Tuesday, November 15, 2011

“You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” ― Ray Bradbury

There is something viscerally disturbing about the destruction of books; especially when it is perpetrated by people wearing uniforms. Read about it here...

"I ran into the library and let the handful of people sleeping in there know what was happening, then unlocked and pulled the OWS POETRY ANTHOLOGY from the shelves and strapped them to my body, then climbed atop a table in the park and read poems from the anthology. Immediately, the people of Liberty Plaza launched into action, a group of about a hundred protesters took to the kitchen and U-Locked/tied themselves down. After reading the third poem, the cops began to enter the park and I realized that I would most likely lose all of my possessions so I quickly grabbed a bag of my personal stuff, ran into the library and dumped a bunch of boxes of books onto the floor to make the cleaning up more difficult for the cops then ran my personal stuff and a few amazing books to a friends house around the corner." — Stephen Boyer, Occupy Wall Street Library Worker (in the Huffington Post)

From: Encyclopedia Britannica Blog

"Over my desk hangs a large print of a photograph [see above] taken in London during World War II. It is of the library of Holland House [...] One night in September 1940 the house was largely destroyed by German bombs. But the library – perhaps fortified by the weight of those books, perhaps (let us imagine) defiant of the book-burning Nazi regime – stood. The roof fell in, great beams hung precariously, but the shelves were mostly intact and the books remained quietly and neatly arranged in their proper order.
     In the photograph, three men stand quietly at those shelves, seemingly oblivious of the rubble all about them. They are hatted, of course – two homburgs and a fedora – which brings home to the viewer the ambiguity of their situation: Are they indoors or out? One of the men is looking into a book; a second is just about to pull one from its shelf; and the third is simply scanning the spines arrayed before him.
     [...] it is an image of respect, all the more remarkable for the circumstance. It is respect for learning, for what man has achieved since moving out of the trees and the caves, expressed all the more poignantly amidst the evidence of the fragility of that achievement." — Robert McHenry, Encyclopedia Britannica Blog

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