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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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On the Shoulders of Giants

On the Shoulders of Giants

(p.87) 14 On the Shoulders of Giants
Becoming Ray Bradbury

Jonathan R. Eller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the lessons learned by Ray Bradbury from his readings during the war years. There were Modernists who appealed to Bradbury in more mature ways than Frederic Prokosch had done, and there were in fact abiding lessons that he could take away from some of these other writers such as Somerset Maugham and Christopher Morley. Maugham and Morley provided Bradbury the narrative models that were reinforced by Thornton Wilder's The Cabala (1926). This chapter considers two other novels read by Bradbury and what he learned from each one of them: the English translation of Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon (1941) and Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead (1944). It shows that Darkness at Noon's ethical insights inspired Bradbury to embark on a work of fiction that would evolve, over a period of six years, into Fahrenheit 451.

Keywords:   novels, Ray Bradbury, Somerset Maugham, Thornton Wilder, The Cabala, Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon, Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, Fahrenheit 451

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