The Wisdom of Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury 1920-2012

Ray Bradbury 1920-2012

Like many today, I was saddened to hear of the death of Ray Bradbury, one of the giants of Fantasy and Science Fiction literature, and – for that matter – literature full stop.

Perusing the tributes on Twitter this evening I was struck not just by the warmth expressed towards him from readers all around the world, but also by the man’s great wisdom, the brief nuggets of truth he had cause to gift us in his life and which are being shared in people’s tweets tonight.

I’ve been jotting down these quotations as I go along and, while Mr. Bradbury’s immortality is already assured, his short, sharp observations are so joyful, so relevant to all of our lives that there can be few better ways to remember him than by taking a moment to appreciate the world the way that he did…

Ray  Bradbury on Reading:

  • “Love what you love.”
  • “I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money.”
  • “Libraries raised me. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years.”
  • “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.”

Ray  Bradbury on Writing:

  • “We have our Arts so we won’t die of Truth.”
  • “Thinking is the enemy of creativity… You can’t try to do things, you simply must do things.”
  • “You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.”
  • “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
  • “Some new thing is always exploding in me; and it schedules me, I don’t schedule it.”
  • “Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.”
  • “First, find out what your hero wants. Then just follow him.”
  • “We save up a tension for tears. So I as a writer come along and try to help you to cry.”
  • “Don’t just talk about it… Write.”

 Ray  Bradbury on Living:

  • “Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.”
  • “We belong only by doing, and we own only by doing, and we love only by doing and knowing”
  • “If you don’t like what you’re doing, then don’t do it.”
  • “You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.”
  • “The blizzard doesn’t last forever; it just seems so.”
  • “We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.”
  • “We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”
  • “Looking back over a lifetime, you see love was the answer to everything.”
  • “Get out of here tonight and ask yourself: ‘Am I being joyful?’
  • “Fall in love, stay in love. Find something you love and love it for a lifetime.”
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