It was rather sad to hear that Ray Bradbury passed away this morning. He was 91 years old, and produced a great number of interesting tales to make the mind wander. In memory of his life, take a journey now into some of the more interesting things he’s said. The sign post ahead… the Quotable Zone.
“It’s a great place to grow up [Los Angeles] as a creator because there’s no intellectual hierarchy. I remember going to a party in New York about 35 years ago. They all called me Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. I said, “You, ma’am, your name and phone number? And you, sir, your phone number? And you, sir?” And they said, “Why are you taking our phone numbers?” I said, “Because the night we land on the moon, you’re going to get called.” I was in London when we did. I called three of them, and when they answered I said, “Stupid son of a bitch,” and hung up.”—Ray Bradbury, quoted in Newsweek (November 1998) (via Jesse Lanser)
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture, just get people to stop reading them.”
“Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world. I know, for I’m one of them.” — Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine
“Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.”
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”
“If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.” — From the afterword to the 1979 edition of Fahrenheit 451
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.”
There is quite possibly a thousand more things that could be said about Ray Bradbury, or even quotes by Ray Bradbury that could be read. The best way to get to know the individual, however, is by reading that which he’s left behind.