141 Timeless Quotes By Ray Bradbury On Life, Joy & Failure
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Ray Douglas Bradbury was one of the most prolific American writers who made a name for himself in the science fiction, mystery fiction and horror genres. Being devoid of college education, he emphasized on the need for knowledge and literacy. Bradbury was famous for his novels such as ‘Fahrenheit 451’, ‘I Sing the Body Electric’, ‘The Illustrated Man’ and ‘The Martian Chronicles’. He was also the scriptwriter consultant for hit movies such as ‘Moby Dick’ and ‘It Came from Outer Space’. He went on to receive accolades such as American Academy of Arts and Letters, Daytime Emmy Award, National Medal of Arts and Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Majority of Bradbury’s works made their way into theatres, comic books and television. The New York Times designated Bradbury as the pioneer in translating modern science fiction into literary mainstream. He received the National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush for his exceptional contribution in the field of literature. We have curated Bradbury’s notable quotes and thoughts from his writings. Let us browse through these quotes from this legend.
You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them. I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room. You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. Why is it," he said, one time, at the subway entrance, "I feel I've known you so many years?"
"Because I like you," she said, "and I don't want anything from you. We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out. There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real? There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn. 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. I'm seventeen and I'm crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane. Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't "try" to do things. You simply "must" do things. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies. Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore. We are an impossibility in an impossible universe. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way. Insanity is relative. It depends on who has who locked in what cage. But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can't last. A good night sleep, or a ten minute bawl, or a pint of chocolate ice cream, or all three together, is good medicine. It was a pleasure to burn. We have too many cellphones. We've got too many internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now. If you're embarrassed because you have some notion about how men are supposed to behave, and it doesn't include weeping, then you have some personal work to do. All the women in my life have been librarians, English teachers and book sellers. The answer to all writing, to any career for that matter, is love. When I was born in 1920, the auto was only 20 years old. Radio didn't exist. TV didn't exist. I was born at just the right time to write about all of these things. I have my favorite cat, who is my paperweight, on my desk while I am writing. I'm never going to go to Mars, but I've helped inspire, thank goodness, the people who built the rockets and sent our photographic equipment off to Mars. I've only written one science-fiction book: 'Fahrenheit 451.' That book is a book based on real facts and my hatred of people who destroy books. Love is the answer to everything. It's the only reason to do anything. If you don't write stories you love, you'll never make it. If you don't write stories that other people love, you'll never make it. There's no one way to be creative. Any old way will work. I don't have a computer. A computer's a typewriter. I already have a typewriter. You can write a short story in two hours. Two hours a day, you have a novel in a year. Love is easy, and I love writing. You can't resist love. You get an idea, someone says something, and you're in love. You pay a certain penalty for going your own way. A lot of people think you're nuts, and you're not as popular with girls as you should be. I never ask anyone else's opinion. They don't count. The great fun in my life has been getting up every morning and rushing to the typewriter because some new idea has hit me. Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future. I'm not a serious person, and I don't like serious people. Ideas excite me, and as soon as I get excited, the adrenaline gets going and the next thing I know I'm borrowing energy from the ideas themselves. Collecting facts is important. Knowledge is important. But if you don't have an imagination to use the knowledge, civilization is nowhere. After Hiroshima was bombed, I saw a photograph of the side of a house with the shadows of the people who had lived there burned into the wall from the intensity of the bomb. The people were gone, but their shadows remained. Look at the Chandra Levy case. It's become a Star Chamber. The major networks, the cable networks, they're being prosecutors. They're judges and jurors and executioners. Well, c'mon, that's ridiculous. But they're doing it. We've gotta become the Martians. I'm a Martian - I tell you to become Martians. And we've gotta go to Mars and civilize Mars and build a whole civilization on Mars and then move out, 300 years from now into the universe. And when we do that, we have a chance of living forever. If you know how to read, you have a complete education about life, then you know how to vote within a democracy. But if you don't know how to read, you don't know how to decide. That's the great thing about our country - we're a democracy of readers, and we should keep it that way. I got started as an actor when I was 12. Bo Derek is a really good friend of mine, and I'd like to spend more time with her. I don't do research. I never have. If you're living in your time, you cannot help but to write about the things that are important. I don't go around thinking I'm Ray Bradbury all the time. I think we're doing a dreadful job of educating. My personal telephone book is a book of the dead now. I'm so old. Almost all of my friends have died, and I don't have the guts to take their names out of the book. You don't read in your own field. You read in that field when you're young, so that you can learn. I think the reason my stories have been so successful is that I have a strong sense of metaphor. Any experience that touches you, in any particular way, is good. It can be a horrible experience. Millions of students now, in all the schools of America, are reading science fiction and especially, thank God, 'The Martian Chronicles.' Facts are not interesting to me. All of us, no matter how we look born into this world, feel something like the Hunchback. It doesn't matter if you have a beautiful face or not. I have spent my life going from mania to mania. Somehow it has all paid off. The first stories I wrote when I was 12 were about Mars and landing on Mars. My favorite writers have been those who've said things well. I don't see myself as a philosopher. That's awfully boring. If you dream the proper dreams, and share the myths with people, they will want to grow up to be like you. My goal is to entertain myself and others. All my stories are like the Greek and Roman myths, and the Egyptian myths, and the Old and New Testament. If I'd found out that Norman Mailer liked me. I'd have killed myself. Books are alive, you see. They're not dead, they're alive. My religion encompasses all religions. I believe in God, I believe in the universe. I believe you are god, I believe I am god; I believe the earth is god and the universe is god. We're all god. My business is to prevent the future. I find it amusing that I'm on the Internet now, because I've criticized it, but mainly I've criticized it on the basis of, 'What are you going to do with it?' Scientists have to have a metaphor. All scientists start with imagination. We've gotta reinvest in space travel. We should've never left the moon. Americans are far more remarkable than we give ourselves credit for. We've been so busy damning ourselves for years. We've done it all, and yet we don't take credit for it. I don't need to be vindicated, and I don't want attention. Electronic books are junk. Touch a scientist and you touch a child. You don't have to turn on the TV set. You don't have to work on the Internet. It's up to you. First grade is very cheap. It's the later grades where you have to spend a lot of money if you don't do it right. It's lack that gives us inspiration. It's not fullness. The major networks, the cable networks, they're being prosecutors. They're judges and jurors and executioners. Well, c'mon, that's ridiculous. But they're doing it. Everybody has forgotten that Russia helped start the Second World War. We've got to dumb America up again. When you're older you want to learn from other people. I don't control my writing - it controls me. I have total recall. I remember being born. I remember being in the womb, I remember being inside. Coming out was great. Once the automobile appeared you could have predicted that it would destroy as many people as it did. You can't try to do things; you simply must do them. Everything is my demon muse. I have a muse which whispers in my ear and says, 'Do this, do that,' but it's my demon who provokes me. If an idea isn't exciting, you shouldn't do it. 'Fahrenheit 451' postulates a lot of things I didn't want to have happen. The best scientist is open to experience and begins with romance - the idea that anything is possible. We are anthill men upon an anthill world. I used to take my short stories to girls' homes and read them to them. Can you imagine the reaction reading a short story to a girl instead of pawing her? I love all of the arts. I love motion pictures. I love stage. I love theater.
When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money.
I'm not in control of my muse. My muse does all the work.
I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.
It's not going to do any good to land on Mars if we're stupid.
You fail only if you stop writing. The important thing is to be in love with something.