Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In Memoriam: Ray Bradbury 1920-2012

Writer. The Martian Chronicles. The Illustrated Man. Fahrenheit 451. Dandelion Wine. Something Wicked This Way Come. The Halloween Tree

"First of all, I don't write science fiction. I've only done one science fiction book and that's Fahrenheit 451, based on reality. It was named so to represent the temperature at which paper ignites. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal. So  The Martian Chronicles is not science fiction, it's fantasy. It couldn't happen, you see? That's the reason it's going to be around a long time--because it's a Greek myth, and myths have staying power."

“If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed to trap them before they escape.”

"I wonder how many men, hiding their youngness, rise as I do, Saturday mornings, filled with the hope that Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam and Daffy Duck will be there waiting as our one true always and forever salvation?"




"Good old wonderful Earth. Send me your hungry and your starved. Something, something - how does that poem go? Send me your hungry, old Earth. Here's Sam Parkhill, his hot dogs all boiled, his chili cooking, everything neat as a pin. Come on, you Earth, send me your rocket!"



“They walked still farther and the girl said, "Is it true that long ago firemen put fires out instead of going to start them?"

"No. Houses have always been fireproof, take my word for it."

"Strange. I heard once that a long time ago houses used to burn by accident and they needed firemen to stop the flames."



“Why aren't you in school? I see you every day wandering around."

"Oh, they don't miss me," she said. "I'm antisocial, they say. I don't mix. It's so strange. I'm very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, doesn't it? Social to me means talking to you about things like this." She rattled some chestnuts that had fallen off the tree in the front yard. "Or talking about how strange the world is. Being with people is nice. But I don't think it's social to get a bunch of people together and then not let them talk, do you? An hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, another hour of transcription history or painting pictures, and more sports, but do you know, we never ask questions, or at least most don't; they just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and us sitting there for four more hours of film-teacher. That's not social to me at all. It's a lot of funnels and lot of water poured down the spout and out the bottom, and them telling us it's wine when it's not. They run us so ragged by the end of the day we can't do anything but go to bed or head for a Fun Park to bully people around .... I guess I'm everything they say I am, all right. I haven't any friends. That's supposed to prove I'm abnormal.”



The picture on his back showed the Illustrated Man himself, with his fingers about my neck, choking me to death. I didn't wait for it to become clear and sharp and a definite picture.


(No shortage of quotes from this guy. I've barely scratched the surface--KJ)







9 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing these quotes Kirk. It's hard not to be a fan of this man. Sorry he is gone.

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    1. Hell, just google "Ray Bradbury" and "quotes". You'll have more than your share of the man's quotes, not just from his books but also his many, many interviews.

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  2. Wow, your picked some wonderful and interesting quotes.
    I never really thought about him, I think I just assumed he would be always around.
    Fahrenheit 451 is my favorite book. I think what drew me to the book was that is the temperature of paper burning and I am a paper/book artist.
    Something Wicket This Way Come freaks me out.
    Thanks for a great post.

    cheers, parsnip

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  3. Is Fahrenheit 451 you favorite Bradbury book, or your favorite book, period? Anyway, as a paper/book artist, what do you think of the artwork on all of the books I have pictured? Those are all what the first editions looked like. Even though I've read all three books, I'm seeing the artwork for the first time, as it had changed by the time the umteenth editions came my way. I like all three covers, but especially the THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES. I don't know that Bradbury had any thing to do with it, but it's an exciting 1950s view of outer space.

    As for Bradbury's writing, as good as the novels FAHRENHEIT 451 and SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES are, it's really his short stories that do it for me. Bradbury was one of the greates short stories writers, of any genre, ever. They're collected in THE ILLUSTRATED MAN, THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES (in the guise of "chapters") and several other books.

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  4. this man. oh, this man. he had more going on in his lifetime than most would have in multiple lifetimes.

    "I wonder how many men, hiding their youngness, rise as I do, Saturday mornings, filled with the hope that Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam and Daffy Duck will be there waiting as our one true always and forever salvation?"

    not just men.

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    1. I probably have less going on in my lifetime than most would have in fractional lifetimes.

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  5. Gosh I didn't write that correctly. Fahrenheit 451 is my favorite book from Ray Bradbery, it is on my favorite book list. I don't have a # 1 favorite book as that changes from year to year.
    Love the early book covers...The Illustrated Man is fabulous as is The Martian Chronicles.
    I could write a book on the lack of good book covers and the lazy art directors and clients that just slap a photo on the cover with big type of the authors name front and center.
    I can't even think how many book I have picked up and possibly bought because of a great book cover. The same with record album covers.
    The art has gone out of book cover designs and movie posters.
    If a book becomes a movie, photos from that movie will be on the re-released book cover.
    What I really miss is great movie poster designs. Like the poster design of Saul Bass who did a lot of work for Otto Priminger. Posters for Exodus, Man With The Golden Arm, Bunny Lake Is Missing, Harms Way, Anatomy Of A Murder, all strong eye catching statement.
    We have become people with a 10 second attention span with no eye for design and marketing for the masses with the quickest turn around.
    Kinda got off track here.

    cheers, parsnip

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  6. In addition to movie posters, parsnip, Saul Bass also did the opening credits for all the films you mentioned. In fact, Bass revolutionized movie credits in the 1950s.

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  7. I so agree, Saul Bass really did revolutionized the movie credits. I really appreciate his work. I like the strong design elements that he uses, It is what I see and how I draw and am most comfortable with.

    cheers, parsnip

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