Ray Bradbury has had as much influence over me, as far as how I view reading and writing, as anyone else on earth. From the first time I read The Martian Chronicles, to his wonderful creativity manifesto Zen In The Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury quotes have become my gospel. I love his stories, his integrity, his unapologetic love of science fiction and adventure, and I love the fact that I know there are thousands and thousands of others out there who feel the same as I do.
So I’d like to give a list of my favorite quotes from. Mr. Bradbury. I’d like to see them all added to a book of scripture. Or maybe to all the holy works!
- I don’t try to describe the future. I try to prevent it.
- You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
- Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.
- Love is easy, and I love writing. You can’t resist love. You get an idea, someone says something, and you’re in love.
- If you enjoy living, it is not difficult to keep the sense of wonder.
- Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.
- Why would you clone people when you can go to bed with them and make a baby? C’mon, it’s stupid. (from Salon magazine)With computers, kids can connect and search libraries and the Encyclopedia Britannica, but if you don’t teach them to read in the first place, they’re not going to [log on], are they? (speaking to a school board association in a wonderful speech)
- There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. (great take on censorship!)
- A book is a loaded gun in the house next door…Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? (From Fahrenheit 451–which I really need to go read again)
- Melt all the guns, I thought, break the knives, burn the guillotines-and the malicious will still write letters that kill. (from the under-read, in my opinion, Death Is A Lonely Business)
- Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know, is bad, or amoral, at least. You can’t act if you don’t know. Acting without knowing takes you right off the cliff (From Something Wicked This Way Comes, the greatest book with a carnival in it)
- We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things. (From The Martian Chronicles–gives me chills)
I’m going to stop there for now. When Ray Bradbury passes away, the world will lose a true treasure. And the tragedy is that he will not be mourned by nearly enough people. I want people to read, just so they can read Bradbury, if nothing else. I’ve never found an author with such wisdom, who still enjoyed writing about subjects that are deemed silly (books with aliens and ghosts in them!) by so many educated people.
My take is that if you don’t have the time for some Bradbury books once in a while, you’re not livin’! And it just occurred to me that I have only written reviews of a couple of his books, which I will have to remedy directly.
Ray, thank you for everything.