Ray Douglas Bradbury, a prominent American science fiction writer, was born in Illinois in 1920, but mostly lived in Los Angeles, California. There he graduated from high school, where he put out a school magazine entitled “Future Fantasies”. His first story was published in 1941. Since then he has got many national awards and won world-wide recognition. Among his works we find “Dark Carnival” , “The Martian Chronicles” , “Fahrenheit 451°” and a lot of others. Most of his publications are volumes of collected short stories. Ray Bradbury has also excelled himself as the author of TV and radio plays.
Bradbury’s works belong to science fiction, that is fiction in which scientific discoveries and developments form an element of the plot or the background. Besides, very often works of science fiction are based on future possibilities. In science fiction the impossible is presented as possible. A science fiction writer may carry his characters, and consequently the reader, into remote future and prehistoric past or to unknown worlds.
The beginning of science fiction is associated with the names of Joule Verne in France, Herbert Wells in Britain, Edgar Poe in the United States. The first decades were marked by the increase of science fiction production. Gradually it formed a branch of fiction of its own. Its final establishment as a literary genre was completed in the middle of the century after World War II, thanks to scientific discoveries of the time.
Themes of Ray Bradbury’s writing are extremely various, they comprise earthly affairs and space travelling. His literary credo is “to make the commonplace miraculous, to make the miraculous commonplace”, for “there is a bit of the known in the unknown”. This approach enables Bradbury to remain a realistic writer, no matter how fantastic the plots or backgrounds of his stories may be. He is not so much interested in technology and scientific developments as in man’s psychology. His dreams of the future are actually warnings; his books are noted for their psychological approach to his characters.
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