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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

How to fireproof your words

Granny Weatherwax opened her eyes. There were flames roaring right in front of her....
"You did well to get a fire going in this murk," said Granny.
"I thank Om for it," said [Quite Reverend Mightily] Oats.
"Very kind of him, I"m sure. But we"ve got to... get on." Granny tried to stand up....  "Find a stick or something I can lean on. Go on."
He disappeared into the dripping shadows.
Granny flapped her skirts in front of the blaze to circulate some warm air, and something small and white flew up from the ashes, dancing in the fire and sleet....  It was a piece of thin paper, the charred corner of a page. She could just make out, in the red light, the words ". . . of Om . . . aid unto . . . Ossory smote . . ." The paper was attached to a burnt strip of leather binding.
She regarded it for a while, and then dropped it carefully into the flames as the sound of crackling twigs indicated Oats"s return....

She staggered a little as she set off again, but to Oats"s admiration managed to stay upright.....
"Shame about your little book of holy words..." she said, when she was further down the track.
There was a long pause before Oats replied.
"I can easily get another," he said levelly....
"Terrible thing to have to burn all them words, though."
"The worthwhile ones don"t burn."
-Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum
Book Burning By Bloomberg’s Thugs #OWS | Pastoral Musings
[W]hen a group of leaders begins to destroy books, there is a problem of great significance....  [A] government that will burn books cares nothing about the people. They only care about power.
My response (slightly edited):
One cannot destroy the words of a book simply by destroying a book. That can only be done by getting the reader to reject what he or she has read.

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