Jonathan Eller to Speak on Ray Bradbury in the 21st Century at Rockford Public Library on May 20, 2016

News Section: 

“Ray Bradbury in the 21st Century” 

Rockford Public Library, Friday, May 20, 2016
Jonathan R. Eller, Chancellor’s Professor of English
Director, Center for Ray Bradbury Studies,
Indiana University School of Liberal Arts, IUPUI

Everybody knows a Ray Bradbury story. Generations of school children and college students have read his work in hundreds of anthologies and textbooks; teachers and librarians continue to value his stories and his poetic, metaphor-rich style. He published more than four hundred stories, and wove them into such modern classics as The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, The Golden Apples of the Sun, The October Country, The Halloween Tree, and two enduring titles that emerged from his Illinois childhood—Dandelion Wine and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Fahrenheit 451, his classic cautionary tale of censorship and book burning, remains a perennial bestseller more than sixty years after publication.
But Ray Bradbury also knew the crushing poverty of the Great Depression; instead of attending college, he sold newspapers on a street corner for four years after high school, earning a penny for every three-cent paper he sold. How did Ray Bradbury become one of the best-known American writers of his time? Jonathan Eller, director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at IUPUI, author of Becoming Ray Bradbury and Ray Bradbury Unbound, and editor of The Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury volumes, will discuss why this master storyteller of the twentieth century remains a powerful cultural influence today.

“[B]ooks are dangerous, celebrities detest these handy memory courses which recollect their promises at midnight and their absentmindedness at dawn.... Without a knowledge of our lies, our deceits, our greed, through which runs a narrow vein of thoughtfulness and good, we would go on repeating the same mistakes in the same way.”
—Ray Bradbury, “No Man Is an Island,” 1952