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Ray Bradbury's short stories and his life
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I need help! Can anyone help me with ways his shorts stories connected to his life?? Please reply asap if you have any ideas!
Thanks!
 
Posts: 1 | Location: Athens, WI, USA | Registered: 07 October 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It may have all really started with a story entitled "The Lake." Get a copy, read it, and then reference the story behind the story.

Am I accurate on this one, Dandy?


fpalumbo
 
Posts: 732 | Registered: 29 November 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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And wasn't "The Pedestrian" also based on his experience when he went out for a walk one evening?
 
Posts: 581 | Location: Naperville, IL 60564 | Registered: 04 January 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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lmskipper:

Yep. It's one of those things a writer does once in a while. Goes out for a walk and comes back with a story that lasts for years.
 
Posts: 2280 | Location: Laguna Woods, California | Registered: 28 June 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, guys, those were the first two I was going to name. From "The Toynbee Convector," "Bless Me, Father, for I Have Sinned," from "Driving Blind," "House Divided" and "That Old Dog Lying in the Dust," and from "Quicker Than the Eye," "Remember Sascha?" are all said to be life experiences or firsthand life observations of Ray's.
 
Posts: 2694 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Curious! 1939-45, Mr. B would have been in his 20's. Yet no (that I am aware of) WWII tales or perspectives. F451, of course, has social control and book burning themes, and the end speaks of the mushroom cloud; however, I am referring to short stories or specific recounts from RB'S daily observations.

The Drummer Boy of Shiloh is magnificent.
So too, the recounts of Old Colonel Freeleigh to Doug and the boys. So, the Civil War is captured in his storytelling. Post-atomic technology also well documented in various instances. Any idea why there might be such a void here when it comes to the World War?

I know he was trying to write for the pulp and early SF formats at that time, but the images and occurrences that take such metaphoric mastery in so many of his other genre and period works seem obviously lacking. No other time influenced his generation greater than the world at war.

Quite possibly, there are titles I need to catch up on!? Might this have something to do with the volumes of materials he did away with at one time?



[This message has been edited by fjpalumbo (edited 10-12-2004).]


fpalumbo
 
Posts: 732 | Registered: 29 November 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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fjpalumbo:

''The Fog Horn''

...was written after a walk with his wife along the beach one late afternoon or early evening. 'Bones' of an old roller coaster lie beneath the waters, like the bones of ancient dinosaur. And the story took life...
 
Posts: 2280 | Location: Laguna Woods, California | Registered: 28 June 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nard, was that to be a metaphor for the bodies on some battlefield?? He used that image again (I believe) in Death is a Lonely Business. I interpretted that image simply for what it seemed: roller coaster=dino bones!

What I am puzzled by is the specific lack of WWII themes or related historic events of the time. What of the burning of the manuscripts - when did this happen? Any parallels?

Or was WWII just a non-topic? "Reality of its horrors vs. the creativity of RB's fantasies"


fpalumbo
 
Posts: 732 | Registered: 29 November 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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fjpalumbo,

You're right about a lack of WWII references in Bradbury's stories. The only one I can think of is in the short story "The Long Night", which is in the book A Memory of Murder. I can't, right now, remember what the reference is, but I know the denouement of the story hinges upon it being set in WWII.

I have no theory for the lack of WII in Bradbury, but I wonder whether he might have simply removed WII references when he revised his magazine stories for book publication. This is the kind of question Jonathan Eller might be able to help us with.

Phil
www.bradburymedia.co.uk
 
Posts: 406 | Location: UK | Registered: 07 April 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Frank,

You bring up an interesting thought. Perhaps I can ask him some time when I call. However, I feel that your answer might be the correct one in that the whole WWII era was so horrible that he has (had) no desire to write about it.

I told him one day that one of the favorite parts of his books is where he gives us as readers insight as to the origin of the story, many of which, as has been pointed out so well, comes from his own experiences.

What I have found so interesting in the past two books, One More For The Road and The Cat's Pajamas is that the stories relate more to day to day happenings, none of which relate to science fiction and/or fantasy.

Anyone else's thought on this?
 
Posts: 294 | Location: Sunrise, FL, USA | Registered: 28 June 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks, Phil and Biplane. Your comments are appreciated. (Phil, help me on J. Eller?!) Bp1: On the last two books, I concur. More humanity that the sci-fantasy driven tales. I was listening to some old radio shows (35 on a MP3 collection) stories the other day while driving. They still seem amazing today. (What great listening, my 8 1/2 yr. old as my co-pilot and his million questions!)

I could not help but think, how a collection of new RB "SF", for lack of a better term, would come across. What would his view of 50 years from now reveal!! He captured so many developments with such accuracy, we have been spoiled.

Poetry, wonder, the future, science, social concern, fantasy, all in one unequalled style. So pleased to hear he sounded strong and healthy. Send our best when next you speak.

[This message has been edited by fjpalumbo (edited 10-12-2004).]


fpalumbo
 
Posts: 732 | Registered: 29 November 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Stories by Ray involving World War II? Hmmmm. As Philnic notes, "The Long Night", which orginally appeared in a 1944 issue of NEW DETECTIVE and was later reprinted in A MEMORY OF MURDER, had to do with a Nazi agent who stirred up riots in the Latino areas of Los Angeles during World War II in order to create domestic unrest and undermine America's war effort. Ray also wrote another interesting war story called "Bullet with A Name." As best as I can recall (and it's been a while since I read it), it involved a soldier hoping to suffer a combat wound which would get him away from the battlefield and back to the U.S. It appeared, I believe, in the April, 1953 issue of ARGOSY MAGAZINE and, to my knowledge, has never been reprinted.
 
Posts: 369 | Registered: 26 January 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think there are lots of autobiographical bits (involving him as a young, struggling writer) in "Death Is A Lonely Business" and "Let's All Kill Constance"...
 
Posts: 901 | Location: Box in Braling I's cellar | Registered: 02 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"The Ducker" is an obscure Bradbury WWII story. The original version of "Homecoming" appeared only about two and a half years after the end of WWII and contained a number of postwar references, which were excised in the 1950s version and then rewritten for "From the Dust Returned" in "undated" form. "Lafayette, Farewell" is about a WWI veteran, but, except for "If MGM is Killed, Who Gets the Lion?" I can't think of too many other Bradbury stories which even mention WWII!
 
Posts: 2694 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've just been in touch with Jon Eller (co-author of Ray Bradbury: The Life of fiction). He has just spent a few days with Ray working on a new book project.

Jon tells me that Ray's main reason for avoiding WWII references was that he hated WWII and was terrified by it. He had a recurring nightmare which he interpreted as the war leading to the end of his career and/or life.

Ray apparently did some work for the war effort, writing Red Cross radio commercials.

"The Long Night" is apparently inspired by real events, which happened in the area where Ray's daytime office was based.

Thanks, dandelion, for pitching in a smidgeon of supporting evidence for my "revision" theory, but it looks as if I was largely barking up the wrong tree.

Phil
www.bradburymedia.co.uk
 
Posts: 406 | Location: UK | Registered: 07 April 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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