cemeteries are being given
the same treatment. A reanimated corpse tries and fails to save his
resting place and is burned while quoting Poe. Note that the pillar of
fire is both book and corpse burning and spaceflight.
Then there's The Exiles, where the characters of fantastic fiction who
now exist on Mars because their books have once again been destroyed by
a future culture that thinks that fantasy even as fiction can't co-exist
with spaceships. They vainly try to resist the arrival of the first
astronauts who merely by setting foot on Mars will dispel the mystery of
the planet and eradicate the fantasy entities living there.
Then there was the Ghostly Passenger where a "ghost" is dying because
people don't believe in ghosts now.
And then there was The Murderer which was about addiction to
communications technology...an update to F 451's "television is evil"
You have an excellent memory for stories. It took a re-read for me to
remember the book burning aspect to "The Exiles." That's the only story
that you mention, besides _Fahrenheit 451_, that's previously known to
"The Exile" enumerates some fantasy titles soon after it begins.
Some were read by me, a few more were experienced as Hollywood
treatments, and the remainder are unknown to me.
_Tales of Mystery and Imagination_ (Poe) unknown
_Dracula_ (Stoker) treatment
_Frankenstein_ (Shelley) known
_The Turn of the Screw_ (James) unknown
_The Legend of Sleepy Hollow_ (Irving) treatment
_Rappaccini's Daughter_ (Hawthorne) unknown
_An Occurrence at Owl Bridge_ (Bierce) known
_Alice in Wonderland_ (Carroll) known
_The Willows_ (Blackwood) unknown
_The Wizard of Oz_ (Baum) treatment
_The Weird Shadow Over Innsmouth_ (Lovecraft) unknown
Bradbury's one of my favorite authors, for good reason. He paints
pictures in my mind's eye. For instance, this sentence appears in
The captain watched the planet Mars grow very large in space.
Now, planets don't grow in the biological sense. Instead they
accrete at a geological pace. It's far too slow for one human to witness
planetary growth in a period of hours. Anyhow, Bradbury's sentence
paints a vivid picture in my mind.
Orwell likes language that uses an active voice to paint a clear
picture and leave a vivid impression behind. On the other hand, he
believes that political speech and writing use lifeless, colorless,
vague, third person passive language to try to defend the indefensible.
 Orwell also encourages the use of new metaphor.
"De Motu" (Berkeley)  discourages the use of metaphor in
philosophic writing. Watching Mars grow has no place in philosophic
argument because it leads readers to erroneously biomorphize the planet.
2. ISBN 0460873431