In the Words of Ray Bradbury: Ten Quotes

When I was in high school, I used to keep a tiny notebook with me whenever I was reading a library book so that I could quickly jot down quotes I loved. Ray Bradbury broke me of this habit. I still remember the first time I was introduced to his work—the unsettling short piece “All Summer in a Day”. Every word was brilliant, and I quickly moved on to stories like “The Veldt”, “The Small Assassin”, and my favorite, “Homecoming”. Eventually I sought out his novels, but each book served me the same problem: they were so good, if I picked out my favorite quotes, I’d be copying them word for word.

Fortunately, I’ve just been waiting for today. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about sharing snippets, and I knew just the guy to turn to for inspiration. Here are ten of my favorite Ray Bradbury quotes.


Zen in the Art of Writing

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.

Goodreads


Fahrenheit 451

The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.

Goodreads


Dandelion Wine

A good night’s sleep, or a ten minute bawl, or a pint of chocolate ice cream, or all three together, is good medicine.

Goodreads


From the Dust Returned

In the attic where the rain touched the roof softly on spring days and where you could feel the mantle of snow outside, a few inches away, on December nights, A Thousand Times Great Grandmère existed. She did not live, nor was she eternally dead, she … existed.

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Death is a Lonely Business

Melt all the guns, I thought, break the knives, burn the guillotines—and the malicious will still write letters that kill.

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The Martian Chronicles

“We won’t ruin Mars,” said the captain. “It’s too big and too good.”

“You think not? We Earth Men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.”

Goodreads


Something Wicked This Way Comes

Is Death important? No. Everything that happens before death is what counts.

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A Graveyard for Lunatics

Once upon a time there were two cities within a city. One was light and one was dark. One moved restlessly all day while the other never stirred. One was warm and filled with ever-changing lights. One was cold and fixed in places by stones. And when the sun went down each afternoon on Maximus Films, the city of the living, it began to resemble Green Glades cemetery just across the way, which was the city of the dead.

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The Halloween Tree

The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats.

Goodreads


Zen in the Art of Writing

But, you see, my stories have led me through my life. They shout, I follow. They run up and bite me on the leg—I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go, and runs off.

Goodreads


Note: Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Be sure to check out her weekly post to find other participants.

40 Comments

  1. I lurve the quotes from Zen in the Art of Writing — which I think often gets listed in the top 10 books on writing of all time? I remember reading an essay from Bradbury’s Fahrenheit in school — I’ve never read anything else by him since then! Your quote list made me want to explore more of his works, so thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’d really, really enjoy his work—especially his short stories. It’s almost hard to express how much I admire what he’s able to capture in his writing. And yes! Zen in the Art of Writing gets brought up all the time for writers, which I think is well deserved, but it’s also wildly entertaining even if you don’t consider yourself a writer. Just an all-around lovely book.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love him so much! And I love your story of your introduction to him – for me it was also in high school, and The Veldt. A wise family friend gave me a copy of it photocopied from a book, which I STILL have, it meant that much to me!

    Every single one of these is so good, but that one from From the Dust Returned…incredible. Thank you for sharing these!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I can completely understand why you would keep that! I remember the first time I read that one—it was freshman year of college and my university’s library had just purchased a gorgeous collection of his works published by Everyman Library. I used to drop in and read a few at a time and I just remember sitting there and staring after finishing The Veldt. Just an intensely good story!

      I actually wrote to him when I was in high school and, while I don’t remember anything about my (I’m sure) overly gushing letter, he was kind enough to send back an autograph on a Fahrenheit 451 card. However, my favorite part: on the return enveloped, he drew a portrait around my address and included an Edgar Allan Poe stamp with the words “My Papa” written next to it. Just a great guy all around.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love this story!!! What a sweet guy, wonderful that he took the time to do something special like that. I just love knowing that.

        That was exactly my experience The Veldt too, just total awe that this even existed. He is such a treasure of an author.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this take on this week’s topic! I still think about “All Summer in a Day” after reading it in high school. So much of his work really sticks with you!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. With Bradbury, I’d recommend just about anything. Though if I had to choose, I think some of his best writing was in Dandelion Wine. Though if you’re in the mood for a mystery, his trilogy that starts with Death Is a Lonely Business is wild and a lot of fun. And of course, you can’t go wrong with picking a short story or two at random.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Bradbury is one of my TOP TEN favorite authors of all time, so LOVE this. I confess I don’t always connect with his rocket, space, or Martian obsessions as I think that was just a product of growing up when he did, but his word wizardry is SO wonderful. My favorite book of 2020 was Something Wicked This Way Comes. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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