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I don't even know if this is the right place to post, but I wanted to ask a question. Did Ray lose a woman he loved early in life? I've noticed he writes about ethereal women who disappear--Clarisse in F.451, Ann Taylor in A Love Story, and Tally in The Lake. I am new to Bradbury, so I am sure there are others, since he is so prolific. In two of the stories, he (the main character) returns to his home town and finds his first loves dead while accompanied by his wife. He never seems to have the same magical relationship with the wife. Even The Cistern, as I am thinking of this, involves a young woman who choses death, to be carried away by water to be with a lover.

I realize from watching Bradbury on youtube that he was influenced by a drowning of a girl in Lake Michigan, but it seems deeper than that, something to do with lost love or longing for that love. Anyone know anything?
 
Posts: 14 | Registered: 17 June 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This may be better in 'Resources'. My apologies. This site often confuses me.
 
Posts: 14 | Registered: 17 June 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The drowning of the girl in the lake is the only specific incident I can recall reading about. Ray did also have an older brother who died before he was born, and a younger sister who was born and died when Ray was 6 or 7. (The older brother, Samuel, was a twin of Leonard, who lived to a ripe old age.)

If you want to dig deeper into Bradbury's biography, you should read Sam Weller's THE BRADBURY CHRONICLES - but I don't think you will find the grand "lost love" that you envisage.

Generally, I think it's a mistake to assume that a writer's themes and recurring imagery are necessarily related to their true life experiences. Sure, experience will have a big impact, but so will other factors such as the art that the writer is immersed in as they grow up and as they practice their craft. Bradbury, of course, was thoroughly immersed in weird tales (and the magazine WEIRD TALES) as his professional career took off.

This aspect of Bradbury's writerly development is best covered in Jon Eller's BECOMING RAY BRADBURY, which is a neat counterpart to Weller's more general biography.


- Phil

Deputy Moderator | Visit my Bradbury website: www.bradburymedia.co.uk | Listen to my Bradbury 100 podcast: https://tinyurl.com/bradbury100pod
 
Posts: 5029 | Location: UK | Registered: 07 April 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you for your thoughtful response and for the research recommendations. I will read more. I do tend to believe that writers do not create in a vacuum and are influenced by their own experiences,and/or by ideas that interest them. Hopefully this recurrent idea was just an image that lingered with him from a story or article he heard about or read or from the girl who drowned.

Good writers write what they know. For example, I saw Hope Springs tonight (with Meryl Streep). No one could have written that without having experienced it. I was frozen in my seat at the accuracy. However, Bradbury's type of writing does lend itself to creative license, so even though his chatacterizations of human relationships are spot on, not every situation need be from his own experience. His fantastic world, filled with imaginative situations, could fill in if experience lacked.

Thanks again.
 
Posts: 14 | Registered: 17 June 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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