by Matt Bramowicz
Celebrated author, Ray Bradbury, has died. His family confirmed his death earlier today.
Perhaps most famous for his dystopian novel, Fahrenheit 451, about a future where all books are banned (a favorite amongst school children for probably multiple reasons), and Something Wicked This Way Comes, Bradbury has in fact written 11 novels and over 400 short stories.
As any fan of his is aware, oftentimes his stories focused around the wonderment of childhood and how innocence comprehends and deals with adult concepts through the lens of supernatural forces and science fiction.
Dandelion Wine, one of my personal favorite novels by Bradbury, brings the reader into the world of a child’s summer, which through his eyes, we feel the bright and seemingly endless expanse of bright green grass, white picket fences, and future adventures awaiting us at the start. However, the pang of adulthood strikes as the child protagonist must deal with more dark and shadowy forces waiting behind the veneer of the innocence of summer. The symbolism of youth is captured in both the title and in the novel itself, wherein the process of making dandelion wine the ingredients are picked and bottled during the summer, but can only be enjoyed after aging.
Bradbury also was responsible for writing numerous children stories as well as screenplays.
Although the majority of his stories include elements of science fiction, at the heart of all of them lies true human experience. That is what made Ray Bradbury stretch beyond his genre, and reach so many people all over the world.
If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.