A couple of months ago, I wrote something in my random post for the month of March that I wanted to elaborate upon further at a later date. The date I wanted to use was August 22. And what I wanted to elaborate on was the fact that Ray Bradbury is a genius and that date happens to be his birthday.
Was a genius and it was his birthday. Ray Bradbury died Tuesday night at the age of 91.
I am very sad to have read this news. Here is a link to an article about him. As many of you know, I am a fan of the written word and many things geeky. Some have even gone as far as to say I am a book snob. Which I will agree with because frankly, it is true. I don’t read garbage. So it should say something about his writing because, I choose to rave about it.
When I was in high school, I took a class called “Science Fiction and Fantasy”. The main reasons I took the class were that I had the biggest crush on the teacher who taught it and also because I enjoyed reading fairy tales and fantasies such as LOTR. I did not anticipate the appreciation I developed for dystopian works of science fiction. Robots? Time travel? Who needed it? Not me. At least not until I took this class.
Four works that I read that have always remained in my mind and I think about on fairly regular basis were works of pure genius by Ray Bradbury.
- Fahrenheit 451 – Perhaps the most well-known of his works, this novel made me appreciate books. Even crummy ones that aren’t worth reading. A world without books is one where this woman cannot exist. And while the book seemingly advocates against censorship and the denial of ideas, Bradbury himself offered that television would be the death of literature and information would lack contextual relevance…
- “A Sound of Thunder” – This short story deals with time travel, the choices we make, the results of actions, even innocuous ones. When I read this story, I find myself considering every little thing I do.
- “The Veldt” – I touched on this one in March. The horrors of technology and what it may do to the human race. Good family fun.
- “All Summer in a Day” – This story was one that really got my brain going but also broke my heart. A story of jealousy and bullying, given the way children treat other children these days, it is a story certainly worth reading.
All of these stories that Bradbury wrote made an impact on me. They were well written, thought-provoking and held worlds of meaning. These and others would stick with me as I walked crowded high school halls, drove on highways in the middle of the night and even now when I am confined to a corporate cube lit with fluorescent light rather than the sun.
I didn’t know that like a character out of one of his stories, taking that class so long ago would shape the Farheen I am today. I really suggest reading these items. They made me want to be a better person.
Rest in peace Mr. Bradbury. You are an Orange Peel who will not sink into the ocean that is the nothingness of time and technology. You’ll continue on at the very least, as long as books and literature are cherished by peeps like me.