Here's the first--I recently listened to a Bradbury audio story called "The Ravine"--was there an acyual story this was based on? Second: "The Lonely One"--recall reading it in a high school lit class, was this an actual story or just a piece of Dandelion Wine? And third, anyone remember seeing "The Elevator" on the New Twilight Zone? IT was a bradbury story. I can't seem to find anything about it.
"The Ravine" and "The Lonely One," if they're the ones I'm thinking of, are both parts of "Dandelion Wine." I believe "The Ravine" appears in "The Stories of Ray Bradbury" as "The Night" and "The Lonely One" as "The Whole Town's Sleeping"--a masterpiece. A sort of flip side/alternate ending/universe of "The Lonely One" is "At Midnight, in the Month of June." Yes, I saw and remember "The Elevator." I also remember the comment of a friend who saw it, "I think Ray Bradbury's losin' it." Want to know more?
Thanks, Dandelion, and yes, I would like to know more. My recollections of "The Elevator" is something about a giant spider living in the elevator shaft of an abandoned building. I wonder if this was based on a story or just a screenplay he threw together. But, yes, I'd like to know more.
As far as "The Ravine" goes, it's not "The Night" (one of my favorites). This one concerns three women walking back from the "picture show", all scared out of their wits by The Lonely One who's been active recently. At the end, one of the women--after crossing the infamous ravine--finds the Lonely One in her house and kills him with a pair of scissors.
I may be of some help regarding your questions about "The Ravine" and "The Lonely One" Just recently I read The Ravine in english class and I think, I'm not sure, I may have read the Lonely one. Correct me if I'm wrong but are they not the same story, both from Dandelion Wine?
Then "The Ravine" is a different title for "The Whole Town's Sleeping"--classic story. By the way, I went to Waukegan, Illinois, to see if Bradbury had in any way exaggerated or overdramatized the atmosphere of the ravine. I am pleased to say he did not. I don't think "The Elevator" ever appeared in print. Basically, it concerned two boys (late teens/early twenties) searching in a sort of basement laboratory for their missing mad scientist father. They found these humongous bunches of stuff related to his experiments, which they figured was some sort of food promoting rapid growth. Then down the elevator shaft came this enormous spider. I guess the implication was that the spider had eaten the mad scientist. His growth experiment stuff got out of control, and probably the spider was not intended to eat it--there just happened to be a spider in the basement lab where he was concocting the stuff. There wasn't much else to it.
Wow, you've actually seen the ravine? I bet that was something! You were talking about "The Elevator" and the spider in it reminded me of another Bradbury story, I can't seem to remember the name though. But it was about a trapdoor spider that was killing kids in the forest. I was wondering if you knew the name?
You will find the story of the trapdoor spider in the new collection "Quicker than the Eye" on page 67. The title is "The Finnegan". This new collection was published by Avon in 1996 There is another story in that text that is a favorite of mine called "Once more with Legato"
about a composer with some interesting inspiration. I would try and find this at your local library or bookstore if you can it is quite good.
[This message has been edited by uncle (edited 01-01-2002).]
Thanks Uncle, I'll try to find that book. I remember reading the finnegan a while ago, but I couldn't remeber what book it was in. Thanks again!
Thanks for you help everyone. Appreciate it!
And Dandelion--tell us about the ravine. Give us your impressions. I guess I was thinking that after all this time some yahoo had filled it. Glad to hear it's still alive and menacing.
Thanks, Tim, for asking. After my trip to Waukegan I made Mr. Bradbury a scrapbook containing a full report, of which I kept a copy. I recognized the ravine at first sight, when I caught from the corner of my eye a glimpse of water running through trees. I looked down into the creek running through the ravine and it was the perfect time of day to show the place as half light, half dark. I took a picture of that scene and drew a puzzled question from a local of, "What's so great about that place?" The original old wooden bridge had fallen down. A local carpenter learned of the city's plan to put an ugly metal structure in its place and managed to quickly construct a wooden one. He caught absolute hell for building on city property, but I'm here to say it was worth it. When I was there the steps were condemned. They weren't wooden and rickety, I believe they were stone or cement with loose mortar. You weren't meant to climb on them at all, but after coming halfway across the country I was not going to miss it. These are the steps leading down the ravine from the side towards the theater, the first of the 113 that Lavinia Nebbs would have to take to get to her house, and there are exactly 57 on this side! Quite appropriate, as "Dandelion Wine" was published in 1957. No idea whether they've since been repaired or replaced. Anyhow, I was troubled by seeing some rather rough-looking characters hanging around the area (they weren't doing anything, just hanging out) but I did get to go down where the creek was. On the path right next the creek, a boy flashed by on a bike, and was instantly swallowed up in soundless green depths. It must be some combination of the dense vegetation and the high banks, but the place really does seem to blot out sound, and though it was the most beautiful sunny summer day that's the impression I took away from it--that if you screamed it would likely be muffled, and even if heard, by the time any person could get down there to see what the screaming was about, the damage would be done. A place to visit in company of friends or avoid, and that is MY two cents, not his, that he did not in any way exaggerate or mythicize the ravine, he just gave the world a particularly vivid and accurate description of it. His grandmother's house, complete with the stained glass windows from "The Man Upstairs," and Ray's house right next to it, are now rental properties, and really some provision should be made for them and a stretch of ravine becoming a National Historic shrine.
A whole portion of Meredith Willson's hometown is devoted to "Music Man Square," with his boyhood home painstakingly preserved. Let's see if Waukegan has as much civic pride as Mason City, Iowa.
Amen, it should be done. Did the people renting the homes know that they were living in literary fodder? Thanks for the Description of the Ravine, it brings home some of Mr Bradbury's childhood in a concrete way I am sure for you. I would bet that you might have wondered where else he could have gotten his earlier inspiration in that town. Uncle
Dandelion--oustanding! It's as I pictured it while reading "The Night". Thanks for sharing that with us. And you're right, those properties should be preserved. I should really get down there myself some day. I live in Upper Michigan and I'm only four hours roughly from Milwaukee and Waukegan's probably not even an hour south of that. Next time I'm down in Milwaukee, I'm going to do just that.
By the way, dandelion, does the same courthouse still exist? And is the clock still working?
Well, Douglas, I was meaning to get to that, but the post was getting long. The original courthouse was torn down and replaced with a modern high-rise, which has a lovely picture in the lobby of the former courthouse in all its glory. I don't know if anyone saved the clock or any other portions of the building. The downside is, it's a big, square, ugly, modern building. The upside is, back in those blissful pre-September 11 days, you could simply walk into the building, ride an elevator up, and be let into someone's office to see a panoramic view out large windows. Nowadays I suppose a person would have to strip, go through a metal detector, be frisked, questioned, and give a pint of blood. (Even at that time, Waukegan had apartment buildings where you had to be a member even to enter the downstairs lobby. How a person would visit a friend in such a place I do not know.) When I was there (at the Lake County building in Waukegan) a man was nice enough to point out the lot where the carnival set up in Bradbury's time, and I also got clear views of the YMCA where he shot baskets with his friends, and the Genesee theater where the hunchback started it all. Unforgettable, irreplacable experience. Very ironic about the houses. The people at the grandmother's weren't home, so I was able to see the stained glass window only from the outside, not the inside out as I so wanted. The people in Ray's house spoke little or no English and seemed puzzled if not frightened by my quest--like, "We don't know him, and whatever he did, it's not our fault!" They were friendly, though, and let me see the outside of the house and the yard. I didn't try to go inside.
|Powered by Social Strata||Page 1 2|