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Thought you all might enjoy this. I can say with certainty that this essay is the final piece of writing Ray Bradbury did in his life. He dictated this to me on April 11, 2012 and we worked on it through early May, just a few short weeks before his departure. It appears as the foreword in Best American Nonrequired Reading of the Year, out now by Houghton Mifflin.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...tml?utm_hp_ref=books
 
Posts: 104 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA | Registered: 28 March 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you! I have been missing him lately, this helps!
 
Posts: 386 | Registered: 31 July 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the heads up, Mr. Weller.

Each of these last few essays by Mr. Bradbury (this one, the piece in the science fiction edition of "The New Yorker" and his introduction to "Shadow Show") has left me with goosebumps. In many ways, I think they're all similar in that they are quintessential Bradbury in content and theme.

Another similarity I noticed is that they seemed to wander a bit...until the end when he so elequently and perfectly tied everything together. This piece, for instance. As I was reading it I was wondering what all this stuff about the butterfly had to do with reading. And then Mr. Bradbury hit me with the last few lines and it all made perfect sense, it all came together. Reading these last three essays only deepens my appreciation for Mr. Bradbury. He truly was unequaled to the very end.
 
Posts: 37 | Registered: 31 March 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have made a fine copy of "The Book And The Butterfly." It will be held in high esteem as a part of my articles, books, mementos, and communications with Mr. Bradbury! Last evening I did a "Banned Book" (30th Year Nationwide) presentation at our village library. I displayed many editions (and related texts) of F451, from a 1953 paperback, with its classic Mugnaini illustrated fireman, to A Pleasure to Burn. His themes continue to grow ever more powerful as time passes and historical events unfold.

Our locale is similar to Waukegan (re: Green Town), with small family businesses, a truly rural settings, and slow, quiet summer eves that sensed the approach of these now cool, leaf blown October nights! How very appropriate this final "love story" about his magical childhood and life as an author is centered around books and libraries. Fitting and true, as only Mr. Bradbury could express it.

Mr. Weller, to have had the privilege of assisting Mr. Bradbury in completing this wonderfully composed reflection speaks volumes of how purposefully you have captured the spirit of Mr. Bradbury's most meaning memories and writings over these past many years. How comforting it must have been, I am sure, for both of you!
f
 
Posts: 2748 | Location: Basement of a NNY Library | Registered: 07 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dear fanboy, david, and fjp:

Thank you for your postings in regards to "The Book and the Butterfly."

fanboy: I sure miss him too! I hope to visit his grave in the next month or so. I'm sure this will be a very sad occasion.

davidafshar: agreed that his limited writing in the last few years wandered and then tied up beautifully. I think this was a result of circumstance, mostly. Ray dictated several essays to me in the last three years. Most of them were done in bits and fragments, floating thoughts and memories, that he would dictate to me over a period of months and then he asked me to connect them all and give them back to him. I would read all of the connected thoughts and he would listen closely and them make editorial suggestions. "The Book and the Butterfly" was mostly dictated on April 11, 2012. He got very inspired when he started talking about the miraculous nature of the universe. Thanks for your comments!

fjp451: Congrats on your library presentation! It sounds fantastic! I also presented on 451 and intellectual freedom this week at the Kent State Tuscarawas campus. It was a wonderful event and I just love Ohio in the autumn. The trees were all on magnificent display. Thank you for your kind words regarding my commitment to Ray over the years. It will continue for the rest of my days. Indeed, we were very lucky to have each other for a great run of 12 years.

People have inquired if I have more work that Ray recited to me. There is quite a bit. He worked very hard on an essay titled "The Pomegranate Architect" over the last three years. I have given it to Ray's daughter and agent. It was still a bit meandering and Ray worked to fix this the last time I saw him. Hopefully this will see the light. Ray was very passionate about getting this essay out there.

Ray dictated an essay to me titled "I Am My Grandfather, and My Grandfather is Me." I gave this to Prof. Jon Eller for possible inclusion in the Ray Bradbury Review.

I probably have three or four more pieces in various states of completion. I also have a short story start that he did several years back.

For those interested, I tweet quite a bit about Ray. Twitter @Sam__Weller.

Of course, I also write about Ray on my blogs:

www.listentotheechoes.com
www.samweller.net

I try to check in here, periodically, too!

