Quotes by Ray Bradbury
Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Ray Bradbury. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Wikipedia Summary for Ray Bradbury
Ray Douglas Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an American author and screenwriter. One of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers, he worked in a variety of modes, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and realistic fiction.
Bradbury was mainly known for his novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and his short-story collections The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951). Most of his best known work is speculative fiction, but he also worked in other genres, such as the coming of age novel Dandelion Wine (1957) and the fictionalized memoir Green Shadows, White Whale (1992). He also wrote and consulted on screenplays and television scripts, including Moby Dick and It Came from Outer Space. Many of his works were adapted into television and film productions as well as comic books.
The New York Times called Bradbury "the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream."
Life is trying things to see if they work.
Life is about trying things to see if they work.
First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him.
Creativity is a continual surprise.
There's no one way to be creative. Any old way will work.
The answer to all writing, to any career for that matter, is love.
I don't control my writing -- it controls me.
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he'll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.
Those who live in the best cliffs think they are better than us. That is always man's attitude when he has power.
Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You've got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.
In our time this search (for extraterrestrial life) will eventually change our laws, our religions, our philosophies, our arts, our recreations, as well as our sciences. Space, the mirror, waits for life to come look for itself there.
A good night sleep or a ten-minute bawl, or a pint of chocolate ice cream, or all three together, is good medicine.
When I was born in 1920, the auto was only 20 years old. Radio didn't exist. TV didn't exist. I was born at just the right time to write about all of these things.
You can't help people like her unless they want to be helped. That's the first law of mental health. You know it, I know it.
We must move into the universe. Mankind must save itself. We must escape the danger of war and politics. We must become astronauts and go out into the universe and discover the God in ourselves.
It was like a great bee come home from some field where the honey is full of poison wildness, of insanity and nightmare, its body crammed with that over-rich nectar and now it was sleeping the evil out of itself.
Before the bus had run another fifty yards on the highway, its destination would be meaningless, and its point of departure changed from metropolis to junkyard.
Let the war turn off the families. Our civilization is flinging itself to pieces. Stand back from the centrifuge.
For everyone nowadays knows, absolutely certain, that nothing will ever happen to me. Others die, I go on.
When I started writing seriously, I made the major discovery of my life -- that I am right and everybody else is wrong if they disagree with me. What a great thing to learn: Don't listen to anyone else, and always go your own way.
Libraries are absolutely at the center of my life. Since I couldn't afford to go to college, I attended the library three or four days a week from the age of eighteen on, and graduated from the library when I was twenty-eight.
My passions drive me to the typewriter every day of my life, and they have driven me there since I was twelve. So I never have to worry about schedules. Some new thing is always exploding in me, and it schedules me, I don't schedule it. It says: Get to the typewriter right now and finish this.
Somewhere on the Earth tonight, my Tylla, there is a Man with a Lever, which, when he pulls it, Will Save The World. The man is now unemployed. His switch gathers dust. He himself plays pinochle.
The girl who had known the weather and never been burnt by fireflies, the girl who had known what dandelions meant rubbed off on your chin.
Then, she would be gone.
When we had all the books we needed, we still insisted on finding the highest cliff to jump off. But we do need a breather. We do need knowledge. And perhaps in a thousand years we might pick smaller cliffs to jump off. The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are.
I often wonder if God recognizes His own son the way we've dressed him up, or is it dressed him down? He's a regular peppermint stick now, all sugar-crystal and saccharine when he isn't making veiled references to certain commercial products that every worshiper absolutely needs.
A reason I became a writer was to escape the hopelessness and despair of the real world and enter the world of hope I could create with my imagination.
For if we're destroyed, the knowledge is dead...We're nothing more than dust jackets for books...so many pages to a person.
From now on I hope always to educate myself as best I can. But lacking this, in future I will relaxedly turn back to my secret mind to see what it has observed when I thought I was sitting this one out. We never sit anything out.
The river was very real; it held him comfortably and gave him the time at last, the leisure, to consider this month, this year, and a lifetime of years.
The courthouse clock struck nine and it was getting late and it was really night on this small street in a small town in a big state on a large continent on a planet earth hurtling down the pit of space toward nowhere or somewhere and Tom feeling every mile of the long drop.
Who has more pockets than a magician? A boy. Whose pockets contain *more* than a magicians? A boy's.
My dear, you never will understand time, will you? You're always trying to be the things you were, instead of the person you are tonight. Why do you save those ticket stubs and theater programs? They'll only hurt you later. Throw them away, my dear.
Sexed but sexless, the robots. Named but unnamed, and borrowing from humans everything but humanity, the robots stared at the nailed lids of their labeled F.O.B boxes, in a death that was not even a death, for there had never been a life.
Screenplays are not writing. They're a fake form of writing. It's a lot of dialogue and very little atmosphere. Very little description. Very little character work. It's very dangerous. You'll never learn to write.
No, moaned Tom in despair. School. School straight on ahead! Why, why do dime stores show things like that in windows before summer's even over! Ruin half the vacation!
