Having read the responses to groon's fabulous thread "What are YOU doing?" in the "Inspired by Ray?" section I have been thinking why I always return to reading Mr. Bradbury's work and why I like it so much. I am not the sort of individual that analyses a subject too seriously because I do not think it matters much. That said, I do sometimes like to reflect on certain subjects that interest me. Though I do not delve as deeply as Pete or Mr. Dark I do a little scratching at the surface whether it be my flittering attention or my laziness that stops me from getting at the bones of the story.
Many people have said they were or are inspired by Bradbury. The majority seem to have been inspired to write as Bradbury makes it seem so incredibly fun. Others are uplifted in different ways, some to art, some to life, some to religion. The fact that there is a separate message board designed for readers to express their diverse inspirations is an anomaly in the world of fiction. In a time that merits writers for being depressing, cynical, and obscene Bradbury stands out like a lighthouse in a fog.
This has all been said before. I've only picked up a dropped drum. When you hit it the sound is enthusiastic. Bradbury's reverberation makes you want to get up and act, and not only to act haphazardly but to act in a benificial way. It is only a great writer that goes beyond the inducement of thought to that of noble action. That is the epitome of relevance, isn't it?
I couldn't agree more. While it may have been said before, I enjoyed your wording.
Bradbury turns you on to -- not only the written word -- but to life itself. In Bradbury, there is a sense of life that is somehow "spiritual" and "moral". People/beings matter. He seeks meaning and understanding in much of his writing. (Much, of course, is just fun!)For me, there is something about his writing that is quietly personal. I also think returning to Bradbury in different phases of one's life is worthwhile because of his use of metaphors/symbolism/imagery -- we see different things at different times in our lives, because the metaphors can say different things if we see them from different perspectives. We have different needs or perspectives. So his writing is always relevant, as it is always capable of being interpreted in a meaningful way no matter where we are in our lives.
Nard, several months ago, had begun a thread called something like "Why is Bradbury Inspirational?", that may touch along some of the same kinds of questions.
Ray Bradbury got me through some pretty hard times as a child. My father was the worst kind, doing the worst things, and to prevent that reality from destroying me I escaped into the world of Ray Bradbury. In his settings I found places that were pleasant and ideal for escapism. In his characters I found people who were kind. I think I often identified with characters that I shouldn't have. In SOMETHING WICKED I should have probably indentified with the boy who didn't have a father and who was envious of the boy who did have one. I instead identified with the boy who had the father because "I" was envious of him and wanted to be him. In the story THE SILENT TOWNS from MC it was the sad fat girl with the chocolaty fingers and the wedding dress that I identified with, where I think most people rightfully identify with the guy who's trying to get away from her.
When I read Bradbury the voice I hear reading to me isn't my own, but the voice of a kind, gentle man who loves me. I've never used his inspiration to create anything, he just got me through some really hard times.
This may have appeared somewhere before, but I cite it again to get the energy going in the intended direction. This includes many interesting comments by Mr. B about his works and motivations. Enjoy!
thanks for the link. That's an interesting article which I haven't seen before.
I find it odd that the writer almost accuses Bradbury of getting his memory of "the ravine" from To Kill a Mockingbird - when Dandelion Wine (which dramatises that memory) appeared in print three years before Harper Lee's novel!
- Phil<br /> http://home.wlv.ac.uk/~in5379
Phil, back in the site's posts, maybe a year ago or so, I commented on the almost eery parallels I recognized between DW and TKAM (as i teach both novels). Yes, interesting note on your part. DW was published first.
Think about the premises which are shared!
Here it is: (2 years - yikes!) http://www.raybradbury.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000079.html
That was a great thread, fjpalumbo! I haven't read Mockingbird but I have seen the movie and thought it was really good. I do have the book, just haven't got around to reading it. I am not the fan of DW as I am Something Wicked which I believe to be Bradbury's masterpiece. I see DW in the same vein as Wicked as in setting and theme, but the latter, to me, is more of a representative of Bradbury's complete work consisting of a lot of characters in his short stories and a splendid plot that I do not see in DW.
Mr. Dark and I agree on one thing: Read RB all of your life, you will get something new every time.
While this isn't a religious forum, I would like to make an observation:
My upbringing reading the Bible improved my ability to enjoy RB, and RB improved my ability to enjoy Christianity.
Strange? Maybe, but true. Writer's like Asimov and Koontz (two more that I enjoy) don't say anything different 10 years later. Their stories are the same. RB, and to me, the Bible, is, if not new, then different every time. Is RB revelatory? Occasionally. Is the Bible simply entertaining? Sometimes.
Please, don't confuse my intent. RB is not God, and his writings are not necessarily Gospel. But they do reveal truths about our basic makeup.
They both inspire me, just in different ways. When I stop and look up at the night sky, I am simultaneously in filled with awe and joy. One from the Bible, one from RB.
If I am not mistaken, RB is an atheist (please correct me if I am wrong). That doesn't matter to me. I have learned from him, learned how to live, and how, still, to be a child. For that, he is one of the most relevant people in my life.
I am 37, and have been reading his works for more than 20 years, and a lot of what, and who, I am today is directly because of him.
AIM = Tilt Boss
I think Bradbury's writing definitely has a religious sensitivity and that, partly because of the metaphorical nature of his writing, he is subject to new perspectives as we read him in different periods of our lives.
I wouldn't go so far as to say he's a strict atheist, but would say that he does not see God in a traditional way. I think he's kind of a "soft" humanist who uses religious symbolism to make moral statements about the human species and about man's experience with/in the universe.
Mr. Dark - your opening statement is really as accurate a summation as has been offered here in defining the essence of what makes RB so darned interesting and unique. How many visitors have read him for most of their lives and are still intrigued decades later?
His writing is filled with references to God, man's spiritual evolution, and, of course, a lifetime of good vs. evil themes.
Though in his adult life, as you allude and has been discussed here frequently, any traditional ties (for lack of a better word) to a "religious" philosophy have remained quite vague. He points often to man's ability to ameliorate his own destiny.
Interesting, when considering the likes of Tolkein and Lewis and their very strong beliefs and allegiances.
[This message has been edited by fjpalumbo (edited 03-09-2004).]
Exactly. Nice description
<font color=navy>~Melody D.</font>
The ravine is a case in point of how it helps to visit the real place. Bradbury didn't exaggerate a bit; he simply gave an uncannily accurate description of the mood of an actual location. (Of course, one might argue that this was heavily imprinted on me, since I'd been reading the stories eight years before I visited and thought of them even in places which REMINDED me of the ravine--but, that place did give me the creeps, even in broad daylight!)
Here is something from the attic!
What a long overdue honor for Harper Lee:
Way to go, Scout!
Just starting this great story in class: Scout thumped Walter and tire-rolled into the Radley front porch. The kids go night crawling through the collard greens to peek into Boo's back windows...and Jem loses his pants on the wire fence.
"Scout...shut your trap or go home--I declare to the Lord you're gettin' more like a girl every day!"
RB did MC stories and "Big Black and White Game" (c. 1950), actually 10 years ahead of H. Lee's monumental address of the racial topic. Courageous stuff.
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