How Ray Bradbury Became a Writer and Stayed One

“Love what you do and do what you love… imagination should be at the centre of your life.”

“Stand at the top of the cliff and jump off and build your wings on the way down.”

In memory of Ray Bradbury who left this earth on June 5th after a lengthy illness.

I came across Ray Bradbury when we read Fahrenheit 451 in High School. It is one of the most thought-provoking works of literature I’ve ever read. These videos are biographical, encouraging for all writers and a treat for anyone who loves his work. Enjoy!

This is a 54 minute video. “Science fiction author Ray Bradbury regales his audience with stories about his life and love of writing in “Telling the Truth,” the keynote address of The Sixth Annual Writer’s Symposium by the Sea, sponsored by Point Loma Nazarene University. Series: Writer’s Symposium By The Sea, 2001.”

Ray’s bio on Wikipedia: “Ray Douglas Bradbury (born August 22, 1920) is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction stories gathered together asThe Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th and 21st century American writers of speculative fiction. Many of Bradbury’s works have been adapted into television shows or films.

Bradbury was a reader and writer throughout his youth who was greatly influenced by the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. Bradbury was especially impressed with Poe’s ability to captivate readers into his works. In his youth, he spent much time in the Carnegie library in Waukegan, Illinois, reading such authors as H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and his favorite author, Edgar Rice Burroughs who wrote novels such as Tarzan of the Apes and The Warlord of Mars. He loved Burroughs’ The Warlord of Mars so much that at the age of twelve he wrote his own sequel. Bradbury was pushed to writing by his aunt, who read him short stories when he was a child. He used this library as a setting for much of his novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, and depicted Waukegan as “Green Town” in some of his other semi-autobiographical novels—Dandelion Wine, Farewell Summer—as well as in many of his short stories.

He attributes his lifelong habit of writing every day to two incidents. one was when he was three years old when his mother took him to Lon Chaney’s performance of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the other, which occurred in 1932 when a carnival entertainer, Mr. Electrico, touched him on the nose with an electrified sword, made his hair stand on end, and shouted, “Live forever!” It was from then that Bradbury wanted to live forever and decided on his career as an author in order to do what he was told: live forever. It was at that age that Bradbury first started to do magic. Magic was his first great love. If he had not discovered writing, he would have become a magician.

Reference sources for the Wikipedia article came from:

  • Contemporary Authors Online. Ray Bradbury. Detroit: Gale, 2009. Web.
  • Heller, Terry. Magill’s Survey of American Literature. Revised Edition. Pasadena: Salem Press, 2006. Print.
  • Paradowski, Robert J. “Ray Bradbury.” Critical Survey of Short Fiction, Second Revised Edition” 2001:1-5. EBSCO. Web. Nov. 8, 2010
  • Paradowski, Robert J. “Ray Bradbury.” Critical Survey of Short Fiction, Second Revised Edition (2001): EBSCO. Web. Nov. 10, 2010.
  • In His Words. Retrieved December 9, 2009.

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