06 Jun 2012 at 10:28 am #1507
Very sad news today, the death of legendary science fiction pioneer Ray Bradbury at 91. I devoured The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked this way Comes as a kid. The latter, especially, helped shape my ideas about narrative technique while making sleep difficult if not impossible during the couple of weeks it took me to read it. As a stylist Bradbury was a great narrative poet, in his sublimation of difficult high modernist tropes and dreamlike narration perhaps the most “literary” of a generation of pure science fiction writers that included Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark, Frank Herbert and Phillip Dick. His anti-totalitarian classic Farenheit 451 contributed much to my political outlook, especially my opposition to censorship, and underlies to this day my participation in the annual Banned Books Week readings here in Macondo and in New York and in several other anti-censorship causes.
Make sure to say “hi” to Loren Eiseley and Gene Roddenberry for me, Ray.
06 Jun 2012 at 1:43 pm #1510
- This topic was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by Rick Wallach.
Dang. For me it was this: my grandpa, attempting to accept that his grandson enjoyed such a thing–risky, perilous, worldly–as reading fiction, took that grandson, me, to the bookstore and said to the clerk: “This boy likes books. What should he read?” The clerk led us around to a certain shelf and pulled down a book. On the cover a solitary boy in antique dress stood amidst a weird, dreamy, country landscape. The title was Dandelion Wine.
willeyQuote06 Jun 2012 at 3:38 pm #1513
Ray Bradbury, RIP. NY Times obituary.
This interview and discussion at the 2005 LA Times Festival Of Books was aired live on C-SPAN’s BookTV and rerun a few times afterwards (follow the link on this BookTV webpage).
This poem concludes the collection of essays Zen In the Art Of Writing by Ray Bradbury:
We Have Our Arts So We Won’t Die Of Truth
Know only Real? Fall dead.
So Nietzsche said.
We have our Arts so we won’t die of Truth.
The World is too much with us.
The Flood stays on beyond the Forty Days.
The sheep that graze in yonder fields are wolves.
The clock that ticks inside your head is truly Time
And in the night will bury you.
The children warm in bed at dawn will leave
And take your heart and go to worlds you do not know.
All this being so
We need our Arts to teach us how to breathe
And beat our blood; accept the Devil’s neighborhood,
And age and dark and cars that run us down,
And clown with Death’s-head in him
Or skull that wears Fool’s crown
And jingles blood-rust bells and rattles groans
To earthquake-settle attic bones late nights.
All this, this, this, all this-too much!
It cracks the heart!
And so? Find Art.
Seize brush. Take stance. Do fancy footwork. Dance.
Run race. Try poem. Write play.
Milton does more than drunk God can
To justify Man’s way toward Man.
And maundered Melville takes as task
To find the mask beneath the mask.
And homily by Emily D. shows dust-bin Man’s anomaly.
And Shakespeare poisons up Death’s dart
And of gravedigging hones an art.
And Poe divining tides of blood
Builds Ark of bone to sail the flood.
Death, then, is painful wisdom tooth;
With Art as forceps, pull that Truth,
And plumb the abyss where it was
Hid deep in dark and Time and Cause.
Though Monarch Worm devours our heart,
With Yorick’s mouth cry, “Thanks!” to Art.
KenQuote06 Jun 2012 at 9:44 pm #1522
When he was good, he was very, very good. This last year I blogged about his DEATH IS A LONELY BUSINESS and his semi-fictional GREEN SHADOWS–about his working with John Huston on the filming of MOBY DICK. RIP.
Richard L.Quote09 Jun 2012 at 6:53 am #1539
An excellent op-ed essay in the NY Times: “Uncle Ray’s Dystopia” by Tim Kreider
Also this appraisal: “Up From the Depths of Pulp and Into the Mainstream” by Michiko Kakutani
KenQuote26 Jun 2012 at 8:01 pm #1650
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