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Becoming Ray Bradbury$
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Jonathan R. Eller

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036293

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036293.001.0001

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From the Nursery to the Library

From the Nursery to the Library

(p.9) 1 From the Nursery to the Library
Becoming Ray Bradbury

Jonathan R. Eller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses Ray Bradbury's early life, from his birth up to the time he developed a passion for reading in the libraries and his arrival in Los Angeles in 1934. In his autobiographical anecdotes, Bradbury claims to remember the trauma of birth, the sensation of breastfeeding, the pain of circumcision, and infant nightmares about being born. This chapter begins with a discussion of Bradbury's memories of his birth —which he believed were were the result of heightened development of his senses —before turning to some of the challenges he encountered as a child. It then considers Bradbury's trips to the Waukegan Public Library and his subsequent library pilgrimages; his instinctive approach to the library; the books that drew his interest the most, including the science fiction and fantasy stories of Edmond Hamilton and Jack Williamson; and the influence of the pioneering genre pulps on his early professional writing. The chapter also examines Bradbury's education and how his sense of authorship developed and concludes with an overview of his life in California.

Keywords:   education, Ray Bradbury, birth, reading, libraries, California, trauma, Waukegan Public Library, science fiction, authorship

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