Bradbury and 451 - let the novel run
I re-read Fahrenheit 451 last night. One curious aspect of the book is that it became something entirely other in my memory of reading it. In fact it seems I am remembering my own unwritten story that Bradbury's conjured me into writing - another bit of Bradbury magic.
I'm off in a few minutes to Lancaster, defending my PhD thesis which is built around my dystopian novel Ectopia. It has many strong and curious parallels with Fahrenheit 451, but one that has just struck me involves the way I freed the principle character in my book, Bender, to discover his own story. He found his own definition in running, securing his life by the decisions he made as he faced various circumstances met with along the way. in bradbury's 1993 preface he says of his lead character and the process of writing:
"'Go' I said to Montag, thrusting another dime into the machine (he was renting a typewriter by the hour), 'and live your life, changing it as you go. I'll run after.'
Montag ran. I followed.
Montag's novel is here.
I am grateful that he wrote it for me."
Gratitude that my character lived, his grand book came into being - that's the mode I mean to take up to Lancaster with me. I'll let you know how it played at the end of the week.