Fahrenheit 451


Ray Bradbury

  Born in Waukegan, Illinois, in 1920, Bradbury died recently (July, 5th 2012), concluding his life as one of the world's greatest science fiction, horror, mystery, and fantasy writers. Recipient of numerous awards, including the famed Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award (1994), the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award for 2000, and the recipient of the National Medal of Arts, presented by then-President George W. Bush, Bradbury also earned the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award, Stoker Life Achievement Award, SFWA Grand Master, SF Hall of Fame Living Inductee, and First Fandom Award. In 2007, he was awarded a special citation from the Pulitzer board "for his distinguished, prolific, and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy" (83), while in that same year, he also received the French Commandeur Ordre des Arts et des Lettres medal. Specifically for Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury received the Prometheus Award in 2006. Bradbury was the author of such bestsellers as The Martian Chronicles (1950), The Illustrated Man (1951), Summer Morning, Summer Night (republished in 2008), and Fahrenheit 451 (1953). Altogether, the prolific writer is credited with writing 27 novels and 600 short stories, of which more than eight million copies have been published in over 36 languages and sold internationally. Bradbury started writing at age 14 for radio host George Burns. By age 29, he was already an established writer with a list of successes such as Something Wicked This Way Comes, Dandelion Wine, Farewell Summer, and Dark Carnival. Bradbury's biography is an inspirational one. The boy always knew that he wanted to write. His first experiences of writing began when he was 11 with his stories scrawled out on butcher paper due to the Depression, although his resolution to become a writer developed far earlier. In 1932, he writes, a certain magician touched the child on the nose with an electrified sword, made his hair stand on end, and shouted, "Live forever!" This stuff of fairy tales had an enduring impact on Bradbury: "I felt that something strange and wonderful had happened to me because of my encounter with Mr. Electrico... [he] gave me a future... I began to write, full-time. I have written every single day of my life since that day 69 years ago" (RayBradbury.com). Bradbury’s other passions included magic, drawing, and acting, and it was in high school that his resolution to specialize in writing developed. His first class in writing was at Los Angeles High School, where he mesmerized teachers with his writing ability, compelling them to take an interest in him. Poverty prevented him from going to college, so Bradbury made the library his schooling. Later he remarked: Libraries raised me. I don't believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don't have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years. (Steinhauer, 2009) Bradbury, in fact, never rued his loss of a college education. To him, college impeded serious writing, as he told an interviewer later on: "You can’t learn to write in college. It's a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think...
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