Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thinking About Ray Bradbury

     I like "slice of life" movies (and stories); ones that take ordinary people in ordinary events, and draw out the things that make them interesting.  That is why one of my favorite movies is Tender Mercies, with Robert Duvall and Tess Harper.  It is one reason why I find Wendell Berry to be one of my favorite story-tellers.

     I also like "make you think" stories (and movies);  ones that take realities, or possibilities, or orthodoxies, and stand them on their head.  That is why I like Charles Williams, G. K. Chesterton, and Stanley Kubrick.  It is one reason why I like George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward in They Might Be Giants, which I consider to be the best Sherlock Holmes film ever made.  (I know; that's just me.)

     Ray Bradbury, who died this week, was a "make you think" sort of guy.  Just this past year, I found myself buying and reading a fresh copy of his Martian Chronicles, after I had just bought and read his Zen In The Art Of Writing.  Made me think, all right.

     I guess I first ran into him in Fahrenheit 451, the famous novel (and movie).  It was about book-burning, but it was about something more -- the attempted destruction of the human imagination.  Bradbury was certainly interesting in that regard; always a human, always imagining things about other human imaginations.

     I imagine that he is not really gone.

     Not really.

*       *       *

     Gary North has an interesting article about Ray.  Let him give you his own take, here.

     There is a most interesting interview with Ray Bradbury in The Paris Review, with tremendous encouragement to anyone who wants to write.  Here is the link.


  1. I've have only read 451--guess I better read some more of writings : )

    A fellow homeschool mom gave me this link a few months back. I had to search deep in my email for the link, as at the time, I didn't think anyone else would be interested.

    The Paris Review Interviews Ray Bradbury

  2. Dear Castiron,

    Thanks tremendously for the link to the interview with Ray Bradbury. It was wonderful to get in touch with him that way.

    I loved the parts where he "breaks the rules" that English teachers recommend, or enforce, when they are teaching "writing." He sheds tremendous light on the whole matter of creation.

    I have taken the liberty of including this link at the bottom of the post, without formally attributing it to you there.

    But thanks, very much. It brings a necessary completion to a very incomplete post.


  3. It is such an interesting interview. I liked the part about libraries, since that is what I longed to do when I was in jr. high/high school--left alone to just read. That's pretty much how I homeschool my kids now, don't give them lectures, text books (except math of course) or tests, but piles upon piles of books which they devour and then come running to me to tell me what wonderful things they learned : )

    Sadly, tho, the library Bradbury is talking about doesn't exist anymore. The book stacks have been taken over by computers and racks of DVDs. You need a personal library, or access to a private or college library maybe (??) to self-teach these days.

    ---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. ---