Thursday, June 7, 2012
The NY Times had a wonderful obituary for, and Times critic Michiko Kakutani had a lovely editorial about, legendary author Ray Bradbury who died Tuesday at 91, after enjoying a writing career that lasted 70 years.
I thought that for those of us writing in the romance genre, one of his comments was emminently applicable, and a nice affirmation for us, as romance authors so frequently put upon by the denigrators. When faced with complaints that his writing was not serious enough he said, "I have fun with ideas; I play with them. I'm not a serious person and I don't like serious people. I don't see myself as a philosopher. That's awfully boring. My goal is to entertain myself and others."
And for me, he certainly succeeded. My favorite Bradbury novel is Something Wicked This Way Comes, which was horror/fantasy, rather than science fiction. And his wonderful Fahrenheit 451 sits alongside Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here as warnings against governmental intrusion and societal controls.
He may not have intended to be serious, but his work carried with it a serious weight.
If you have not ever read any of his stories or novels, give yourself a treat, and pick one out from his canon.They're wonderful!
And perhaps be inspired by his output - As Kakutani notes, for the majority of his career his regimen included at least 1 short story per week.
Certainly something to aspire to!
And I loved the final quote she included of Bradbury's, which, to me, sums up a writer's curious glee in storytelling:
"All my life I've been running through the fields and picking up bright objects. I turn it over and say, 'Hey, there's a story.' . "
May your journey into the unknown continue apace, Mr. Bradbury.