Ray Bradbury a martian among us
Ray Bradbury a martian among us

Miguel Angel BarrosoSEGUIR Updated: Save Send news by mail electrónicoTu name *

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“I Write not to be dead”, points Ray Bradbury in the introduction of man illustrated (1951). The title makes reference to an individual to whom a witch has tattooed designs on the skin, images that move ominously, and that, “if you look carefully, you will be told a story” . Bradbury is posed as an author (and poses for us as readers) several hypotheses: what would happen if…? For example: what would happen if a man could order a robot that was an exact replica of himself, and when you go out at night, it leaves you alone with your woman? What would happen if your favourite writers living in hiding on Mars because their books are being burned in the Earth? Or if black people came to the red planet before anyone else fleeing the racism on earth, take roots and to prepare years after to receive other settlers, the whites?

Owner of an incredible imagination that transports us to other worlds (distant or nearby -most of what we believe), his prose exudes humanism, romanticism, environmentalism, and poetry , although no-prisoners and their arguments slide many times to a terror that it would sign the very Lovecraft. The poetic halo that distinguishes him from other authors of the genre is present, even in those passages of horror metaphysical moved Jorge Luis Borges , whose foreword the manuscript for the martian Chronicles (1950) was auctioned in London in 2016. Born in Waukegan, Illinois, now a hundred years old, and died in Los Angeles in 2012, Bradbury is one of the great masters of the fantastic literature and science fiction. His influence is notable in contemporary writers such as Kim Stanley Robinson (author of the well-known Trilogy of mars) in the way in which nature and culture are reformulating each other.

Magazines “pulp”

There are the novels and short stories of Bradbury space operas to use, even if published on a frequent in magazines pulp of the genre, like Planet Stories or Galaxy Science Fiction -where it appeared The Fireman, a story that gave origin to Fahrenheit 451 (1953)-. is No travel or battles star , and the technological advances do not tend to move from the category of Macguffin. “A martian Chronicles does not care about the special effects, but the special affection,” says Rodrigo Fresán in the magnificent preface to the commemorative edition and illustrated just released by Minotaur, editorial where you find all the classic Bradbury. “Your space is more inner than outer. Its landscape is more close to the shores of lake Michigan at the Waukegan home of the heights of the mammoth and volcanic Olympus Mons. is Your language is more poetic than technological. And his fiction is imposed on their science.”

Bradbury was considered “a teller of tales with a moral purpose” , and their stories, sometimes harrowing from a starting point, seemingly friendly, assail our mind long after read, sometimes at odd hours, and compel us to think and expect the worst if in our learning we choose the attack instead of the lighting. “As much as we get closer to Mars, we’ll never get there. And we will get angry. And do you know what we will do then? What destrozaremos, you tear off the skin and we will transform our image and likeness”, he writes in martian Chronicles. Does not make predictions about the future as Isaac Asimov , or Philip K. Dick, but warnings, warnings such as the ones that arrived to the ship Nostromo in the film Alien, the eighth passenger, and that was desoída by its crew.

“observers”, the illustrator for the british Edwards to “martian Chronicles”.Humanist of the future

“martian Chronicles is an elegy about a vanished world, that in the background is our: Mars is the metaphor of the Earth” , commented to ABC Cultural José Luis Garci, author of the biographical essay and literary Ray Bradbury. Humanist future, a volume of collector recently recovered by Hatari Books. Garci is a bradburiano given to the cause since long before being known for his work as a film director, so his words exude admiration of the literary, but also sentimentality. “ “it Was a pleasure to burn” . Heck. How many novels have a boot so spectacular?”, says of Fahrenheit 451. “I met Bradbury along with Enrique Herreros when I won the Oscar in 1983, and I saw him again in 1999, in Downtown Los Angeles, in a tribute that did him the world of comics. For years we talked on the phone with the help of his wife, Marguerite, who dominated the Spanish, and we kept correspondence. He was a very cordial. It was not considered a science fiction writer, used to avoid the tag, though he could not avert his passion for the future and for the space.

I Thought that I would win the Nobel prize for Literature. I was wrong. But he deserved it without any doubt.”

Her family moved to Los Angeles when Ray was 14 years old. Avid reader (was unable to go to university for economic reasons, so -self-forced – turned into a mouse library), the book led to the writing and published his first story in 1938 in the magazine Imagination! The argument: a type that has the ability to stop time until it explodes. Do not harvest much success, but perseveres. Brings together a handful of stories in Dark Carnival (1947), and starts to call the attention of publications like The New Yorker, which asks for material, writer, and radio producer Norman Corwin , who encouraged him to write more “tales martians”, and John Huston , that handles the script of the film adaptation of Moby Dick (1956). Bradbury goes into orbit with “a leisurely futurism melancholic and nostalgic unimaginable until then”, adds Fresán, “that preanunciaba the solitude in metaphysical of future milestones such as Solaris, the Stanislaw Lem , or 2001: a space odyssey, the Arthur C. Clarke “.


At times the political correctness it permeates everything, including culture, in that we have been given by rearbitrar the parties of the story, Fahrenheit 451 is stripped of its attributes distópicos: is or is not today a host of offended at tear down the beautiful lies literary , the illusions of fantasy? How to send the incinerator to what we dislike? Best not to provide materials slippery, such as philosophy or psychology, that give rise to men melancholy. Not the aflijamos with memories. Or books, that speak of delusions imaginative. “It is preferable that a government is inefficient, authoritarian and fond of taxes, people worry about those things”, concludes the chief of a fire that does not extinguish the flames, but the feed. “They will forget. Quemémoslo all. The fire is bright and clean.”

Bradbury teaches us not to torment us with the whys and fight a roman named Status Quo.

“Fill the eyes of wonder , live as if you were going to die in the next ten seconds, observe the universe, don’t ask for guarantees.” When you feel die -for a lot of that one type, that is the destiny of all – declared his desire to be buried on Mars , putting his ashes in a can of tomatoes (about the only thing you ate during your childhood). “I hope to meet up with H. G. Wells or to have the company of jules Verne “.

it Is a good plan.

We, in the meantime, we can respond right now to another of your disconcerting questions: what would you do if you knew that this is the last night of the world?