Not to belittle your efforts on this site, I must tell you that we need more points of interest...not reruns of youtube videos. Now, the truth is most of us would be in the dark without you and I, personally, must thank you for your great thought provoking info and opinions that you place on this wonderful site.
However, I must say that this particular board and within this particular subject entitled: "Inspired by Ray" we should encourage individual "testaments" of how Ray has truly inspired us...True life vignettes of how this man has infiltrated the spirit of American life. Let me expound on that: the spirit of Universal life would be more appropiate a subject.
He has inspired me from the age of thirteen years old when in search of comic books in an old book store (which unfortunately are disappearing at a rapid rate) I came across a copy of Bloch and Bradbury and Bloch became my uncle warning me of a dangerous world and Bradbury became my grandfather warning me the same but opening my eyes to what could be a better universe. I learned to see with the eyes of Douglas at thirteen. Whether at the Jersey shore or at time square in the winter or even just a hot summer day in urban Hoboken...I learned to see the people and the terrain in a "bradburian way."
My definition of a "bradburian way" is simple: open your eyes and the other five senses (including that elusive sixth) and the world will become "art." People will be portraits. Cities, suburbs and open lands will become beautiful landscapes. Three dimensional objects will become "still lifes" with deep, hidden meanings. I think Bradbury sees and he wants us (the Human Race) to open all our senses to this wonderful universe we live in and see the possibilities.
Now, I am sure that most of the "long time" members have done this already but as a Newbie I would love to hear you guys reiterate your personal experiences with Mr. Bradbury.
Once again, my apologies to Nard who is truly a beacon on this site. Without Nard I would truly be in the dark...I would like to know how you feel about Mr. Bradbury's work...
believer in Douglas
Dear Booklover2727, being one of the "oldies" to this board I have known Ray perhaps the longest (perhaps the exception being Nard), having first sat in his home some forty years last February of 1967, I have marveled at how "true" a person Ray is. He has no facade, no secondary agendas, no false intentions. I say this in contrast to another well known writer (in fact through him I was able to first meet Ray) that I got to know fairly well, one Richard Bach, perhaps best known for Jonathan Livingston Seagull, who later became irritated with me for having posted some photos of him on the Richard Bach website, and who now is rather reclusive. His son Rob later chuckled at this as he had posted photos of his dad on another website. Although I spent much more time with Richard, i.e, visiting in his home, playing chess, flying with him in his biplane, and being mentioned in his book Nothing By Chance, Ray has been there for all forty years.
Many years ago Ray gave me his home phone number and I have occasionally called and visited with him. I have visited his home a total of four times and always have been graciously welcomed, the last time with my wife and daughters.
So what I am trying to say, to answer your question, that in addition to his brilliant writing and many fine stories and books, he is genuinely a man who loves his fans and truly gives of himself.
He always sounds so happy to hear from me when I call and answers whatever question I may have of him. This to me is priceless. Although I envy Nard and Doug Spaulding, who get to see Ray on a rather frequent basis, I am very happy to be able to call and speak to Ray once in a while.
booklover2727: Hey, your kind words are a tad embarassing. As to your request for info from others concerning influences on them by Bradbury, the forums are interspersed with that info. However, here's a link that has some:
Of course, you can start a new TOPIC along these lines for fresh insights...
I'm sure I could find the link to my story, but a short re-run is not so bad (this seems especially topical with the Hollywood writers' strike going on!). I was a pretty typical (though, perhaps, unusually handsome young man) who didn't like to read. My parents were so concerned, they went and talked to the school's counselor. He (or she) asked if there was anything I do read, and they answered Mad Magazine and Spiderman comics. They told them to get me subscriptions.
Then, in 9th grade, a friend pestered me and pestered me until I read F451. The book was amazing and turned me on to the ideas of ideas and why they were/are so powerful. I returned the book and borrowed The Martian Chronicles. I read that and went to the bookstore and bought all the books on the shelf by Ray Bradbury. I fell in love with his writing--the ideas, the style, the mood, the metaphors, the spirituality and religious hints and discussions, the dialog, the characters, etc.
