ART: Ray Bradbury’s Far-Reaching Impact on Society
Acclaimed science fiction author Ray Bradbury has died at 91 in Los Angeles, according to his publicist and news reports. Bradbury, in his career spanning more than 70 years, wrote hundreds of short stories, novels, screenplays, poetry, TV scripts and compelling pieces that foreshadowed life as we now know it such as “Fahrenheit 451,” “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” “The Martian Chronicles” and “The Illustrated Man.”
In my opinion, his influence on literature, pop culture, film, politics and other aspects of the creative arts cannot be fully measured, only appreciated with the utmost bookish reverence. In an age of nonstop Internet updates and the barrage of social networking sites, I wonder how many even realize the title “Fahrenheit 451,” which warns of a high-tech, book-burning future, refers to the flash point of paper _ the actual temperature at which paper bursts into flame. I read the book as a high school teen, and remember thinking then how close to the mark Bradbury was about censorship, control of the masses by the media, TV replacing the family and books being viewed as evil.
Perhaps, for me, one of the most powerful verses written by this exceptional human being however was something shared on Bradbury’s Web site about a week after his 82nd birthday. As a writer and artist, I take his following words to heart … always. What a lasting legacy Mr. Bradbury gave us all, especially evident throughout his books.
“The act of writing is, for me, like a fever — something I must do. And it seems I always have some new fever developing, some new love to follow and bring to life. I’ve never doubted myself; I’ve always been so completely devoted to libraries and books and authors that I couldn’t stop to consider for a moment that I was being foolish. I only knew that writing was in itself the only way to live …” _ Ray Bradbury, August 29, 2002
Ray Bradbury official Web site: http://www.raybradbury.com/
‘In His Own Words’ excerpt from Ray Bradbury: http://www.raybradbury.com/inhiswords02.html
CNN obit for Ray Bradbury: http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/06/showbiz/ray-bradbury-obit/index.html