The crisis is past and all is well, the sheep returns to the fold. We're all sheep who have strayed at times. Truth is truth, to the end of reckoning, we've cried. They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts, we've shouted to ourselves.
I don't decide. My secret self decides. I just go with my subconscious. If it wants to do a poem, I do a poem, and if it wants to do a play, I do a play. So I'm not in charge, I'm not in control.
It is a subliminal thing. It is the tick of a clock that has ticked so long one no longer notices. Something is in a room when a man lives in it. Something is not in the room when a man is dead in it.
Mr. Montag, you are looking at a coward. I saw the way things were going, a long time back. I said nothing. I'm one of the innocents who could have spoken up and out when no one would listen to thèguilty,' but I did not speak and thus became guilty myself.
He had seen her painted sign by the road: Skin Illustration! Illustration instead of tattoo! Artistic!
He saw many hands held to its warmth, hands without arms, hidden in darkness. Above the hands, motionless faces that were only moved and tossed and flickered with firelight. He hadn't known fire could look this way. He had never thought in his life that it could give as well as take.
Trains and boxcars and the smell of coal and fire are not ugly to children. Ugliness is a concept that we happen on later and become self-conscious about.
At the top of your lungs, shout and listen to the echoes. You must live life at the top of your voice!
We are the witnesses to the miracle. We are put here by creation, by God....We're here to be the audience to the magnificent. It is our job to celebrate.
You're peculiar, you're aggravating, yet you're easy to forgive. You say you're seventeen?..How odd. How strange. And my wife thirty and yet you seem so much older at times. I can't get over it.
I don't write science fiction. I've only done one science fiction book and that's Fahrenheit 451, based on reality. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal.
Remember, Montag, we're the happiness boys. We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought.
Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know, is bad, or amoral, at least. You can't act if you don't know. Acting without knowing takes you right off the cliff.
I don't think about what I do. I do it. That's Buddhism. I jump off the cliff and build my wings on the way down.
He raged for hours. And the skeleton, ever the frail and solelmn philosopher, hung quietly inside, saying not a word, suspended like a delicate insect within a chrysalis, waiting and waiting.
Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he'll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.
If teachers and grammar school editors find my jawbreaker sentences shatter their mushmilk teeth, let them eat stale cake dunked in weak tea of their own ungodly manufacture.
Friendship is an island that you retreat to and you all fall on the floor and laugh at all the other ninnies that don't have enough brains to have your good taste.
Each person was himself one alone. One oneness, a unit in a society, but always afraid, always alone. If I should scream, if I should call for help, would anyone hear would it even matter?
Do you ever wonder if -- well, if there are people living on the third planet?'
'The third planet is incapable of supporting life,' stated the husband patiently. 'Our scientists have said there's far too much oxygen in their atmosphere.
The trouble with a lot of people who try to write is they intellectualize about it. That comes after. The intellect is given to us by God to test things once they're done, not to worry about things ahead of time.
Look at it this way, child, life is a magic show, or should be if people didn't go to sleep on each other. Always leave folks with a bit of mystery, son.
The women in my life have all been librarians, English teachers, or booksellers. If they couldn't speak pidgin Tolstoy, articulate Henry James, or give me directions to Usher and Ox, it was no go. I have always longed for education, and pillow talk's the best.
Her eyes reversed into herself, to watch the secret heart of herself pounding itself into pieces against the side of her chest.
No, said a voice, the only thing wrong on a night like that is that there is a world and you must come back to it.
You grow ravenous. You run fevers. You know exhilarations. You can't sleep at night, because your beast-creature ideas want out and turn you in your bed. It is a grand way to live.
In the dim, wavering light, a page hung open and it was like a snowy feather, the words delicately painted thereon. In all the rush and fervor, Montag had only an instant to read a line, but it blazed in his mind for the next minute as if stamped there with fiery steel.
The sun rose yellow as a lemon.The sky was round and blue.The birds looped clear water songs in the air.Will and Jim leaned from their windows.Nothing had changed.Except the look in Jim's eyes.Last night... said Will. Did or didn't it happen?
They whispered to Caesar that he was mortal, then sold daggers at half-price in the grand March sale.
About this grass now. I didn't finish telling. It grows so close it's guaranteed to kill off clover and dandelions-
Great God in heaven! That means no dandelion wine next year! That means no bees crossing our lot! You're out of your mind, son.
As Samuel Spaulding, Esquire, once said, 'Dig in the earth, delve in the soul.' Spin those mower blades, Bill, and walk in the spray of the Fountain of Youth. End of lecture. Besides, a mess of dandelion greens is good eating once in a while.
There was her face, like a summer peach, beautiful and warm, and the light of the candles reflected in her dark eyes. He held his breath. The entire world waited and held its breath.
He felt as if he had left a stage behind and many actors. He felt as if he had left the great séance and all the murmuring ghosts. He was moving from an unreality that was frightening into a reality that was unreal because it was new.
To everything there is a season. Yes. A time to break down, and a time to build up. Yes. A time to keep silence and a time to speak. Yes.
There must be something in books, something we can't imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don't stay for nothing.
If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none.
