The Reincarnate

“The Reincarnate”

83.13 your womb] The two overt references to the womb in this paragraph are softened to “birthplace” in Bradbury’s 2005 anthology revisions. A coffin-womb is also central to his 1947 Weird Tales story “Interim”; such allusions in his early professional work prompted Tony Boucher to refer jokingly to his “back-to-the-womb” fantasies during this period (Eller and Touponce, Ray Bradbury: The Life of Fiction, 91).

83.15 Earth’s billion insect hearts.] Here and at 87.2, Bradbury is specifically referring to the planet Earth rather than to the earth of the grave, but has not capitalized the word at either point. Earth is capitalized in the present edition for clarity of presentation.

84.20–22 Remember…agony.] This remarkable extension of the metaphor from burning paper to an image of burning books was deleted from the 2005 Dark Delicacies text.

85.33–86.10 “Yes…others?”] Bradbury deleted almost half of the dead man’s call to rebellion for the Dark Delicacies text.

86.17–18 while we lie recumbent and full of disintegrating and helpless passion!] This sharp contrastive is significantly muted in the Dark Delicacies text and reduced to read “while we are abandoned.”

86.28–29 You yourself are bitter…tonight.] In a key revision, Bradbury deleted the dead man’s assumption that the Reincarnate is motivated only by the tyranny of the living.

87.2–3 If it was a hot night…condition.] For publication, Bradbury deleted this passage and other obvious statements that the reader could infer from the surrounding context, i.e., that the “coolness upon the Earth tonight” preserves the Reincarnate’s body.

87.16–28 Inside…shock to Kim.] In the published version, Bradbury eliminated the Reincarnate’s recollection of dinners at Grandma’s boarding house, and compressed the description of his approach to the house where his widow, Kim, lives with her parents. This is typical of the way he carefully condensed the story to its essentials in preparing the Dark Delicacies text.

95.10–16 “Faith,” she whispers,…“Have faith,…There is compensation for you somewhere.”] In preparing the Dark Delicacies revisions, Bradbury eliminated this rather obvious set-up for the story’s closing reverie.

95.24–32 You walk…to capture.] In revision, Bradbury effectively reduced this myriad (and at times confusing) series of sensory losses to a single sensation: “Then you walk, finally, in half-darkness, trying to see people, trying to smell any lilacs that still might be out there.”

96.3–6 That means Kim, too. Kim and the baby…Just like you.] In the published text, Bradbury deleted this passage, leaving the implied threat to the Reincarnate’s family unspoken but nevertheless clear to the reader.

97.6–98.2 The coffin is now…“Kim! Kim! Oh, Kim!”] The importance of the Reincarnate’s rebirth reverie is clear from the way that Bradbury revised it for the 2005 Dark Delicacies anthology text. He re-wrote nearly every sentence, yet cut none of the images and sensations. It is one of the few places in the revised story text that he did not condense the original unpublished draft of 1943–44.