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The optimism of Ray Bradbury

The optimism of Ray Bradbury

October 1987: Ray Bradbury is seen in his jam-packed Beverly Hills office.

This photo appeared in the Nov. 3, 1987, Los Angeles Times. Staff writer Randy Lewis reported:

Get Ray Bradbury talking and he soon makes the Rev. Robert H. Schuller sound like Oscar the Grouch and the proverbial busy beaver seem like a lazy sloth.

“Everything is good — children don’t die any more … people are living into their 70s and 80s, everyone has a car and a telephone — I didn’t have a telephone in my house until I was 17. And when it comes to living well, even the poorest people in our country are better off than moderate-income people in some Third World countries,” said the 67-year-old perennially enthusiastic author, playwright, poet, public speaker and self-confessed pack rat (he never throws anything away because it may provide an idea for a book or a story somewhere down the line).

Such unflagging optimism is a recurring theme in Bradbury’s writings; it reflects his belief that humankind can shape the world into anything it wants. …

An Illinois kid who grew up in Hollywood to become one of the world’s most published writers, Bradbury still travels daily to a Beverly Hills office jam-packed with books, magazines, comic books, videotapes, toys, you-name-it.

Far from ever running short of ideas for new stories, the indefatigable writer says, “I’ve got too many of them. I’m always at work on five or six different projects every week.”

In a matter-of-fact tone, Bradbury outlined his current list of works-in-progress: an opera drawn on his play “Leviathan 99,” which is based on “Moby Dick”; a new novel, due in June; a new anthology of short stories; a book about his experiences working with John Huston entitled “The Whale, the Whim and I”; a musical based on his book “Dandelion Wine” on which he is collaborating with songwriter Jimmy Webb; writing and hosting new episodes of his cable television series “Ray Bradbury Theater”; and a theatrical project he describes as “quasi-opera musical drama akin to ‘Sweeney Todd’ ” based on his anti-censorship book “Fahrenheit 451.” …

Lewis’ full story is online: Unflagging Optimism is Ray Bradbury’s Ticket to the Future.

This photo also appeared with Bradbury’s June 6, 2012, obituary in the Los Angeles Times: Ray Bradbury dies at 91.

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