Loss of a Literary Legend

I am an avid reader and love using literature as a vehicle to travel to new lands and experience things through my imagination that I’ll never experience in real life.

For that reason, ever since I was 15 and first read Fahrenheit 451 (check out the cool covers for this book!) by Ray Bradbury, I have been enthralled by Bradbury’s writing. After reading this dystopian novel (a classic long before The Hunger Games even existed!) where firemen burned books and an underground society flourished to retain literature in any form possible, I was fixated on Bradbury’s writing. I searched out his short story collections and actually wrote my senior English Independent Study essay on how Bradbury’s short stories foreshadowed (with amazing accuracy!) the development of the US Space Program. Even his dates were really close – it was just mind-boggling!

Speaking of Bradbury’s uncanny ability to look into the future, given our cultural interest in tattooing and body art, you might want to check out The Illustrated Man. Published in 1951, this story still fascinates me!

And the funny thing is, with my reference to Bart Simpson yesterday, I was actually reflecting on how many of Bradbury’s short stories appeared in episodes of The Simpsons. Do you remember the episode where the house falls in love with Marg and tries to kill Homer? Despite what Wikipedia says (I know? How could Wikipedia be wrong???), I contend that this storyline is loosely based on one of Bradbury’s short stories (“There Will Come Soft Rains”). And, if you remember the storyline that involves Homer traveling back in time with a toaster, stepping on something and inadvertently changing the present day, then you are actually experiencing a modified version of the Bradbury short story, “A Sound of Thunder”.

I love the writing of Ray Bradbury – which is ironic because I never liked science fiction before reading his work and Bradbury opened a door to a genre that I now enjoy!

That’s why I was saddened when I read yesterday that Ray Bradbury had passed away. Even though he was 91 years old, he had such a profound impact on my desire to read and appreciate science fiction that I was sad to hear of Bradbury’s death.

RIP Ray Bradbury – you will live on through your writing! Thank you for giving another perspective on the world to young minds like mine!

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5 Responses to Loss of a Literary Legend

  1. Elva Roberts says:

    June 7- There is a feeling of loss and even some mourning when an author, we really connect to, dies. I felt that sense of loss when I knew that Agatha Christie had gone and now with Harlan Cohan, an author I had recently found, has decided to write for teens. I really felt personally injured because he had not died, so what was his excuse?! So we move on and find other authors who become part of our lives. So Ray Bradbury will live on in your heart and Agatha will be thankfully remembered in mine for the hours of entertainment they gave to us.-el03ro
    e.m.roberts@hotmail.com

  2. Anne Taylor says:

    I also loved the work of Ray Bradbury! He was an author who got my imagination into overdrive! May he rest in peace!

  3. Mag says:

    I didn’t know about the connection between Ray Bradbury and the Simpsons. Thanks for letting me know.

  4. Ester G says:

    Ray Bradbury has been a favorite author of mine for quite some time. I am saddened to hear of his passing. I loved “Something Wicked This Way Comes”

  5. Kathleen Blom says:

    I too was saddened to hear of his passing.

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