Tuesday, June 05, 2012

R.I.P. + R D.B.

A giant of contemporary literature (and not merely science-fiction) has left us today: a personal great influence and all-time favorite, the king of dystopian fiction, Ray Bradbury.

Once you've reached your 9th decade, you have got to be expecting a visit (or several per week) from the Grim Reaper. And the latter has only to win but once for you to pass on... No matter how preserved from life's many harshnesses, sooner or later, it will be your turn to go too. And so it was the Great Bradbury's time - and American literature will never replace hi nor see his like again.

I will always remember the introduction of of his old television show: when he narrates that the one question he was asked most often was "where did he get all the ideas for his writing" or something along those lines. And his answer inspired my own personal home decor, for years to come: he sat in this cumbersome home office, amidst stacks of books, magazines, newspapers; it was a room strangely decorated too, indeed, with all sorts of weird mementos from the fabulous fifties I'd imagine, for there were several old-style toys simply not manufactured anymore, not even by the old guard of the industry, like Parker Brothers and Kenner. And the implication was very strong that it was these old things that inspired all of his tales: he's look around as he sat himself in front of the old typewriter (not the computer, no: I bet it was a Smith-Corona too, just like mine...) and he'd let his imagination get inspired from any old thing there, in a first stage of the creative process. On a second stage, he'd build around that, extrapolating on the origins of the object or of its myriad possible uses in any given life. Thirdly, and most importantly, he would let all this take him to the logical and, oftentimes, not-so-logical limits of wherever these elements would take him; for, as all of us creatives know very well indeed, characters dictate their own stories and that is true whether the subject-matter is a purported-to-be living being or even an inanimate object...

Of the many great reads that Ray Bradbury provided (me, personally, but all of us generally speaking) over the years, the classic Fahrenheit 451 will always stand out, evidently, for very obvious reasons: moreso than Orwell's 1984 ever could be, its allegory is more actual than ever, as we blog this very minute...!

As with many great writers of the past, up to a certain degree (thank God!) the weirdness and horrendous things that they wrote about came to be, to a great extent, quite prophetic indeed.  Unlike the likes of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne however, to name but these two, Ray Bradbury never had much vanity about this apparent vaticinating gift that he might have had.

Like all good writers, Ray Douglas Bradbury simply wrote about life as he observed it: and tried to inspire humanity to be the best that it could be, through the tales that he would weave so well.

Rest in peace, Ray Bradbury.
You have now joined the elite literary club Up There: you will be exchanging with your peers from all over the world, from all eras - Tertullian, Socrates, Plato, Pessoa, Camoes, Cyrano, Dickens, Twain and so many more lit-wits, so many unpublished too...

My condolences to his family - and readers.

Sempre Por O Melhor

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