mjj (flemmings) wrote,

'You were silly like us; your gift survived it all'

The parish of rich women, physical decay,

(The last two, certainly, if not the rich women one for anything I know to the contrary.)

I first read Ray Bradbury when I was 13 or 14, The Martian Chronicles and then everything else. It was his stories, along with Arthur C Clarke's, that gave me a shivering sense of the wonder of Space, of unimagined possibilities out there somewhere: an idea only realized several decades later, subjectively speaking, or three years afterwards, in cold reality, when I first heard the thrilling words, 'Space: the final frontier.'

(It still boggles me that three years could ever have been so *long*. But they were, oh they were.)

I haven't reread him in decades, and I think I won't even now. The wonder of Bradbury's stories belong to my naive young self. He's an artifact of a past time, my nearly-forgotten adolescence. A flower in the Pharaoh's tomb, still faintly scented, that crumbles to dust in the air and light of the present day. The images from the stories are with me still, and they're wonderful. I don't want them compromised by what I recall of Bradbury's style, which even as a teenager I found a bit overwrought in places, a bit silly, a bit much.

Yes, the Suck Fairy doth make cowards of us all. But one day, maybe, I'll take down my browned and flaking copy of The Illustrated Man and breathe, for a minute, the air of 1964.
Tags: rl, writing

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