Ray Bradbury, Literary Influences Essay

981 words - 4 pages

Ray Bradbury, one of the most revered science-fiction authors, has hadmany things occur in his life which directly influenced his style of writing. Inaddition to influencing his style, these events also affected the content and themeof his individual works. Putting all of this aside, however, if these specific eventsdid not occur in Bradbury's life, he would not have become a science-fictionwriter.Throughout his childhood, Bradbury was exposed to many types ofliterature. While living in Waukegan, Illinois at the age of six, Bradbury's Auntread him the Oz books. Also at this early age, Bradbury was encouraged to readthe classic Norse, Roman, and Greek myths (Johnson 1). "When he grew oldenough to choose his own reading material, the boy rapidly developed a fondnessfor the stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs and the comic book heroes Flash Gordon,Buck Rogers, and Prince Valiant." (Johnson 1). It was these comic book heroeswho fueled Bradbury's fondness for science fiction. After moving to Tucson,Arizona Bradbury got a job a local radio station because of his experience inWaukegan as an amateur magician. "'I was on the radio every Saturday nightreading comic book strips to the kiddies and being paid in free movie tickets, tolocal cinema, where I saw 'The Mummy,' 'The Murders in the Wax Museum,''Dracula' ...and 'King Kong.'" (Johnson 2). In reference to his one year in TucsonArizona, Bradbury recalls "'It was one of the greatest years of my life because Iwas acting and singing in operettas and writing, beginning to write my first shortstories.'" (Johnson 2). After graduating from high school, Bradbury bought atypewriter and rented an office with the money saved from selling newspapers.While in his early twenties, Bradbury sold one science-fiction short stories everymonth for four years. He was paid $20 for each story. "Bradbury sold some of hisfirst stories in 1945 to magazines such as Collier's, Charm, and Mademoiselle."(Kunitz and Haycraft 111,112).Ray Bradbury had a number of literary influences. "At its best, Bradbury'sprose combines influences from a wide variety of writers, as well as othermedia-films, radio, and theater." (Mogen 27). "Indeed, when he first set upbusiness as a writer, Bradbury spent several years in what he calls his 'imitativeperiod,' sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously adopting the tone andmanner of writers he admired." (Mogen 27). After tapping into his own lifeexperiences for subject matter and theme, Bradbury discovered his own literaryvoice. Bradbury feels this process began in 1942 when he wrote "The Lake," astory based on memories of childhood sweetheart (Mogen 27).This personal memory is raw stuff of writers. This is the stuff yougo to, if you want to write original weird stories. We're told all thisstuff, you know, to go to the literature of Poe, to go to Hawthorne.This is all nonsense. These people dug their own symbols, their ownneeds, and their own terrors out of themselves, and got it on paper.They didn't...

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