Author: Ray Bradbury | Page Count: 256
“Run, leaving your footprints to be blown away with the firewind as the last rocket targets the great Cosmic wall.”
Let’s talk in generalities. Fiction authors are different from other folks. They make a living telling lies much like actors but that’s where the similarities end. An actor is a tool. An author is a craftsman. Actors want to take your love. Authors want to excite your imagination. Within a fiction writer's falsehoods is buried a universal or deeply personal truth, waiting to be exhumed by a reader.
They shut themselves indoors and confess their innermost thoughts to a non-judgemental keyboard. They use their work to help them understand the world, not to make the cover of Hello! or OK! magazine.
So why should we care what an author has to say about anything other than his / her work? Strictly speaking, we shouldn't. And there it ends.
And yet, while I’d much rather have a Bradbury novel or short story collection to take me journeying, I’ll read anything and everything he wrote because his world view was informed 100% by his role as storyteller. When he looked at a tree he didn't just see a tree--he saw a place where children climbed and friendships were born; a shelter from the biting rain where two lovers first kissed; a place that blossoms once a year, under which a lonely mother cried. He saw the stories that might have been and both consciously and unconsciously catalogued the details he needed for the ones that would write themselves through him.
The 37 essays in this book are of interest to me only because they were written by Ray. Some are two pages in length and some are ten. Some are thought-provoking and informative and some aren't but in each instance his poetic mind was the hearth in which the insights were forged.
3½ backwards walks out of 5