RIP Ray Bradbury

Remember how I wrote briefly about Fahrenheit 451 a couple of months back?

I just found out that Ray Bradbury died yesterday. For some of you this might be a case of, “Uh, em, I honestly didn’t know he was still alive…” It was within the last year that I read someone referring to him in the present tense that I realized myself.

But that’s neither here nor there.

Bradbury wrote some really great stuff, thought-provoking and entertaining stuff, with amazing imagery and language. I first read Fahrenheit 451 in middle school and checked The Martian Chronicles out of the library in college. I particularly liked “Usher II,” which refers to the same type of book-burning society Fahrenheit 451 did.

Fahrenheit 451 is the first dystopic novel I remember reading. I’d go on to read Brave New World and 1984 and so many others, but this was my first and it dealt with an issue of freedom that seems smaller in scale than that of the others: books are illegal.  As a reader and writer even back then, the criminalization of reading, writing, thinking, and imagination… that was scary stuff.

The funny thing is, my husband and I were talking about the novel last night. He asked why I took the little cardboard cube out of the stack of taco shells when I put them in the oven, and I said I didn’t want the paper to catch fire “but maybe it wouldn’t have at only 325 F.” We talked about how we had heard that paper doesn’t really burn at 451 F (though searching about it on Google turns up that there’s still a lot of confusion about this). Strange, though, that the conversation happened to come up the same day Bradbury died.

He had the best quotes about writing, and I have two of them in my favorite quotations in my info on my personal Facebook page:

“If you write a hundred short stories and they’re all bad, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. You only fail if you stop writing.” -Ray Bradbury

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” -Ray Bradbury

So, I forgot to write anything this morning. I’m going to give it a shot over tea and probably post the result. See you then.

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~ by Amber on June 6, 2012.

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