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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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An Emerging Sense of Critical Judgment

An Emerging Sense of Critical Judgment

(p.81) 13 An Emerging Sense of Critical Judgment
Becoming Ray Bradbury

Jonathan R. Eller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines Ray Bradbury's emerging sense of critical judgment toward literary work. Bradbury had trouble maintaining objectivity in assessing an author's work. For Bradbury, literary work is the expression of the author, and one cannot be separated from the other. His literary criticism involved looking for a glimpse of the author's soul in every word he read, and this is evident in his treatment of writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Aldous Huxley. This chapter considers how Bradbury came to understand some aspects of the great turn-of-the-century changes in American literature that led from romanticism to realism and on to the more subjective experiments of Modernism, as well as the earlier but parallel transitions in modern art into subjective forms like impressionism, expressionism, and surrealism. It also discusses Bradbury's reading of Frederic Prokosch's novels The Asiatics (1935) and The Seven Who Fled (1937), and especially the former influence on his fanzine tale “The Piper”.

Keywords:   literary criticism, Ray Bradbury, literary work, author, Ernest Hemingway, Aldous Huxley, Modernism, Frederic Prokosch, The Asiatics, The Piper

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