Maybe the books can get us half out of the cave. They just might stop us from making the same damm insane mistakes!
He stood breathing, and the more he breathed the land in, the more he was filled up with all the details of the land. He was not empty. There was more than enough here to fill him. There would always be more than enough.
In our time the search for extraterrestrial life will eventually change our laws, our religions, our philosophies, our arts, our recreations, as well as our sciences. Space, the mirror, waits for life to come look for itself there.
Writing is like sex. You have to save your love for the love object. If you go around spouting about your idea, there'll be no charge left. You can't father children that way.
Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them, at all. The magic is only in what the books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.
I'm seventeen and I'm crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane.
Do you know that books smell like nutmeg or some spice from a foreign land? I loved to smell them when I was a boy. Lord, there were a lot of lovely books once, before we let them go.
Don't let people interfere with you. Boot 'em out, turn off the phone, hide away, get it done. If you carry a short story over to the next day you may overnight intellectualize something about it and try to make it too fancy, try to please someone.
We are living in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of on good rain and black loam.
The gift of life is so precious that we should feel an obligation to pay back the universe for the gift of being alive.
I sometimes get up at night when I can't sleep and walk down into my library and open one of my books and read a paragraph and say, 'My God, did I write that?
Everything of mine is permeated with my love of ideas-both big and small. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it grabs me and holds me, facinates me. And then I'll run out and something about it... I write for fun.
I love you and I forgive you. I am like you and you are like me. I love all people. I love the world. I love creating. Everything in our life should be based on love.
I don't believe in government. I hate politics. I'm against it. And I hope that sometime this fall, we can destroy part of our government, and next year destroy even more of it. The less government, the happier I will be.
I want to feel all there is to feel, he thought. Let me feel tired, now, let me feel tired. I mustn't forget, I'm alive, I know I'm alive, I mustn't forget it tonight or tomorrow or the day after that.
If you learn only methods, you'll be tied to your methods, but if you learn principles you can devise your own methods.
I prefer to see myself as the Janus, the two-faced god who is half Pollyanna and half Cassandra, warning of the future and perhaps living too much in the past -- a combination of both.
How long has it been since you wrote a story where your real love or your real hatred somehow got onto the paper? When was the last time you dared release a cherished prejudice so it slammed the page like a lightning bolt?
We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against.
A book is a loaded gun in the house next door...Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?
That's life for you, said McDunn. Someone always waiting for someone who never comes home. Always someone loving some thing more than that thing loves them. And after a while you want to destroy whatever that thing is, so it can't hurt you no more.
You're not like the others. I've seen a few; I know. When I talk, you look at me. When I said something about the moon, you looked at the moon.
He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back.
I have something to fight for and live for; that makes me a better killer. I've got what amounts to a religion , now .
The years go by. The time, it does fly. Every single second is a moment in time that passes. And it seems like nothing -- but when you're looking back ... well, it amounts to everything.
Go out and make your own speeches. People need you. Go on TV. It can be done. After you speak up a few times, people say, Hey, we got a crazy man in the community, and they'll begin talking to you.
A story should be like a river, flowing and never stopping, your readers passengers on a boat, whirling downstream through constantly refreshing and changing scemery.
I'm alive. Thinking about it, noticing it, is new. You do things and don't watch. Then all of a sudden you look and see what you're doing and it's the first time, really.
Every time you take a step, even when you don't want to... When it hurts, when it means you rub chins with death, or even if it means dying, that's good. Anything that moves ahead, wins. No chess game was ever won by the player who sat for a lifetime thinking over his next move.
There are too many of us, he thought. There are billions of us and that's too many. Nobody knows anyone. Strangers come and violate you. Strangers come and cut your heart out. Strangers come and take your blood. Good God, who were those men? I never saw them before in my life!
I feel I'm doing what I should've done a lifetime ago. For a little while I'm not afraid. Maybe it's because I'm doing the right thing at last. Maybe it's because I've done a rash thing and don't want to look the coward to you.
Somewhere in him, a shadow turned mournfully over. You had to run with a night like this so the sadness could not hurt.
MOTHER: Why, just lying there, Jim, you run so fast. I never saw anyone move so much, just sleeping. Promise me, Jim. Wherever you go and come back, bring lots of kids. Let them run wild. Let me spoil them, some day. JIM: I'm never going to own anything that can hurt me.
With a book tucked in one hand, and a computer shoved under my elbow, I will march, not sidle, shudder or quake, into the twenty-first century.
All of the good, weird stories I've written are based on things I've dredged out of my subconscious. That's the real stuff. Everything else is fake.
Rubens! All bosom and bum, big cumulus clouds of pink flesh, eh? You can feel the heart beating like a kettledrum in a ton of that stuff. Every woman a bed; throw yourself on them, sink from sight.
Savory...that's a swell word. And Basil and Betel. Capsicum. Curry. All great. But Relish, now, Relish with a capital R. No argument, that' the best.
We meet on the common ground of an uncommon age and share out our gifts of dark and light, good and bad, simple joy and not so simple sorrow.
He knew what the wind was doing to them, where it was taking them, to all the secret places that were never so secret again in life.
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