Isn't this a nice time of night to walk? I like to smell things and look at things, and sometimes stay up all night, walking, and watch the sun rise.
Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world. I know, for I'm one of them.
We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?
It is a lie to write in such way as to be rewarded by fame offered you by some snobbish quasi-literary groups in the intellectual gazettes.
I want your loves to be multiple. I don't want you to be a snob about anything. Anything you love, you do it.
I have four daughters and eight grandchildren. My soul lives on in them. That's immortality. That's the only immortality I care about.
You've got to love libraries. You've got to love books. You've got to love poetry. You've got to love everything about literature. Then, you can pick the one thing you love most and write about it.
You laugh when I haven't been funny and you answer right off. You never stop to think what
I've asked you.
Any man who can take a TV wall apart and put it back together again, and most men can nowadays, is happier than any man who tries to slide-rule, measure, and equate the universe, which just won't be measured or equated without making man feel bestial and lonely.
I can write faster on a typewriter than you can on a computer. I do 120 words a minute, and you can't do that on a computer.
I've often been accused of being too emotional and sentimental, but I believe in honest sentiment, and the need to purge ourselves at certain times, which is ancient. Men would live at least five or six more years and not have ulcers if they could cry better.
I'm interested in having fun with ideas, throwing them up in the air like confetti and then running under them.
I love the musical form of books. It's a different way of doing things, it's very beautiful. You're able to sing things instead of saying them. So what the heck -- why not do them?
We travel, initially, to lose ourselves, and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again--to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.
There are a lot of wonderful women writers who would be good influences on writers. You've got to spread yourself out and educate yourself with all kinds of stories.
Life shoould be touched, not strangled. You've got to relax, let it happen at times, and at other move forward with it.
I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped.
Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.
My gosh, if you're going away, we got a million things to talk about! All the things we would've talked about next month, the month after! Praying mantises, zeppelins, acrobats, sword swallowers!
In quickness is truth. The more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for a style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping.
And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.
Every story I've written was written because I had to write it. Writing stories is like breathing for me; it is my life.
Science and religion have to go hand in hand with the mystery, because there's a certain point beyond which you say, There are no answers.
The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little.
Lone at night, when I was twelve years old, I looked at the planet Mars and I said, 'Take me home!' And the planet Mars took me home, and I never came back. So I've written every day in the last 75 years. I've never stopped writing.
Grandma, he had often wanted to say, Is this where the world began? For surely it had begun in no other than a place like this. The kitchen, without doubt, was the center of creation, all things revolved about it; it was the pediment that sustained the temple.
The most improbable tales can be made believable, if your reader, through his sense, feels certain that he stands at the middle of events.
Far away, in the meadow, shadows flickered in the Mirror's Maze, as if parts of someone's life, yet unborn, were trapped there, waiting to be lived.
Ideas and philosophies change just as machines do. Religions changed because of the birth control pill. Politics changes because of the hydrogen bomb. All because of science fictional inventions.
We're going to become the martians when we land there. When we explore and build communities, we become the martians. That's a wonderful destiny for all of us.
I'm trying to teach people of all ages to, number one: how to criticize, how to offer creative analysis on top of that, how to try to build things in a new direction and how to compliment people when the thing gets done.
Why then you're as mad as me. No, madder. For I distrust 'reality' and its moron mother, the universe, while you fasten your innocence to fallible devices which pretend at happy endings.
The merry-go-round was running, yes, but... It was running backward. The small calliope inside the carousel machinery rattle-snapped its nervous-stallion shivering drums, clashed its harvest-moon cymbals, toothed its castanets, and throatily choked and sobbed its reeds, whistles, and baroque flutes.
Out of the nursery into the college and back into the nursery; there's your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.
That's sad, said Montag, quietly, because all we put into it is hunting and finding and killing. What a shame if that's all it can ever know.
Christ, you could massacre half a Hindu village and still look like Peter Rabbit. What are you stuffed with?
Chocolate bars. And I keep six kinds of ice-cream in my icebox, when I can afford it.
Will we ever stop being afraid of nights and death?
When you reach the stars, boy, yes, and live there forever, all the fears will go, and Death himself will die.
Don't live on your goddamn computers, and the internet, and all that crap. Go to the library. Don't let them flim-flam you into owning all these devices.
Whoever he was or whatever he was and no matter how different and crazy he seemed, he was not crazy.
But I wanted to show what we all have in us, that it has always been there, and so few of us bother to notice. When people ask me where I get my ideas, I laugh. How strange -- we are so busy looking out, to find ways and means, we forget to look in.
But here I was with hardly a sign of any outward conflict. It was all running around in spiked boots inside my head, making cuts and bruises where no one could see them except me and a psychologist. But it was just as bad.
Since our tongues first moved in our mouths we've asked, What does it all mean? No other question made sense, with death breathing down our necks. But just let us settle in on ten thousand worlds spinning around ten thousand alien suns and the question will fade away.
I am a passionate, not an intellectual writer, which means my characters must plunge ahead of me to live the story.
