Commentary, Non-Fiction

Death Day – A Tribute to Ray Bradbury

Celebrating the life of Ray Bradbury

Now I must say, without weeping, how much this writer means to me. Ray Bradbury has been the strongest inspiration to me as a writer, or even as a human, persevering through the unimaginative obstacles, and he is the true inspiration for this project of Drunken Library. Bradbury was a novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet. He was a self-educated man, an idea enthusiast, and one who charmed you with such fun and imagination that you felt like a child reborn. Reading Bradbury is like a soft blow of ocean mist after the morning rain has cleared. bradbury

Ray Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois and fell in love with reading when he was three years old. He began reading comics and fantasy, then hoped to grow up to be all the characters that he read about. After graduating from Los Angeles High School, he started religiously attending the public library, from which he says that he graduated. The library educated and fulfilled him. He was most successful in science fiction, screenplays, always defending the imagination of the individual.

In my later years I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back. Occasionally I wonder why I can be so happy. The answer is that every day of my life I’ve worked only for myself and for the joy that comes from writing and creating. The image in my mirror is not optimistic, but the result of optimal behavior.

Favorite Quotes:

If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you, and you’ll never learn.

Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.

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The things that you do should be things that you love, and the things that you love should be things that you do.

Incomplete List of Suggested Reading:

The Martian Chronicles (1950)

The Illustrated Man (1951)

Fahrenheit 451 (1953)

Dandelion Wine (1957)

Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962)

I Sing the Body Electric (1969)

The Cat’s Pajama’s (2004) – Collection of Short Stories

Interesting Facts:

His formal education ended at high school; he never attended a college, but a library.

When he was a boy, Bradbury was tapped on the shoulder by the sword of a carnival man and told to “Live forever!” which inspired his works for a lifetime.

Bradbury was afraid of the dark until he was almost twenty years old and he never obtained a driver’s license.

Related Articles:

You can live in Ray Bradbury’s house. . . http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-ray-bradbury-house-20140520-story.html

A fantastic interview to know him better … http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/6012/the-art-of-fiction-no-203-ray-bradbury

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Non-Fiction, Quotes

Ray Bradbury on Libraries

“I am a librarian. I discovered me in the library. I went to find me in the library. Before I fell in love with libraries, I was just a six-year-old boy. The library fueled all of my curiosities, from dinosaurs to ancient Egypt. When I graduated from high school in 1938, I began going to the library three nights a week. I did this every week for almost ten years and finally, in 1947, around the time I got married, I figured I was done. So I graduated from the library when I was twenty-seven. I discovered that the library is the real school.”

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Quotes

“I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years… At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I’d written a thousand stories.”

What Bradbury Said about Libraries

Quote
Fiction

Excerpt from The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury

I was never young. Whoever I was then is dead. I’ve always figured it that you die each day and each day is a box, you see, all numbered and neat; but never go back and lift the lids, because you’ve died a couple of thousand times in your life, and that’s a lot of corpses, each dead in a different way, each with a worse expression. Each of those days is a different you, somebody you don’t know or understand or want to understand.

No Particular Night or Morning

Standard
Fiction

You sleep only four hours a night. You go to bed at eleven and get up at three and everything is clear as crystal. You begin your day then, have your coffee, read a book for an hour, listen to the faint, far, unreal talk and music of the predawn stations and perhaps go out for a walk, always being certain to have your special police permit with you. You have been picked up before for late and unusual hours and it got to be a nuisance, so you finally got yourself a special permit. Now you can walk and whistle where you wish, hands in your pockets, heels striking the pavement in a slow, easy tempo. This has been going on since you were sixteen years old. You’re now twenty-five, and four hours a night is still enough sleep.

A Careful Man Dies – Ray Bradbury

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