Sunday, January 27, 2013

A "Human Book"? How Very Fahrenheit 451 (Not)

In Ray Bradbury's novel about a future dystopia in which books are banned and burned, individuals risk all to memorize great works of literature in order to keep them alive. In that sense, these people become "human books."

In our present-day Trudeaupia, where diversity of provenance is hailed but diversity of opinion is deplored, where the victim group is seen as being innately noble and virtuous and therefore worthy of being accorded extra rights unavailable to individuals in the general populace, "human books" have no literary merit and are merely endless narratives about victimhood:
Winnipeg – Personal stories of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination will be brought to life by “human books” this week, as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) partners with the Winnipeg Public Library and CBC Manitoba in a three-day event leading up to National Human Library Day on January 26. 
In a Human Library, people become the books that are “borrowed” by the public for onsite conversations. All have been personally confronted with discrimination and stereotyping, which denigrate the basic premise of human rights – that everyone is worthy of respect because they are human. 
“This event helps the Museum facilitate public dialogue about important human-rights issues, even though we have no completed venue yet of our own,” said CMHR librarian Stephen Carney. “Building linkages to the community and promoting human-rights education is an important part of our role – and it’s something we’ll continue after we open in 2014.” 
...The list of Human Books and schedule are available at
Thanks, but I think I'll wait till they come out in mass market paperback versions (and then decline to buy them).

Update: Ray Bradbury sheds lights on what inspired him to write the book.

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