You could see her thoughts swimming around in her eyes, like fish -- some bright, some dark, some fast, quick, some slow and easy, and sometimes, like when she looked up where Earth was, being nothing but colour and nothing else.
The other six or seven drafts are going to be pure torture. So why not enjoy the first draft, in the hope that your joy will seek and find others in the world who, reading your story, will catch fire, too?
Don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.
We're all watching each other, so there's no chance for censorship. The main problem is the idiot TV. If you watch local news, your head will turn to mush.
Digression is the soul of wit. Take the philosophic asides away from Dante, Milton or Hamlet's father's ghost and what stays is dry bones.
I want to hold onto this funny thing. God, it's gotten big on me. I don't know what it is. I'm so damned unhappy, I'm so mad, and I don't know why. I feel like I'm putting on weight. I feel fat. I feel like I'm saving a lot of things, and I don't know what. I might even start reading books.
The bigger the population, the more minorities.
The bigger the population, the more minorities. Don't step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico...The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did...There you have it Montag. It didn't come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God. Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time, you are allowed to read comics, the good old confessions, or trade journals.
Why live? Life was its own answer. Life was the propagation of more life and the living of as good a life as possible.
Then, of course, the telephone's such a convenient thing; it just sits there and demands you call someone who doesn't want to be called.
To solve the drug problem, we have to start at the root -- first grade. If a boy has all the toys in his head that reading can give him, and you hook him into science fiction, then you've got the future secured.
We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone MADE equal. Each man man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against.
Somewhere, a book said once, all the talk ever talked, all the songs ever sung, still lived, had vibrated way out in space and if you could travel to Far Centauri you could hear George Washington talking in his sleep or Caesar surprised at the knife in his back.
Science fiction is really sociological studies of the future, things that the writer believes are going to happen by putting two and two together.
If you have moved over vast territories and dared to love silly things, you will have learned even from the most primitive items collected and put aside in your life.
And the men with the cigarettes in their straight-lined mouths, the men with the eyes of puff adders, took up their load of machine and tube, their case of liquid melancholy and the slow dark sludge of nameless stuff, and strolled out the door.
Halloween. Sly does it. Tiptoe catspaws. Slide and creep. But why? What for? How? Who? When! Where did it all begin? 'You don't know, do you?' asks Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud climbing out under the pile of leaves under the Halloween Tree. 'You don't really know!'
A science fiction story is just an attempt to solve a problem that exists in the world, sometimes a moral problem, sometimes a physical or social or theological problem.
Everyone has a telephone. Whether they can afford it or not. It's one of those things that people have, regardless of their income.
An athlete may run ten thousand miles in order to prepare for one hundred yards. Quantity gives experience.
The average TV commercial of sixty seconds has one hundred and twenty half-second clips in it, or one-third of a second. We bombard people with sensation. That substitutes for thinking.
All you umpires, back to the bleachers. Referees, hit the showers. It's my game. I pitch, I hit, I catch. I run the bases. At sunset, I've won or lost. At sunrise, I'm out again, giving it the old try.
And the lesson was this; sit in the sun, head down, within a prickly vine, in a flickery light, or open light, and the world will come to you. The sky will come in its time, bringing rain, and the earth will rise through you, from beneath, and make you rich and make you full.
How working for the wrong motives poisons our creativity and warps our ideas of success and failure.
Work is the only answer. I have three rules to live by. One, get your work done. If that doesn't work, shut up and drink your gin. And when all else fails, run like hell!
Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal.And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day, every day, sleeping its life away.
Don't write for money. Write because you love to do something. If you write for money, you won't write anything worth reading.
I wonder how many men, hiding their youngness, rise as I do, Saturday mornings, filled with the hope that Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam and Daffy Duck will be there waiting as our one true always and forever salvation?
I've grown up on a diet of metaphors. If young writers would find those writers who can give them metaphors by the bushel and the peck, then they'll become better writers -- to learn how to capsualize things and present them in metaphorical form.
When I was a young writer if you went to a party and told somebody you were a science-fiction writer you would be insulted. They would call you Flash Gordon all evening, or Buck Rogers.
I'll tell you, said Beatty, smiling at his cards. That made you for a little while a drunkard. Read a few lines and off you go over the cliff. Bang, you're ready to blow up the world, chop off heads, knock down women and children, destroy authority. I know. I've been through it all.
Did you hear them, did you hear these monsters talking about monsters? Oh God, the way they jabber about people and their own children and themselves and the way they talk about their husbands and the way they talk about war, dammit, I stand here and I can't believe it!
Sandwich outdoors isn't a sandwich anymore. Tastes different than indoors, notice? Got more spice. Tastes like mint and pinesap. Does wonders for the appetite.
We're a free society; we've got television. We have radio. We have newspapers. We have the videocassette, which is coming into play. These are new freedoms.
Think of Shakespeare and Melville and you think of thunder, lightning, wind. They all knew the joy of creating in large or small forms, on unlimited or restricted canvases. These are the children of the gods.
There was a smell like a cut potato from all the land, raw and cold and white from having the moon on it most of the night.
Anything that's strange is no good to the average American. If it doesn't have Chicago plumbing, it's nonsense.
