Vale – Ray Bradbury

It is with much regret the people in this household heard the news about Ray Bradbury’s passing this morning. It is not the best news to wake up to. 91 was a good innings, though, we don’t all get to be 91 years old.

Ray Bradbury pierced the hearts and minds of so many generations of people with Fahrenheit 451. It’s a book that really hurts as it reminds us of the burning of books during the Holocaust and it hurts to hear of a book being burned for any reason. To have the loss of so much work, wisdom and wit lost so quickly just hurts. I loved the writing and the imagery in this book when I read it many years ago but the only image I can bring to mind is the burning books.

Another of Bradbury’s works that has captured my imagination is The Illustrated Man. About a man who has so many tattoos and each one has a story. Tattoos seems to evoke many emotions both good and bad. I can recall the time I was on jury duty and the man we found guilty had tattoos from wrist to shoulder, they looked like shirt sleeves and reminded me of The Illustrated Man, I was nervous.

It’s interesting where authors will find to write their books. Bradbury hired a typewriter at his local library at 10c per half hour, it cost him $9.80 to write Fahrenheit 451, I figured it took him 49 hours. J. K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books in a cafe. James Herriot wrote his comical vet books, All Creatures Great and Small, on a portable typewriter in the loungeroom of his house with his family around him watching TV or doing their homework or just talking. The writers are all different and wrote in different ways but the thing bringing them together is that they wrote.

Vale Mr Bradbury, thank you so much for showing me a different world, for educating me and entertaining me, but above all, for writing.