Friday, 8 June 2012

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury

I heard the sad news on Wednesday that Ray Bradbury, one of my favourite writers, has died at the age of 91.
If I had to attribute my love of reading and writing to one author above all others it would probably be Bradbury. It's mainly due to his incredible body of work but also by being the inspiring person he came across as in interviews and his active campaigning for public libraries. A legendary American short story writer, novelist, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet who has been an influential and seminal figure in literature, film, television, theatre and popular culture for over half a century. Working in the fields of Fantasy, Horror, Mystery and Science Fiction, he maintained a prolific output over several decades. Initially contributing short stories to magazines and periodicals in the early 1940s, his first story collection (Dark Carnival) was published in 1947. Amongst his most famous works are:

The Martian Chronicles

Dandelion Wine

Fahrenheit 451

The Illustrated Man

Something Wicked This Way Comes

The Halloween Tree

He also wrote the screenplay (based on his own short story and play) of one of my all time favourite films, The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.

An Evening with Ray Bradbury, 2001

A Conversation with Ray Bradbury

Day at Night: Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury Fantastic Fiction page
Ray Bradbury GoodReads page
Ray Bradbury official website

Here are some of my favourite Ray Bradbury quotes:

“Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world. I know, for I'm one of them.” - Dandelion Wine

“We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.”

"Sense of humour is everything. You can do anything in this world if you have a sense of humour."

“If we listened to our intellect we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go in business because we'd be cynical: "It's gonna go wrong." Or "She's going to hurt me." Or,"I've had a couple of bad love affairs, so therefore . . ." Well, that's nonsense. You're going to miss life. You've got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.”

“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”

“You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

“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.”

“Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.”
“I have two rules in life - to hell with it, whatever it is, and get your work done.”

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.”

“You fail only if you stop writing.”

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, 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.”

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)