RIP Ray Bradbury

June 6, 2012

I read almost everything he wrote as a teenager. I haven’t returned to him since but I think what I’ll miss most is his relentless, sentimental humanism. People like Vonnegut, Sturgeon, Bradbury, Jim Harrison, all those sincere people you read when you’re too young to think you’re fooling anyone but too old to not see the beauty and callousness that resides in each human heart, they’re the ones that will live on forever. Or the ones that should. Their work wasn’t complicated but it had a moral center you could feel in your bones. They were campfire storytellers in that way, a little primeval. Bradbury believed in people in a way that might seem foolish to us now. I think the last controversy he was involved in was when he said that we have too many internets and too many machines. He refused to put out Kindle versions of his books. He was an anachronism and a humanist and a damn fine person. May we eternally remember that he sang his body electric. RIP.

“To sum it all up, if you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must write dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfume and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish for you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories–science fiction or otherwise. Which means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” 

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