Ray Bradbury: An American Icon

Ray Bradbury, Author
Ray Bradbury, Author

As part of the my school’s English curriculum, students are reading Ray Bradbury material for their author study this year. I had never really heard of the author or read any of his works until now, but I find it very fascinating.

We started the study with a discussion between science fiction and fantasy then read the introduction to The Vintage Bradbury. The short stories we’ve read together as a class so far are: “Hail and Farewell,” “Night Meeting,” “There Will Come Soft Rains,” and “Kaleidoscope.” 

I am glad my students are enjoying his works. And I am slowly becoming a fan myself.

Today, we viewed “Ray Bradbury: An American Icon” which interviewed the author and shared his works from early on in his career. 

I am inspired as a teacher and as a writer. 

I love the fact that he lived in the library, and considers himself a children’s writer, spending his library time in the children’s section of the UCLA Library. He typed Fahrenheit 451 in the typing room of the UCLA Library. It started off as a 25,000 word novella and then expanded it to 50,000 words.

Bradbury said something about not really plotting but allowing his characters to live big lives. He said something along the lines of characters who live big lives deserve a novel, but characters who live smaller lives get a short story. Or something like that. It was brilliant, and I know I butchered his statement, my apologies. 

He also spoke about discovering metaphors in life that he turned into stories. Brilliant.