So it’s been about 120 years since we’ve looked at Lamarque, but a random internet article I found reminded me of the anti-intentionalist argument that I found so interesting.

(I guess you could say my horizon has been sufficiently expanded to include understanding of this random article in this way.)

Fahrenheit 451 is a classic American novel about the future of America when people watch TV pretty much all the time and all books and literature are banned. Firemen are people who go around to houses and burn all books. It’s often regarded as a great example of anti-censorship literature. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. It’s one of my favorites.

I didn’t realize this, but apparently Bradbury didn’t even intend it to be anti-censorship. It was instead meant to be a dystopian future of watching too much television.

This immediately lead me to the question: “Who cares what Bradbury thinks?” If, as happens often in design, I were to evaluate this novel based on the author’s intention, I would have to rate it poorly. How does a society’s over-watching of television lead to governmental action in burning books? This doesn’t even make sense to me, and I certainly don’t remember any rationale for that in the book itself.

I suppose he just came up with a great book on accident? In a way, knowing the author’s intention in this case kinda kills the book a little for me. What I once thought of as a really great critique of government censorship was instead just a nonsensical futuring. Sigh.