Jonathan Eller to Speak on October Country at Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum in Rockford, IL on May 20, 2016

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“That Country Whose People Are Autumn People . . .”
Ray Bradbury’s The October Country Lecture
by Jonathan R.  Eller
May 20, 2016   7:00 PM
Years before he fully matured into one of the best-known science fiction visionaries of our time, Ray Bradbury’s early stories of terror and dark fantasy brought him widespread recognition as a powerful teller of tales. The best of these stories of the early 1940s re-emerged in 1955 as The October Country, a collection that remains a very popular seller today. Not surprisingly, there is a secret history to explore—how the collection came perilously close to controversy in the immediate aftermath of the McCarthy Era’s climate of fear. Even before The October Country was published, some of these stories were adapted for EC Comics just as the comic book industry faced investigation by the United States Senate. An entire aesthetic was under attack, and Bradbury found himself only a graphic pen-stroke away from public condemnation. Bradbury’s abiding stand for freedom of the imagination, so forcefully presented in Fahrenheit 451 two years earlier, would face its greatest challenge as The October Country came before the public.

  “That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain. . . .”
—Ray Bradbury, from his epigraph to The October Country, 1955

Jonathan R. Eller is the Chancellor’s Professor of English and Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI

The event is free to the public, but the museum will be taking a donation.