Reading Bradbury got me turned on to literature and to ideas. From Ray (never leaving him, actually, just supplementing) I went to Arther C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, then Heinlein, Silverberg, Aldiss, Sturgeon, Ellison, and many others.
These writers showed me, again, how powerful ideas were, and how literature was so moving and varied. This got me into Hemingway, Lewis, Steinbeck, Jackson, etc., and then onto other writers. This ended up getting me a Master's Degree in English.
But I was not finished. Ray has so sparked my interest in ideas, that a Masters in English was not enough. I had to have more. So I got a Masters in Philosophy. Both Masters degrees were the direct result of the impact of Ray Bradbury's writing on a 9th grade kid.
I think it is pretty incredible. Here I am at 52, still reading Bradbury, and now writing about him, lecturing on him, and, in May, giving an academic paper on his writing style and ideas.
As they young ones now say, "It's all good."
P.S. I think I've said this before on this site: Jonathan Livingstone Seagull was and remains to this day, one of my favorite books. The Neil Diamond sountrack to the movie remains one of my favorite pieces of music, also.
Well said Mr. Dark!
Personally, each day presents a metaphoric scene, phrase, or emotional sensation that has jumped into my being via the writings of Mr. Bradbury.
I went to buy a new suit last weekend (my first in many years). One of my boys called, "Dad! Come here. You need to see something."
I walked through an aisle of racks, and when I arrived to his location, he stated, "Look! The Ice Cream Suit!'' And, you know, on display all by itself, it really was!!
That is exactly what I am talking about. I read your email multiple times. A truly human story and great insight to a man I will most likely never meet but has truly changed the course of my life and countless others for that matter. His Positivism radiates in all the dark corners of this world...This site is a great venue for all those unheard voices to give thanks to Mr. Bradbury.
believer in Douglas
Once again, I need to thank you. I followed your link and found this:
"Sappy? For years, I would cry uncontrollably somewhere during the reading of the first 200 words of Ray's short story, 'Death and the Maiden.'
I spent a long time trying to figure it out. Now I pretty much know, but can't figure out how to put the reasons into words...."
I blanked out on that particular story. I couldn't remember it although I was positive that I must have read it at some point. I immediately ran to my library and started scanning the eighty somewhat books I have by Bradbury and searched for this long forgotten story...I found it quickly in a hardcovered version of Bradbury Stories. I read the story Nard and wept...
Sometimes you have to reread books at different points in you life to understand their true meanings. I felt this way for that wonderful story...Clarinda's statement to Willy sums it up for me..."Strange. Half my years afraid of life. The other half, afraid of death." So many of us live shuttered lives tortured by fear instead of opening the door and rejoicing in life.
I think Sappy is a great word Nard...
believer in Douglas
Dear Mr. Dark,
I truly envy you. What better job in this world than that of the educator. A true Bradburian apostle (metaphor for those raising eyebrows)spreading the word of Bradbury to others so that others may spread his messages as well. KarL Marx, Ayn Rand, Cicero, Plato, Kant, etc.-- philosphers modern and ancient have left their imprint on society. Some through poetics, others with prose and some with arguments long and short. How many have used all the mediums like Mr. Bradbury to put forth an "unspoken philosophy". One that is difficult to verbalize but almost impossible not to feel...When you read Bradbury...you feel his philosophy.
I would love to read your paper.
believer in Douglas
"Death and the Maiden". Wow! You located my written feelings about the story. Now to find a quiet spot, a quiet 20 minutes, and submerse myself again into the language of those first few paragraphs. Is the magic still there for me? And can I explain it now, that experience, these years later, some 30+ plus years from first reading the story?
It's nice to know that others cry at Bradbury (and literature in general) and not just me.
I just had my annual weep session watching the Alastair Simm version of "A Christmas Carol".
I too was weeping for joy, but at the George C. Scott color version more recently introduced, equally as well done as the Simm version. This is truly the real message of the Season, isn't it? Although, I have always thought that Scrooge could not have done the good if he had not first done the bad to accummulate the wealth he used to bring so much happiness to others in later life. A better story would be how a poor man underwent a transformation and then went on to do good for his fellows, spreading the wealth of human kindness instead of cash.
The best thing, I guess, which both Dickens and Bradbury do, is inspire one to keep trying.
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