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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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Obsessed with Perfection

Obsessed with Perfection

(p.141) 24 Obsessed with Perfection
Becoming Ray Bradbury

Jonathan R. Eller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes Ray Bradbury as a writer obsessed with perfection as reflected in his tendency to revise his stories. Bradbury's public reputation was growing fast, but this proved to be a little difficult for him to handle psychologically. Julius Schwartz was still circulating his new stories among the New York pulp editors, but Bradbury was sending fewer and fewer selections East because of his desire to make everything perfect. He believed that careful revisions, sometimes over a period of weeks or even months, were preferable to immediate circulation “hot from the typewriter.” This chapter considers how Bradbury's convictions sometimes led to conflict with the few writers he considered intimates, citing as examples his disagreements with Hannes Bok and Jack Woodford over the latter's Trial and Error and with Jack Snow over his Dark Music and Other Spectral Tales. Bradbury's propensity to revise also led to the growing tensions between him and August Derleth as Dark Carnival went through presswork.

Keywords:   perfection, Ray Bradbury, revisions, Hannes Bok, Jack Woodford, Trial and Error, Jack Snow, Dark Music and Other Spectral Tales, August Derleth, Dark Carnival

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