I once read a short story and in it a man (on a rocket ship, maybe?) is visited by a doctor. He tells the doctor that when people leave him, he feels like they are dead. At one point the doctor leaves, and when he returns he finds the man frazzled, the man having thought the doctor was dead while he was out of the room...Or something to that effect...Please Help...this has been driving me crazy. I know it was in a short story book, I just don't know which one...
well i havent read every single story by bradbury but i know quite a few, and i dont remember one of that description. but i do recall one where a man in space is philosiphying with his comrades and states how when he doesnt see someone or something, it ceases to exist to him. soon he doesnt think anything is real unless he can touch it, and eventually he theorizes himself into nothingness. now that i htink about it this possibly could be the one you are thinking of, its at least very similar.
I think you are both thinking of "No Particular Night or Morning" by our own dear Ray Bradbury.
If this is the right story...then I love you both!!! My mind can be at ease...=)
Just grabbed my well-worn copy of The Illustrated Man...and you are right...Hurray!!! Thanks a bunch...
If you do a search, the story has come up a couple times. Here is one of my posts on it:
Member posted 11-07-2004 01:56 PM
I think it was a great story. I reread it because of this post.
Or, did I not ever really reread it because I only have the memory of the thing and not the thing itself? Is my recollection of reading the story only a fabrication in my mind? Why can't we have physical proof of its reality? Wouldn't it be better, though, if we could have "mental proof" that we could carry with us? Do things that don't have immediate physical impact on us have any reality? Or do they have reality but we can't verify it without the physical proof? IF this is possible, is it the case that a dependence on physical evidence in the moment a guarantee that we can never know anything with any sense of continueation or permanance?
Is it possible that there really is nothing outside the self? That everything is a fabrication, unreal, self-generated as idea only? Do these kinds of questions lead, necessarily, to solipsism?
Does the void of space cause us, necessarily, to become philosophically introspective to the point that we will go insane if we continue to ask these kinds of questions? Do these kinds of questions have any validity? Is there any merit to philosophical speculation? Can these kinds of questions be answered, and if so, how would we know they were answered?
If we "know" something at one point in time, can we not-know it at another? Was it really true then, or is only the immediate moment true/real?
I find the story fascinating as it poses all these questions within the context of a man's struggle to find meaning and validity in the void of space. He is directly drawn to space because of that very void that plagues him.
In the immersion/bradbury cited above by elron, the author says the story's theme is about the nature of reality. I think there is some element of that, but my own view is that it is about the nature of knowledge. Metaphysics is the philosophical study of the nature of reality, while Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge, knowledge claims and verifiability. My own reading of the story makes it much more focused on epistemological issues than metaphysical issues.
The tie to Hemingway is clear. The passage where every feeling, touch, smell, taste, is recorded is pure Hemingway. Which came first? Bradbury is clear and constistent in citing Hemingway as one of his favorite authors.
For a completely different look at the same idea, check out "They," an early fantasy by Robert Heinlein.
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