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Ray Bradbury

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Ray Bradbury

No name typifies science fiction to the American public more than the name Ray

Bradbury. For over forty years, he has been writing novels, short stories, poems, plays,

and movie scripts that have long since kept him in the forefront of American literature.

His stories become standard reading for many high school and college students.

His literary style can best be described as "enchantment;" the way he captivates

his readers with charm, bewitchment, and stunning verbal evocations. His visions of the

past, future, and the present delight his readers. His books are virtually long-time

bestsellers and have been translated into over twenty languages. He is quite popular in

the former Soviet Union. However, success did not come easily for Bradbury. He

inched away at his writing career, crafting story after story, until he was selling and

occasional short story for half a cent per word. Much of his childhood, and a little of his adulthood, inspired his writings. In this paper, these influences as well as his method of drawing the reader into a story will be discussed.

Perhaps the most important influence in Bradbury's youth was his discovery of

magic. The famous Blackstone the Magician once included Bradbury in his act, and it

enchanted him. The most influential magician on Bradbury was Mr. Electrico. Bradbury

wrote about his experience with Mr. Electrico and stated that Mr. Electrico would sit

every night in his electric chair, brushing his Excalibur sword over the audience, sparking them with lightning, and crying, "Live forever!" A few weeks after Bradbury

encountered Mr. Electrico, he began writing his first short stories.

In July of 1941, Bradbury sold his first story to Super Science Stories. Although he only made $13.75 on the sale, he rejoiced. Within a year from that sale, he was a full-time writer. The Martian Chronicles, his first novel, was published within a decade and he soon found himself famous. Fahrenheit 451 marked a new point in Bradbury's

writing style - the pessimistic side of life, where he discussed a future where mankind isslowly destroying itself.

The sense of what is best in America and what is best for the American people

and humanity as a whole, is another thing that fuels his literature. He writes on topics

relevant to what is happening in society. Mars and book burning are a couple of them.
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