A magician’s passing

Ray Bradbury, the extraordinary storyteller, has passed away from old age. (Read Washington Post’s Obituary here >>>)

I read his work mainly in Swedish translations when I was young.

The Martian Chronicles was way above my head when I was ten years old (I was an adult when I realized how subtle its many stories were). The reason I picked it up at the local library was simple: it was located in the same shelf as the Heinlein juveniles and I wanted to read everything labeled science fiction.

October Country had a more profound impact when I read it as a teenager in secondary school; the quality of being the outsider, yes, that struck a chord in my nerdy heart (in those days, being a nerd in that particular hometown was decidedly uncool). Mr Bradbury’s words gave me new insights on the road to adulthood.

Fahrenheit 451 was an unsettling reading: a sparse description of a bleak and stupid future. The death of art and beauty. The suppression of thoughts and dreams. A scary masterpiece. I read it 35 years ago and and key scenes still come to my mind when I think of it.

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