Ray Bradbury

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

Moderator: Moderator

User avatar
Ezra Lb.
Posts: 4547
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Washington, DC

Re: Ray Bradbury

Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:14 pm

Courtesy of British artist John Coulthcart over at his site feuilleton the link to an interesting interview from 2010 with RB in the Paris Review -

http://www.theparisreview.org/interview ... y-bradbury

Do you know why teachers use me? Because I speak in tongues. I write metaphors. Every one of my stories is a metaphor you can remember. The great religions are all metaphor. We appreciate things like Daniel and the lion’s den, and the Tower of Babel. People remember these metaphors because they are so vivid you can’t get free of them and that’s what kids like in school. They read about rocket ships and encounters in space, tales of dinosaurs. All my life I’ve been running through the fields and picking up bright objects. I turn one over and say, Yeah, there’s a story.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

User avatar
robochrist
Posts: 3426
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:30 pm

Re: Ray Bradbury

Postby robochrist » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:35 pm

Thanks for posting that interview link. It's a good one!

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: Ray Bradbury

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:04 pm

I like how he picks a normal trope but makes it seem new.

paul
Posts: 877
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 8:04 pm
Location: ATX
Contact:

Re: Ray Bradbury

Postby paul » Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:00 am

I wrote most of this a couple days ago, but since Sundays are my day off, that's when the projects seem to get finished.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Something Wonderful This Way Came

I cannot remember the first story by Ray Bradbury that I ever read. What I remember was being in fourth or fifth grade and reading ALL SUMMER IN A DAY. I was in school, and during half days or if we kids missed out on a field trip, there was a classroom I and others could go to hang out, read books, draw. In those halcyon days of yore (1980-ish), there was no facebooking or texting, indeed, no child in school had a cell phone. The only cell phones that existed were literally the size of bricks and were installed in the fanciest of cars for the most expensive purchaser. So we had to use our imaginations. I read. I found a book of short stories, I cannot remember if it was a Bradbury collection or a book of 'Sci-Fi' or what, exactly, all I know is that after that story, I searched for Bradbury's work. I found THE HALLOWEEN TREE. I have since lent or given away thousands of those and I've never lived in a house that didn't have one in it. THE ILLUSTRATED MAN, then SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES were all easily found in the library. Then very soon after, on the list of books to choose from when writing that years school essay, I found FAHRENHEIT 451. I did not choose it, I had merely discovered it. I was more taken with the synopsis of LORD OF THE FLIES (my ghastly mistake). I did however take F451 out of the library and many others. Enjoyed the hell out of all of them. Transported, I’d say. Others have used that term and quite fitting it is.

I got to high school and discovered THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, because there was a made-for-tv miniseries about it, and also the series RAY BRADBURY'S THEATER had just started airing. The miniseries was nothing like the book and I realized just how bad tv could screw up something good, but I was completely hooked on the goofy, yet compelling show.

Time passes and I'm out of school, just a big, bad, widely read rock'n'roll geek about town. I got a job in a bookstore, a small chain in an outlet mall. The company bought overstock and remaindered books from different publishing companies and allocated those items to the various stores, and we never knew what we were getting. One fine day whilst we were sorting a new shipment, several boxes worth, I was lamenting the fact that we never received anything I REALLY liked. I collected a few books a week, but nothing earth-shaking, or cutting edge, and I just wanted something... more. So saying, I pulled out a hardback copy of THE TOYNBEE CONVECTOR. I said, hey, this is more like it. Employees were allowed first dibs on new items, so I put it aside for purchase and went back to work.
I bought my things, took them home and made myself comfortable. Some soup, a grilled cheese sandwich, a beer -- bachelor food. I settled in and opened the TOYNBEE CONVECTOR... and there on the title page, taking up the entire lower half of the page, was the author's signature. In black magic marker. I've checked since then, it certainly looks genuine. I can easily see how a group of books at an in-store book signing could have been mis-shipped, so I choose to believe it's real. I was, in turn, surprised, astounded, pleased, cocky, then proud of the serendipity of it all. Made my month, that one.

The outpouring of affection for Ray Bradbury and the love of his work is not amazing at all. Since I’ve grown up, I know that those sweet summer fields of a lazy boys youth weren’t everyones, and not everyone enjoys dandelion wine. And to be honest, the prose that makes my heart ache is more likely to be found by Charles Bukowski or Harlan Ellison. But there is a spot, and a place I daresay exists in the hearts of more than those who dare to admit it, that Bradbury has touched in his work. A pure child-like quality of living, of experiencing, of being. Even in his adult work, there is such a... simplistic, matter-of-fact, “this is the way that it is” method of prose, that whether you experienced something similar in your life or not, whether reading about a carnival, a baseball game, the African veldt or schoolchildren on Venus, the words tapped into something you atavistically felt. It resounded in you, because he used tropes so everyday familiar, we didn’t realize we were on another planet, or traveling through time. His was the work honoring the very first rule of writing - tell a good story. Tell it differently or very well, that’s a given. Any writer with a dram of talent can use clever words, and if a moral pops in at the end there somewhere well, that's wonderful too. But those're sprinkles on the icing of the cake. What you are supposed to do, what you are honor-bound to do, is simply tell a good story. And that brain found more good stories just taking a walk around the block than most writers do having sex while skydiving off Mount Everest high on acid listening to Jean Michel Jarre on their iPod. A wicked writer, in that way we used ‘wicked’ as a kid, meaning rad, bitchin’, awesome, hella better than you and damn great.

I don’t have any personal history like much expressed in Bradbury’s work, I don't remember my youth like that, but I do occasionally love to put on those rose-colored glasses and take a walk down memory lane, even if they’re not my memories. And even if they were, no one would have been better able to put them on paper with such enthusiasm and vividness and honesty.

Bradbury has always maintained that Farenheit 451 is not about censorship, that it was meant as an attack on the television and video culture that was sweeping the world, and that too much of it would cause a new media mind, one composed of electronic sound bytes and rendering thoughtful communication between people, and ideas rendered in book form, obsolete. Even to the point of knowledge being considered dangerous, something to be feared and even banned outright. In that, he was dead on. Knowledge is dangerous, and I have him to thank for teaching me that. And for showing me sunlight on Venus.

Mr. Electrico said it best. “Live forever!” And in books, in memory, indeed.

Paul Hull
June 7, 2012
The medium is the message.

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Ray Bradbury

Postby Moderator » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:11 am

FrankChurch wrote:I like how he picks a normal trope but makes it seem new.


As was mentioned before, you have a wonderful trove of stories to discover. You're exactly right. In Bradbury's hands, even the most mundane can become magical.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

User avatar
Ezra Lb.
Posts: 4547
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Washington, DC

Re: Ray Bradbury

Postby Ezra Lb. » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:11 am

Some absolutely wonderful video from 1963.

http://bcove.me/ir4fiwwx


Look at his eyes when he's reading to his daughters.

Can anybody identify the other writers at the reading?

I found this at the Vanity Fair magazine website.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests