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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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Life and Death in Mexico

Life and Death in Mexico

(p.119) 20 Life and Death in Mexico
Becoming Ray Bradbury

Jonathan R. Eller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter discusses Ray Bradbury's challenging and traumatizing personal experiences during his and Grant Beach's trip to Mexico that also proved to be a watershed moment in his career. It recounts Bradbury's first-hand encounter with strange and frightening things in Mexico, which also provided material for some of his stories such as The Fear of Death Is Death, “The Next in Line,” and “The Candy Skull.” It first describes the abject poverty and the intercultural tension witnessed by Bradbury all around him, along with Beach's irksome behavior that proved to be borne out of his repressed writer's jealousy. It then considers Bradbury's terrified reaction to the catacombs and mummies he and Beach visited in Guanajuato and the misunderstanding that arose between him and Beach. The chapter ends with Bradbury leaving Beach in Mexico to return to Los Angeles.

Keywords:   poverty, Ray Bradbury, Mexico, Grant Beach, The Fear of Death Is Death, catacombs, mummies, Guanajuato

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