Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Slate Magazine Bashes Comic Version Of "Farhenheit 451"
I didn't want to sully my Ray Bradbury Saturday with this post, so I'll do it today.
With the advent of the release of "Fahrenheit 451" as a graphic novel, we see the first nay- sayer in having this classic book turned into a (gasp) comic book.
Being a Ray Bradbury fan, the irony of "Fahrenheit 451" being turned into a comic book isn't lost on me. Comic books being the only form on literature that weren't targeted for destruction. But I completely disagree with Sarah Boxer's elitist, pseudo-intellectual view of comic books (which seems to be stuck in the 1950s). Check out the article here
First of all, Ray Bradbury wasn't anti-comic books. In fact he used to work for E.C. Comics in the adaptations of his stories into comic book format.
Second of all Ray Bradbury isn't an elitist cynic who would view this as a dumbing down of literature. If we want to talk about dumbing down, let's talk about the quality of journalism these days. We've been seeing the decline of newspaper and magazine readership along with the decline of television network news. I know the internet is to blame (the irony of Boxer using the internet for her opinion piece, in which she also bashes the internet for dumbing down literature, isn't lost on me either), but I think that elitist attitudes are also to blame for the decline of journalism. But that's just my opinion!
Now I don't know Ray Bradbury personally, I feel I've gotten to know him through his writings and interviews. He seems to be more interested in spurring the imagination than trying to become some untouchable literary giant. His books have such optimism for the future, even in the stories with darker themes. And it seems like he's never lost his child like (not childish) awe of the universe.
I haven't read the graphic novel, but I'll more than likely purchase a copy thanks to Ms. Boxer's little hit piece. In the end I think this article just shows her complete lack of understanding of Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, or comic books. She doesn't get it and she never will.