Is Ray Bradbury now a forgotten author?
I showed my son the 1983 movie "Something Wicked This Way Comes" based on Bradbury's classic novel and he wanted to read some of Bradbury's stories. His middle school librarian, a 40-something year old woman, had never even heard of Ray Bradbury. When I was a kid, Ray Bradbury was a staple of my middle and high school libraries. So has Ray become a forgotten author, or what?
- AndrewLv 72 months agoFavorite Answer
Any 40 year old librarian working in a country where English is spoken who has never heard of Ray Bradbury is not qualified for the job. It really is that simple. Ray Bradbury is one of the most well-known and celebrated American authors of the twentieth century. I really can't begin to hazard a guess as to how it might be possible to pursue a career in library studies and manage to spend over four decades on this planet without ever having heard the man's name. He was my favourite author when I was a boy. I have been reading his work for many, many years. Even if a person somehow managed to miss all of his wonderful short stories - "The Fog Horn", "Frost and Fire", "A Sound of Thunder", not to mention the brilliant stories from "Dark Carnival"/"The October Country", I really can't imagine that anyone who really and truly loves books might somehow manage to go 40 years without ever coming across a single reference to "Fahrenheit 451." Then again, she's a "middle school librarian", i.e.: probably not a proper librarian who's certified in library studies. For all you know she could be a part-time temp who's read all of four books in her life. But to answer your question, no - Ray Bradbury has certainly not been forgotten.
- 1 month ago
I'm 28 and I know who he is. Something wicked this way comes was even referenced in a Rick and Morty episode (titled "something ricket this way comes") and people recognised it as such, so i highly doubt he's forgotten.
Any way your son might have misspronounced the name or so?
- bluebellbkkLv 71 month ago
I have never read anything by Ray Bradbury but his name is very familiar to me (70+ Scotswoman), as are the titles of some of his works. I can assure you that among many of my friends and contemporaries, who speak very highly of him, he is far from "forgotten".
- darkvelvetrainLv 71 month ago
Look at our current political climate and tell me people have read Fahrenheit 451. The truth is censored today and instead of books, Disney films and Casablanca are burning.
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- Anonymous2 months ago
Though I am 74 years old, in Britain I have never heard of Ray Bradbury. If the movie was made in 1983 I assume he was writing in the 1970s and 80s.
- tham153Lv 72 months ago
I have a friend who is retired as a librarian of a law library, and the only SF he ever looked at were a couple of my books, and he has heard of Ray Bradbury. A librarian who could not be bothered to know the names of popular authors is incompetent.
- ElaineLv 72 months ago
When I was teaching in secondary school "Fahrenheit 451" was one of the novels taught in Gr 10. I am surprised that the librarian has not heard of Ray Bradbury since there have been film adaptations of his books.
- VoelvenLv 72 months ago
I'm with Andrew. Either the librarian was having a ditzy moment or she's incompetent. I'm 100% confident that I could walk into any library in my country (where English btw. is not an official language) and have a librarian either show me the shelf where they keep Ray Bradbury's books and novels or order them home for me to read.
So no, he's not a forgotten author and obviously one cannot generalize about an author's popularity base on one single person.
- MarliLv 72 months ago
"Fahrenheit 451" might not have been in the curriculum when the librarian was in middle school. I read it in Grade Six. Those of my classmates of the 1960s and 1970s who liked science fiction raved about "I Sing the Body Electric" and "The Illustrated Man".
Maybe Bradbury's works are seen by modern educators as "old-timey", and kids of the 80s and 90s and later never knew about them.
Anonymous typed that they are in bookshops. They could be a welcome Christmas present for your son.
Update: I have mentioned that I don't read science fiction, so I don't know the works of authors in that genre. I am not a reference librarian, so my lack there doesn't matter. It's not a crime for a librarian not to have read or even know the names of the trendsetters in every era of every genre of fiction. Some teachers and some librarians did not major in (or "read") English for their Batchelor's or the higher degrees they hold with their Master of Library Science or Master of Education degree.
As one of "the other ranks" of library staff, I advise anyone who asks about finding a fiction book to first ask the person who is shelving the books. A good shelver will at least glance at the author's last name before shelving a novel. A good shelver who is also an avid reader will mentally note what covers and titles look "interesting".
I will agree and bemoan that library and school managements seem no longer to care about fitting the librarian with a degree in English or Science or History into the job that can use his/her knowledge, and the librarians have to apply for various positions just to be hired. "A librarian is a librarian is a librarian" job is seen by employers as suitable for the history grad, the science grad and the English grad. The MLS degree program teaches how to "run" a library, but if you want a librarian for your science section, you should hire a librarian who also has a degree in science, not in humanities.
- Anonymous2 months ago
Fahrenheit 451 was a school reader in my day. Librarians aren't what they used to be, it would seem. I Sing the Body Electric and The Illustrated Man are classics of the short story genre, despite the ghastly Rod Steiger (and then soon to be ex-wifey Claire Bloom) movie adaptation of the latter.