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读书笔记:《Fahrenheit 451》by Ray Bradbury

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这是一本有关的小说作为一个本身就爱书的人,我非常喜欢这本小说。

这本书成书于20世纪60年代,写的是以那个年代为基点的未来世界的事情,作者当时预言说,到1999年,由于嫌弃书本冗长难懂和对短平快的追求,人们会趋向于看电视,看能引起感官刺激的杂志,看时事短评,而完全抛弃了阅读书籍的习惯,当权者为了不让人们阅读书藉,一把大火烧掉了所有的书,并且规定读书是一件法律所不允许的事情。因此,一个新兴的行业衍生出来,叫做fireman。我们一般把它理解为救火队员,殊不知书中的这个职业是“纵火队员”,一旦有哪家房子被四处巡逻的机器人猎犬嗅出有藏书的味道,或是这家的邻居、家人举报这家里有藏书,那么纵火队员就会不期而至,作为惩罚,把这家房子、家具连同藏书一起化为灰烬。书中的主人公Guy Montag,他就是这样的一位纵火队员。

Montag每天的生活平淡无奇,上班,回家,二点一线。他已婚无孩,与太太一起生活,总体来说,他对自己的生活还算满意。这一天在他回家的路上,他偶遇了一位邻家少女Clarisse McClellan,小姑娘热情地与他聊起天来,向他聊起人们早已忘记了去闻花香,忘记了去欣赏蝴蝶飞舞,忘记了在院里弹琴唱歌,忘记了去大自然享受微风美景,忘记了用心感受生活,忘记了读书思考,有的只是追求浅表的感官刺激,Montag从未有过这种想法,这让他既抗拒又感到一丝新奇,明知这种话题是敏感话题,他还是忍不住跟Clarisse约好,在他每天下班时他俩碰个头,聊着天一起往回家的路上走。

Montag的太太Mildred爱看电视,她每时每刻都在家里占居了整整一面墙的巨型电视面前消磨时光,这是她唯一的消遣方式,她甚至把电视节目里的人视为自己的家人,每天Montag回到家时,家里基本上都是冰锅冷灶的,太太全身心扑在电视节目Palar Family上,所以顾不上做饭和照顾Montag。这天Montag到家时,发现太太躺在床上,面色苍白,全身僵硬,人早已失去了知觉,桌头有一瓶空了的安眠药瓶子(书中没交待,但影射Mildred了无生趣想自杀,把一整瓶安眠药吞了下去),Montag赶紧呼叫救护人员,当救护人员到来时,Montag发现来的竟然是两个管道工,不是专业的医务人员。不通医术的管道工用先进的机器,大大列列、毫无所谓地给Mildred换了血,救活了她后就离开了。

与邻家少女的聊天为Montag打开了一扇窗,让他开始怀疑自己的生活方式,并希盼更有意义的人生,他每天都期待着与小姑娘的会晤,没想到的是,有一天这位小姑娘突然出了车祸被撞死了,Montag顿时失了魂。一直以来,Montag出勤去烧房子时,出于好奇,他都会偷一本人家的藏书拿回家来,可他看不懂,这让他想起曾有一面之缘的英文教授Faber,他决定带着书去向Faber讨教。就在此时,有人敲门,来人是Montag的纵火队领导Captain Beatty,他发现了Montag在偷书,他来到Montag家,把为什么书是禁品的历史给他讲了一遍,值得一提的是,Beaty本人在禁书之前,曾饱读诗书,他甚至可以大段大段地背诵很多书中的段落。Beaty警告Montag不能再偷书,并且把偷来的书24小时内上缴,否则后果会很严重。

队长离开后,Montag不顾太太劝阻,带着书去找Faber教授,软硬兼施,让Faber答应给他讲解圣经,于是Faber教授在他的耳朵里装了一个窃听器,这样可以随时跟他进行读书交流。

Montag再去上班时,故意上缴给队长了另外一本书做为搪塞,随后他发现,自己当天出勤要烧的房子竟然是自己的家,原来,太太和邻居都告了密,Montag悲愤地烧毁了自己家,又被队长Beaty发现了他耳朵里藏的Faber教授给他的窃听器,Beaty言语激烈说要找到教授,情急之下Montag烧死了队长(书中隐喻队长故意想让Montag杀了自己),并打晕了同事,然后逃往Faber教授家。Faber教授告诉Montag一条出路,让他往经年不用的废弃铁道那儿去,那里有很多像他一样因为书而获罪的逃犯,Montag成功地甩掉了机器人猎犬对他的追踪,游过一条河,来到了废弃铁道边,并找到了他的同伴们。

故事是以Montag亲眼目睹自己所生活过的那个城市的彻底毁灭而告终的。

对这本书我的解读是:人类如果只考虑满足自己的感官需求,不去追求心灵的滋养,容易陷入药物滥用,断了生趣,最终自取灭亡。

书中专门让主人公Montag吟诵了这首诗,听众是太太和她的三位闺蜜,其中一人听完后感动到大哭,虽然她们平时根本不读书,更不会读诗。

Dover Beach

BY Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm tonight. 

The tide is full, the moon lies fair 

Upon the straits; on the French coast the light 

Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, 

Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. 

Come to the window, sweet is the night-air! 

Only, from the long line of spray 

Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land, 

Listen! you hear the grating roar 

Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling, 

At their return, up the high strand, 

Begin, and cease, and then again begin, 

With tremulous cadence slow, and bring 

The eternal note of sadness in. 

 

Sophocles long ago 

Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought 

Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow 

Of human misery; we 

Find also in the sound a thought, 

Hearing it by this distant northern sea. 

 

The Sea of Faith 

Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore 

Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. 

But now I only hear 

Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, 

Retreating, to the breath 

Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear 

And naked shingles of the world. 

 

Ah, love, let us be true 

To one another! for the world, which seems 

To lie before us like a land of dreams, 

So various, so beautiful, so new, 

Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, 

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; 

And we are here as on a darkling plain 

Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, 

Where ignorant armies clash by night.

 

再摘录书中触动人心的几段话:

Faber says "do you know why books such as this are so important? They have quality. And what does the word 'quality' mean? To me it means texture: this book has pores. It has features... See why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life. The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless."

 

The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.

 

The things you're looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book. Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.

 

I don't know. We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren't happy. Something's missing. I looked around. The only thing I positively KNEW was gone was the books I'd burned in ten or twelve years. So I thought books might help.

 

We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.

 

It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away.

 

The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.

“No, no, it's not books at all you're looking for! Take it where you can find it, in old phonograph records, old motion pictures, and in old friends; look for it in nature and look for it in yourself. Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. “

 

You're afraid of making mistakes. Don’t be. Mistakes can be profited by.

 

 

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