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Be in Love With Life: The Legacy of Ray Bradbury
"You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down."
The author of everyone's favorite assigned high-school reading, the visionary Ray Bradbury, has died at the age of 91. There are many very thorough remembrances of the man and his work out there. But when I heard this news, all I could think of was the story "The Third Expedition" in The Martian Chronicles (the book, incidentally, that first indicated to me, and so many others, all that the maligned genre of science fiction could be) in which the astronauts arrive on Mars only to find a place that looks a whole lot like the Earth of the past, peopled with their own long-dead friends and relatives. It all seems pretty fishy, but the astronauts can't help but give into their nostalgia, to their desire for it to be so. Mars, it seems, is heaven.
Well, (spoiler alert!) it doesn't turn out to be so: the idyllic world is actually a nasty trick on behalf of the hostile Martians. And when we read the story we feel a little foolish by the end, for wanting, as the astronauts did, the sunny, picture-perfect freeze-frame of Americana to be truly preserved up there on a rock in the sky, for believing for a few seconds that we were seeing heaven. Still, isn't it pleasant to think that somewhere in the universe, the people we miss are carrying on their lives on some sunny planet untouched by death? Isn't it pleasant to think that Ray Bradbury might be landing any minute?
Here, Bradbury shares his advice on how to live to be 90, and his take on the essence of life.
Bradbury on his Love of Libraries
Bradbury on Life and Creativity
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