Best,

Prof. Sam Weller
 
Posts: 104 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA | Registered: 28 March 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sam:

The piece you mention, transcribed by Prof. Eller, is included in NRBR#3, which I edited and which has just been published. Ray definitely wanted it in the volume, with the Henri Lanos illustration to Wells (which I was unable to include). However, it opens the collection of over a hundred pages of Bradbury's story openings and fragments, some in manuscript facsimile pages. Jon is handling the distribution of contributor's copies;unfortunately, we did not get very many of those. You should ask him for one if he has not already sent it to you.

http://www.kentstateuniversity...y-bradbury-review-3/

Bill Touponce
 
Posts: 44 | Location: Indianapolis, Indiana | Registered: 16 May 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you, Bill. I do not have a copy of the new Review. I will make sure to order one. Glad you were able to use what I gave Jon.

I have made some pretty solid progress on the Mr. Electrico mystery. At some point, as I told Jon, I would love to write bout this for TRBR.

Sending you my very best,

Sam
 
Posts: 104 | Location: Chicago, IL, USA | Registered: 28 March 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I remember in that one video Ray says that Mr. Electrico had a very craggy face, he looked a lot like Ernest Thesiger, who played Dr.Praetorius in Bride of Frankenstein.

I thought that was very interesting, kind of putting a face on the mysterious Mr. Electrico. Ernest Thesiger was also a WWI veteran.
 
Posts: 386 | Registered: 31 July 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Posts: 2748 | Location: Basement of a NNY Library | Registered: 07 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mr Weller, I would love to keep track of your discoveries - this mystery has long been an interest of mine, as well. As for his looks, that's interesting to hear about Ernest. As I'm currently making a film on Ray with an Electrico tie-in, I have also held an interest in making a companion short film of the actual meeting and "live forever!" moment. I think the two films would go well together.

During production on Father Electrico, I would often go to visit Ray and take him a DVD copy of the latest shots. I spoke to him about my idea to do a short on this subject and he was very keen on the idea. I told him that I had thought of a friend of his, Malcolm McDowell (who I once met with him) for the part of Mr Electrico. Ray said this: "Oh, God - he would be perfect." I sent Mr McDowell a letter on this, but have not heard back. Oh, well - I still plan to make the short one of these days.


"Live Forever!"
 
Posts: 6909 | Location: 11 South Saint James Street, Green Town, Illinois | Registered: 02 October 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Mog the Dog here.

Ahhh, it is with mixed emotions that I learn of the progress being made in solving the Mr. Electrico mystery...

My favorite human companion's daughter's great grandfather was a defrocked Presbyterian minister who fled for his life in the direction of Illinois in 1920 when the family learned of his dark side...

He fought in WWI and bore a striking resemblance to Ernest Thesiger (what Englishman did not in those days?!) He saw death in his arms during the war and it did something to him...

He is either the Mr. Electrico or was the earliest known instance of the tsunami of Ray Bradbury synchronicity that has haunted my favorite human companion since she was that small child whose eyes instantly locked on the drawn image of Ray's face on the back of her older sister's paperback copy of The Illustrated Man that was balanced on the edge of the tub for the majority of the later months of 1971. She knew Ray without actually knowing him when she was only eight years old. Who, after being so profoundly mesmerized by such a visage in early childhood, would not want to know why?

MTD


"I was not born, but instead created. I’m not alive, and yet I exist. I will never die, but some day I will be forgotten, as was the light by which I came into this world." MTD
 
Posts: 168 | Location: Out of the Attic | Registered: 18 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by MogtheDog:
My favorite human companion's daughter's great grandfather was a defrocked Presbyterian minister who fled for his life in the direction of Illinois in 1920 when the family learned of his dark side...

Tell us more about the "dark side". I love a good story.


"Live Forever!"
 
Posts: 6909 | Location: 11 South Saint James Street, Green Town, Illinois | Registered: 02 October 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Doug Spaulding:
quote:
Originally posted by MogtheDog:
My favorite human companion's daughter's great grandfather was a defrocked Presbyterian minister who fled for his life in the direction of Illinois in 1920 when the family learned of his dark side...

Tell us more about the "dark side". I love a good story.


Heh...heh...heh...

Well, unfortunately, the old defrocked minister's dark past was kept a close family secret, but bits and pieces of it leaked out over the years. Apparently when the man's young daughter started talking to her family about his ungodly acts, the family started to listen. And when they started to listen, they took it upon themselves to give the tarnished minister two choices: be forever gone from there in the morning or be dead. He chose to be gone.

MTD


"I was not born, but instead created. I’m not alive, and yet I exist. I will never die, but some day I will be forgotten, as was the light by which I came into this world." MTD
 
Posts: 168 | Location: Out of the Attic | Registered: 18 December 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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About five and a half minutes in, ironically from the post I just added - from an interview a friend sent me - the above reference to Mr. Electrico is made.
http://www.cuny.tv/show/dayatnight/PR1012346
 
Posts: 2748 | Location: Basement of a NNY Library | Registered: 07 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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