While preparing material for an upcoming Creative Writing class, I was going through some of my old grad school papers in search of something useful for my students. I came upon a survey of Bradbury scholarship I wrote many years ago. Though I know it's now probably out of date, I nevertheless thought someone on these boards might benefit from it.
I've put the paper up on my Erin O'Rourke website (my pen name for women's fiction novels), using my novice HTML skills. Please, if anyone finds a code mistake or broken link, let me know.
In the meantime, please feel free to give the paper a read and send along any comments you might have. I can only hope that in the years since I wrote this, my own scholarship has improved, and so I apologize in advance for any errors you might find. If memory serves, I believe I received a "B" on the paper (it was a rigorous class!), so I'm sure there must be some content in there that isn't up to par.
At any rate, here's the link:
All the best to everyone,
[This message has been edited by Lance (edited 01-13-2005).]
Wow! Although I haven't had a chance to read through your paper, it looks as a great reference and source for thought.
Thank you for making your paper avaliable to us all.
Lance, you should have been on board for the Herculean task of compilation of background for The Life of Fiction by Jonathan R. Eller and William F. Touponce! Presently in the final phases of a two year writing project that has involved endless referencing and cross-referencing, then the edits (!*&^%) that are almost done until you sit down to read them again (for the millionth time), I can appreciate the publication you have presented here. Very nice accumulation of articles sources and an interesting theme to address on RB! Thanks, also!
[This message has been edited by fjpalumbo (edited 01-13-2005).]
I think this is a very good guide to the literature on Bradbury. Do you intend to keep it online? If so, I would like to link to it from my website.
Yes, I do indeed plan to keep it online.
Right now I'm in the process of creating a kind of switchboard between my various websites. I have a different site for each of my pen names, plus one for my poetry and my work in the hobby industry. I'm building a kind of "index" site to link them all. From this index page I will also link to my non-fiction projects, such as this Bradbury survey of scholarship.
I have received a few encouraging emails concerning this page, so I plan on adding a few links to it and making it more useful for anyone wanting to learn more about Bradbury, his work, and the critics.
Thanks for all of the kind remarks.
Thanks for sharing this great article, Lance. It is not at all out of date from what I can see. What was true about Ray's work back then, is still true today. You pointed out things to me that have been there in front of me all along but have never quite been able to see, if that makes any sense. Definitely a lot of food for thought. Also, I enjoy your overall writing style and would love to read more of your work. Welcome to the board!
I agree with lmskipper about the general currency of Lance's paper, although Eller and Touponce's Life of Fiction explores yet another critical standpoint, following the theme of "carnival" throughout Bradbury's body of work. It seems to me a very important approach, as some elements of the Bradbury canon that have been dismissed by critics as trashy are here given recognition and value.
So maybe Lance's paper needs a short postscript!
philnic--Can you please elaborate a bit? What do you mean by a theme of carnival? I have not done nearly enough scholarly study of Bradbury; so far I've contented myself mostly with reading his books for the sheer joy, but this thread is certainly showing me more avenues to explore. Thanks.
I'm not sure whether "theme" was the right word for me to have used, but the carnival concept derives from the work of Mikhail Bakhtin. He has identified carnival as a kind of tradition that emerges in texts, characterised by some literal features of carnivals being depicted (Bradbury's use of fairgrounds and sideshows would count here), but also by the approach the author takes: things like role reversals, the use of masks (literal or figurative), parody etc.
There is a nice bullet point summary of carnival here: http://www.lcc.gatech.edu/~cklestinec/Teaching/LCC3218.Bakhtin.html
Eller and Touponce apply carnival concepts to most of Bradbury's body of work, and show that it applies not only to his SF and fantasy, but to his ostensibly more autobiographical works such as Dandelion Wine. Any theory that can show unity in such a diverse body of work must have something going for it, I suspect.
I would like to thank everyone for your kind emails regarding this Bradbury paper. You can now access the paper from the Non-Fiction page of my new webiste www.lancehawvermale.com , where you can also browse my other (odd) work.
All the best to everyone,
Thank you Lance for the web site page and links. Quite interesting! Especially the article about the young lady suffering yet from a lightening strike. Florida is the lightening capitol of the world, so they say. I have lived down here almost four years and have experienced close lightening, perhaps a little too close, but yet several hundred yards away. No fun I can assure you, and especillay when it knocks the electricity out and you can't watch Jeopardy. I jest, but there have been more fatal strikes here than anywhere else.
I appreciate your contributions.
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