It is good to renew one's wonder, said the philosopher. Space travel has again made children of us all.
Today we haved touched Mars. There is life on Mars, and it us us-extensions of our eyes in all directions, extensions of our mind, extensions of our heart and soul have touched Mars today. That's the message to look for there: We are on Mars. We are the Martians!
He was always here to offer cups of good clear Walden Pond, or shout down the deep well of Shakespeare and listen, with satisfaction, for echoes. Here the lion and the hartebeest lay together, here the jackass became a unicorn.
You have to learn to take rejection not as an indication of personal failing but as a wrong address.
The dust was antique spice, burnt maple leaves, a prickling blue that teemed and sifted to earth. Swarming its own shadows, the dust filtered over the tents.
It was summer and moonlight and we had lemonade to drink, and we held the cold glasses in our hands, and Dad read the stereo-newspapers inserted into the special hat you put on your head and which turned the microscopic page in front of the magnifying lens if you blinked three times in succession.
Nobody listens anymore. I can't talk to the walls because they're yelling at me, I can't talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk long enough it'll make sense. And I want you to teach me to understand what I read.
I was partially raised by an aunt who was a dress designer, so I was around her studio all of my early life. I know materials. I can look through Harper's Bazaar and decide what works and what doesn't, or any other magazine, Seventeen if you wish.
Love what you do and do what you love. Don't listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.
Too late, I found you can't wait to become perfect, you got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.
No sound, once made, is ever truly lost. In electric clouds, all are safely trapped, and with a touch, if we find them, we can recapture those echoes of sad, forgotten wars, long summers, and sweet autumns.
Gardening is the handiest excuse for being a philosopher. Nobody guesses, nobody accuses, nobody knows, but there you are, Plato in the peonies, Socrates force-growing his own hemlock. A man toting a sack of blood manure across his lawn is kin to Atlas letting the world spin easy on his shoulder.
You must live feverishly in a library. Colleges are not going to do any good unless you are raised and live in a library everyday of your life.
Ah, art! Ah, life! The pendulum swinging back and forth, from complex to simple, again to complex. From romantic to realistic, back to romantic.
I'm numb and I'm tired. Too much has happened today. I feel as if I'd been out in a pounding rain for forty-eight hours without an umbrella or a coat. I'm soaked to the skin with emotion.
She looked at the skull and laughed. Death is a good thing in Mexico; it is a thing to talk of at dinner, at breakfast, with or without a drink, with or without a smile.
When rivers flooded, when fire fell from the sky, what a fine place the library was, the many rooms, the books. With luck, no one found you. How could they! -- when you were off to Tanganyika in '98, Cairo in 1812, Florence in 1492!?
Books bombarded his shoulders, his arms, his upturned face. A book lit, almost obediently, like a white pigeon, in his hands, wings fluttering.
Do you notice how people hurt each other nowadays?
You sound so very old
Sometimes I'm ancient. I'm afraid of children my own age. They kill each other. Did it always used to be that way?
Fiction gives us empathy: It puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gift of seeing through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over.
Faber: Number one as I say quality information. Number two: Leisure to digest it. And number three: the right to carry out actions based on what people learn from the interaction of the first two.
Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451.
The woman knelt among the books, touching the drenched leather and cardboard, reading the gilt titles with her fingers while her eyes accused Montage.
You can't ever have my books, she said.
So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life. The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless.
That's the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and WORTH the doing.
Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.
And besides, I like to cry. After I cry hard it's like it's morning again and I'm starting the day over.
We haven't been too bad, have we?
No, nor enormously good. I suppose that's the trouble -- we haven't been much of anything except us, while a big part of the world was busy being lots of awful things.
But that's the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and worth the doing.
Do you understand now why books are hated and feared? Because they reveal the pores on the face of life. The comfortable people want only the faces of the full moon, wax, faces without pores, hairless, expressionless.
Miraculously, smoke curled out of his own mouth, his nose, his ears, his eyes, as if his soul had been extinguished within his lungs at the very moment the sweet pumpkin gave up its incensed ghost.
You ask Why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it. The poor girl's better off dead.
Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.
Oh God, the terrible tyranny of the majority. We all have our harps to play. And it's up to you to know with which ear you'll listen.
Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then burn the ashes. That's our official slogan.
Why is it, he said, one time, at the subway entrance, I feel I've known you so many years?
Because I like you, she said, and I don't want anything from you.
Why the Egyptian, Arabic, Abyssinian, Choctaw? Well, what tongue does the wind talk? What nationality is a storm? What country do rains come from? What color is lightning? Where does thunder goe when it dies?
See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask for no guarantees, ask for no security.
Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.
But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can't last.
I did what most writers do at their beginnings: emulated my elders, imitated my peers, thus turning away from any possibility of discovering truths beneath my skin and behind my eye.
The autumn leaves blew over the moonlit pavement in such a way as to make the girl who was moving there seem fixed to a sliding walk, letting the motion of the wind and the leaves carry her forward. ... The trees overhead made a great sound of letting down their dry rain.
Space travel is life-enhancing, and anything that's life-enhancing is worth doing. It makes you want to live forever.