Term Paper Title: Ray Bradbury- Literary Influences
Word Count: 1043
Page Count: 4.17 (250 words per page double spaced)
Ray Bradbury- Literary Influences
Ray Bradbury: Literary Influences
Ray Bradbury: Literary Influences
Ray Bradbury, one of the most revered science-fiction authors, has had
many things occur in his life which directly influenced his style of writing. In
addition to influencing his style, these events also affected the content and theme
of his individual works. Putting all of this aside, however, if these specific events
did not occur in Bradbury’s life, he would not have become a science-fiction
Throughout his childhood, Bradbury was exposed to many types of
literature. While living in Waukegan, Illinois at the age of six, Bradbury’s Aunt
read him the Oz books. Also at this early age, Bradbury was encouraged to read
the classic Norse, Roman, and Greek myths (Johnson 1). “When he grew old
enough to choose his own reading material, the boy rapidly developed a fondness
for the stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs and the comic book heroes Flash Gordon,
Buck Rogers, and Prince Valiant.” (Johnson 1). It was these comic book heroes
who fueled Bradbury’s fondness for science fiction. After moving to Tucson,
Arizona Bradbury got a job a local radio station because of his experience in
Waukegan as an amateur magician. “‘I was on the radio every Saturday night
reading comic book strips to the kiddies and being paid in free movie tickets, to
local cinema, where I saw ‘The Mummy,’ ‘The Murders in the Wax Museum,’
‘Dracula’ ...and ‘King Kong.’” (Johnson 2). In reference to his one year in Tucson
Arizona, Bradbury recalls “‘It was one of the greatest years of my life because I
was acting and singing in operettas and writing, beginning to write my first short
stories.’” (Johnson 2). After graduating from high school, Bradbury bought a
typewriter and rented an office with the money saved from selling newspapers.
While in his early twenties, Bradbury sold one science-fiction short stories every
month for four years. He was paid $20 for each story. “Bradbury sold some of his
first stories in 1945 to magazines such as Collier’s, Charm, and Mademoiselle.”
(Kunitz and Haycraft 111,112).
Ray Bradbury had a number of literary influences. “At its best, Bradbury’s
prose combines influences from a wide variety of writers, as well as other
media-films, radio, and theater.” (Mogen 27). “Indeed, when he first set up
business as a writer, Bradbury spent several years in what he calls his ‘imitative
period,’ sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously adopting the tone and
manner of writers he admired.” (Mogen 27). After tapping into his own life
experiences for subject matter and theme, Bradbury discovered his own literary
voice. Bradbury feels this process began in 1942 when he wrote “The Lake,” a
story based on memories of childhood sweetheart (Mogen 27).
This personal memory is raw stuff of writers. This is the stuff you
go to, if you want to write original weird stories. We’re told all this
stuff, you know, to go to the literature of Poe, to go to Hawthorne.
This is all nonsense. These people dug their own symbols, their own
needs, and their own terrors out of themselves, and got it on paper.
They didn’t get it from anyone else. When I made that magical discovery,
then I began to write original weird stories (Mogen 2...
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