Even everyday news carries a Bradburyesque-paint to it, put there by our recollections of readings, or new found Bradbury stories that make us aware of something merely noted just the other day, but now special indeed.
fjp451, writing in this forum of Legacy, the 'CNN' news about a push to get men back to moon and Mars.
As President Kennedy moved men by his inspiration to build a ship to reach the moon, President Bush has presented the challenge of building a ship to reach Mars. Oh, shades of ''Rocket Summer''. ''The Martian Chronicles'' etc.
On a somber note, in Chicago, the headline in today's papers (June 2, 2005) reads:
'EMMETT TILL EXHUMED. COFFIN, BODY INTACT'.
Reading about the removal of the coffin of a murder victim, Emmett Till in the mid 1950's that helped to also spark the civil rights movement, I came across this paragraph:
"The body, still beneath the clear cover under which it was displayed at Till's 1955 funereal, was described by sources as being remarkably well-preserved. The grotesque swelling that disfigured Till's head had apparently receded, sources said, leading one official to remark that Till's body looked better Wednesday that it did 50 years ago." Further: "Her decision, in 1955, to display her murdered son Emmett's body under glass might have kept his remains intact until the day federal investigators were finally ready to investigate his death."
Wow. Shades of Ray's "The Tombling Day."
When the Challenger exploded years back, we all thought of Ray's "Kaleidoscope."
Anyone got one handy, to post here? There's gotta be a ton of 'em out there.
Yes. Thank you, Nard, for posting this. My reactions on hearing this were basically:
--Wow, he was killed 50 years ago and his remains were in pretty bad shape when found!
(So bad, in fact, I wondered how they were able to be displayed as they were. The article about a clear glass covering being in place helps explain that.)
--He'd be 64 if he were alive; are the accused murderers even still living? (According to a news article, they are not. Till's mother passed away just in the last year or two. Maybe they were waiting till a decent interval following her death to do this. I do believe consciousness does not cease with death and wondered what Emmett and his mother were making of this.)
--They are talking about bringing additional charges. What good that does when the accused are deceased, and pretty much confessed the whole thing anyway after the trial because the law says they can't be tried twice, I don't know, but certainly DNA and other modern tests will set certain questions to rest. (The defense attorney at the time accused relatives of hiding Emmett and substituting some other remains in his place to frame the accused--this will clear that up.)
The first writer who sprang to mind immediately was not Ray Bradbury but Rod Serling. Serling wrote a drama based on the Till case soon after it happened, but it was so heavily censored as to be unrecognizable when produced. Within the last few years, I believe it was filmed more closely to how he originally wrote it.
You are right, though, about Ray writing a number of stories regarding exhumed corpses. In that way he was following the tradition of Edgar Allan Poe, of which a scholar once said, "Nothing in Poe ever stays buried," which in many ways could apply to much of Bradbury's work as well.
Here are further details: http://www.slate.com/id/2120788/?GT1=6554
I read a news story the other day that reminded me of something which could have found it's way into THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES.
The story was about this new-fangled fancy-schmantzy telescope which will be stationed near the North Pole. It was dropped from the sky by parachute. The recovery team couldn't get close to it because a crowd of curious Caribou and Polar Bears had assembled all around the dropped cargo. They had to use rifles to scare away the horde of onlookers.
"Years from now we want to go into the pub and tell about the Terrible Conflagration up at the Place, do we not?"
Actually, that sounds more like a "Far Side" cartoon.
Could we try to keep "real life events which could be written by Ray" to this thread?
I enjoyed your post. Made me laugh! Don't leave.
It is almost impossible to remember topic headings and, when you do, you have to go back and dig them up from the archive (if you have the time).
I think that trying to keep all the soup spoons together in the silverware drawer is not practical, especially here. The surprises and tangents that happen on this board are often what keep me coming back...
"Even everyday news carries a Bradburyesque-paint to it, put there by our recollections of readings, or new found Bradbury stories that make us aware of something merely noted just the other day, but now special indeed."
- and -
"When the Challenger exploded years back, we all thought of Ray's "Kaleidoscope."
- and -
"Anyone got one handy, to post here? There's gotta be a ton of 'em out there."
From that, I interpreted the meaning of this thread to be about "everyday news carrying a Bradburyesque paint to it". I thought the news article I was relating to was appropriate for this thread. I must be wrong. Excuuuuuse me. Was it the "merely noted just the other day, but now sepecial indeed" part where I'm straying off course? Was the Space Shuttle trajedy ever "merely noted"? I don't get it.
Would any other regular participant at this board have warranted the same reaction from the Moderator? I just don't get it.This message has been edited. Last edited by: grasstains,
Just thought we could keep this thread about Emmett Till and Civil Rights-related topics because we already had a thread about news stories which remind us of existing Bradbury stories, or could be Bradbury stories, rather than have five or ten threads devoted to basically the same topic. (Not that the schoolkids don't do pretty much the same thing, when studying the same book--they never seem to check what's already been said about a topic, just start a new thread--but that's them.)
I, for one, appreciate your being on task as moderator. I know I'll often respond to a post in a specific thread, my response being inspired by something in the post that was not necessarily on topic. Then someone will respond to my response, and, Lo! a rabbit trail!
No harm meant, and no real harm done, but it does make it difficult to explore a topic cohesively.
