12 December 2001, 09:56 PMswtthng0013
hey, I'm a student in Nebraska, and we just got done reading one of Ray Bradbury's short stories, . Our class noticed that there were several places in the story where the plot did not agree. Does anyone know of Ray Bradbury's email so we could contact him? Thank you!
13 December 2001, 04:36 AMdandelion
As far as I know, Mr. Bradbury doesn't have an e-mail. Plot discrepancies turn up in his stories for several reasons. For one, his big rule is, DON'T THINK, EMOTIONALIZE! He becomes swept up in the feel of a story and does not always pick it to pieces afterwards to weed out all inconsistencies. Evidently, neither do his editors or other pre-publication readers, so some end up in print. (It's called proofreading, by the way.) Like dreams, his stories sometimes make sense on an emotional level but not necessarily a logical one--that's his overdeveloped right brain at work! (Ever tried to turn a dream into a story and still keep the "good parts"?--it's not easy!) He once said that's why his mystery stories were less successful than some in other genres--mystery plots involve the necessity of too much thinking! And, of course, there can be timeline inconsistencies, such as all the books being burned in one year, but someone in a later year being familiar with books supposedly destroyed, etc. Another problem is his rewriting of short stories into novels, sometimes 30, 40, 50 years later, making changes and still having everything mesh. Some seeming discrepancies can be explained away, and some can't. For instance, a friend of mine thought it was a discrepancy that Montag knew how to read when books had long since been banned in "Fahrenheit 451." It isn't. The book made it very clear that reading was allowed for informational purposes such as instruction manuals. Only literature was banned. The movie thought it was very cute and clever, showing street signs and newspapers all in pictures. Hopefully in the new movie such things will be corrected. Also, truth is stranger than fiction and the most unbelievable-seeming stories can be the truest. For instance, I thought "The Pedestrian" a total exaggeration when I read it--that could never happen in real life--then came to find out later it was based on an actual experience of Mr. Bradbury's! I once got a chance to talk to Ray about a plot problem with "Frost and Fire," and all he said was, "I guess I'll have to reread that story." What story did you read and what did you find wrong with it?