Blabbering of a Fool
図書館戦争 (Library Wars)
“Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.”
— Heinrich Heine
図書館戦争 was one of the most important fiction titles I have read thus far. After all, it was one important factor in getting me interested in library work.
The quote at the top is mentioned shortly in the live-action movie adaptation of the bestselling novel series by 有川 浩 (Arikawa Hiro)…and probably in the novel too, but I’ve read the books a pretty long time ago (prompts for a re-read). This quote struck me strongly the moment it was spoken, the moment I read it, and this feeling stayed with me throughout the entire movie.
A country…nation…anyplace at all, which has no qualms about destroying thought, indeed will have no qualms about destroying the physical bodies that hold thought.
Thought. That is the third time that I’ve written the word in this post, and I meant it as a noun (gonna capitalize it for clarity).
The live-action movie adaptation is a faithful representation of the book series, with a few slight changes in details (one which I seriously still think should have been left untouched). I was very apprehensive about the cast at first, but now I apologize to them in my heart.
And with the movie, I realized that such a future is in fact not impossible, and that is a horrible revelation.
The Library Task Force fights the Media Betterment Act in defense of the right and freedom to information and reading for the common man. We see (or read about) them risking their own safety (and sometimes, lives) to protect books.
But what do these books represent? Essentially, they are Thought in the purest, minimally refined physical form.
Thought is everywhere around us. The computer we are using; the tea we are drinking; the vehicles we are driving; the dances that we are dancing. All these are refined products of Thought. But a book, it holds Thought through the words inside, the potential still lying within, waiting for someone to flip through the pages, acquire these Thought, and perhaps eventually refine them into a unique product that is very different from a book.
Thus essentially, the Library Task Force is protecting Thought…protecting the act of thinking, the universal ability and right of all humans.
And that is, I think, really one of the most noble of causes we should fight for. And what libraries should be advocating.
Thus, my frustrations.