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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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Critical Praise, Private Worries

Critical Praise, Private Worries

(p.221) 36 Critical Praise, Private Worries
Becoming Ray Bradbury

Jonathan R. Eller

University of Illinois Press

This chapter focuses on Ray Bradbury's anxiety about long fiction amid critical praise in 1951. By the time Bradbury's Miracle Year had run its course, he had successfully built a new story collection around the Illustrated Man framing device. And with the February 1951 release of his second Doubleday book, Bradbury was beginning to solidify his reputation as a major market book author. This chapter starts with a discussion of the critical acceptance for Bradbury's The Illustrated Man and The Martian Chronicles, focusing on their favorable reviews, their publication in major American and British trade houses, and the mass-market paperback contracts Bradbury received for both of them. It then examines Bradbury's private worry about whether he would be able to build book-length success, similar to what he achieved with the Chronicles, out of an expansion of “The Fireman” novella. Finally, it looks at Don Congdon's advice for Bradbury to pursue the conventional realism of the Mexican stories and develop them into a 60,000-word novel.

Keywords:   novel, Ray Bradbury, long fiction, Doubleday, The Illustrated Man, The Martian Chronicles, The Fireman, Don Congdon

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