June 29th, 2004


Ray Bradbury Interview.

generally speaking, i'm not into ray bradbury. the books don't do much for me, and that's about all i have to say about it, really. but a week or so ago, i read an article where bradbury, now eighty, said he wanted michael moore, who has called his anti-bush documentary fahrenheit 9/11, to change the title cause he had stolen it from bradbury's novel fahrenheit 451.

crazy old fucker, i thought, and forgot about it.

this morning i got a link to this interview with bradbury. it's a funny thing, and it appears that bradbury is irritated with the guy conducting it, so his responses are quick and sharp.

for example, when asked about writers he admires, this is the exchange:

Tell me, what writers do you most admire?

Bradbury:Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, F. Scott Fitzgerald, early John Steinbeck, the short stories of Hemingway, Eudora Welty, Katherine Ann Porter, Jessamyn West ...

What do you most admire about Hemingway?

Bradbury:Let's talk about a real writer--John Collier. One of the most important writers of the 20th century, yet most people don't know his name.

and then, this, on his advice to young authors:

In advising young writers, you suggest that they not read their contemporaries, but stick with Shakespeare, Pope, Pepys ...

Bradbury: That's for later. You gotta read your contemporaries when you're 19 years old to know what's going on. But as you get older you should break free--don't go on reading in science fiction and fantasy, because you're going to imitate, repeat the cliches. The trouble with science fiction today is that you see all these repetitions of titles and themes that are repeats of other themes--galactic empires, dungeons and dragons. That's terrible. You have to break free from that.

to which he later, almost gleefully, says:

And what changes for better or worse do you see in the science fiction and fantasy fields?

Bradbury:I can only guess, since I don't read in the field. I can't judge.

it then ends in this exchange,

Well, I thank you for your snappy answers to my questions.

Bradbury: Well, I'm wide awake, I had my nap!
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