Re this topic, Wikipedia has a good comprehensive overview, to wit:
As to relating to Bradbury, I keep thinking of one of my favourite movies (and book), "To Kill A Mockingbird". The relation to Civil Rights is obvious, but the way it's all seen through the eyes of children is, to me, very Bradburyesque.
If that was the case.....why didn't you say so in your first post? Weak, awfully weak.
This place resembles a litter box more than it does a sandbox. So, I'll take my little shovel, and my little bucket, and go play in the old sandbox. The smell isn't quite so oppressive over there.
I think you're over-reacting about this. While I think Dandelion, who does an overall excellent job moderating these boards, and without pay, I might add, was a little too quick off the mark trying to keep things in line, I don't see where she was singling you out. And I don't see why you'd think this place "resembles a litter box" because of this mis-understanding. And this is coming from someone who has, notoriously, in the past gotten way off topic and enjoyed the blessing of not only Dandelion's tolerance and indulgence, but the same from everyone else on this board. Yes, I've felt stung when gently reminded about the purpose of this board but, overall, it's a pretty good place.
So come on back. It's a big sandbox; surely you can find a place to fit in.
Lately I've been catching it from both sides. On other boards, for being off-topic when trying to expand on any related subjects, and on this board, for trying to keep things on-topic.
Posted 26 June 2005 08:16 AM
Dandelion posted some encouraging words here about the review, below, of Weller’s Ray biography. It ran in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The reviewer, who is trained as a historian and specializes in critical studies, is writing a book on Rod Serling, television and modern culture.
This is her first published article. She is my daughter.
The Philadelphia Inquirer Book Review, Sunday, June 12, 2005
A biography fails to shed much light on Bradbury's life
Reviewed by Bonk Johnston (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bonk Johnston is writing a book on Rod Serling's influence on modern culture.
The Bradbury Chronicles
The Life of Ray Bradbury
By Sam Weller
Morrow. 400 pp. $26.05
One can assume that the intent of Sam Weller's authorized biography of Ray Bradbury is to illuminate the life of one of the 20th century's most prolific and admired writers. Weller, a Chicago literature professor, made more than 50 trips to Los Angeles over four years to interview Bradbury.
He calls himself a Bradbury fan, which underscores the major fault with this book. Instead of investigating, Weller just retells the grand old man's tales.
Consider the plagiarism charges that Bradbury levels at his friend Rod Serling. Bradbury says Serling admitted that the 1959 Twilight Zone pilot came from a story in Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles. But Weller neglects to mention that, throughout his career, Bradbury successfully sued writers for plagiarism. He never sued Serling.
Weller uses the phrase "according to Ray" as if this were enough to make something factual. Although he had unfettered access to Bradbury's personal files, he doesn't cite any evidence to back up this particular claim of Bradbury's. Moreover, at a Web site, Weller has written that he did not visit the Serling archive in Wisconsin, just 150 miles from his home, to check out Serling's side of the story.
Both Bradbury and Serling were known for keeping nearly every piece of paper that crossed their desks. Weller did not even interview Serling's widow, who is alive and well in Southern California - although she plays an integral part in the story he recounts from Bradbury's memory.
Bradbury, 84, can hardly be faulted for lapses of memory; it is Weller whose duty it was to check the facts. Weller must assume the task of, if not disproving Bradbury's recollections, at least pointing out the contradictions in them. Weller either didn't see the contradictions or refused to investigate. Weller even repeats Bradbury's claim to remember his own birth, but doesn't compare Bradbury's published writings on the subject.
In Zen in the Art of Writing, for instance, a 1992 collection of essays, Bradbury writes that, in his 20s, he remembered a nightmare of not only his birth but also his circumcision. In a later essay in the book, Bradbury again recounts the story of his birth, only this time claiming it is from memory alone.
For decades, Bradbury has emphasized that most of his writing was not science fiction. He sees himself - properly - as a writer of popular literature, because he often disregards known scientific facts and instead relies on romantic notions of the heavens to tell his stories. Bradbury told Weller that he refuses to read any science fiction or fantasy unless it is written by, or recommended by, friends - for fear that he will be accused of stealing or emulating. Weller never examines what this tells us about Bradbury, a man who has always said that his seminal work, The Martian Chronicles, is based in both theme and style on Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio.
Bradbury's life deserves study. He has created enduring images, especially the book-burning dystopia of Fahrenheit 451. And, despite its serious flaws, The Bradbury Chronicles is almost a seamless read.
Weller's style resembles Bradbury's, detailing emotional and personal relationships. This book is important because it reveals how Bradbury wants to be remembered, as a man so free of flaws that his only questionable actions were two extramarital affairs. Even then, Weller offers Bradbury's own justification.
In Zen in the Art of Writing, Bradbury wrote about how, when he was a boy, going to the bathroom at night required a scary journey up a dark flight of stairs. He would begin the ascent, only to scurry down until his mother would awaken, go up the stairs for him and turn on a light. After Bradbury had relieved himself, she would tuck her frightened little boy in bed, comforting him. He wrote that fear of the unknown lurking in the darkness atop the stairs haunted him from 1926 to 1986, when he finally wrote a short story to exorcize that demon.
Bradbury clearly knows that future, unauthorized biographers will examine his life after he enters the ultimate darkness. He has allowed Weller to walk up the dark stairs, turn on the light, and tuck him in, assuring that his own version of his life would be told in a most comforting way.
Hi, David, glad to see you made it! You posted that in the wrong thread, but I am tolerant and will not yell at you.
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