The Mythologist Of Our Time


Ray Bradbury conjures up for me images of sun-drenched Nebraska meadows, autumn landscapes beset upon by Buick-sized ravens and dusty towns overrun by sinister carnivals.  He reminds me of the childhood I never quite had except in my head.

He’s the writer I remember enjoying the earliest and now he’s ninety-years old and still working.

At Slate, Nathaniel Rich eloquently espouses the timelessness of Bradbury’s work. What perhaps I had forgotten, having not read Bradbury in so long, is just how many of his ideas have entered into the cultural imaginary:

“The best stories have a strange familiarity about them. They’re like long-forgotten acquaintances—you know you’ve met them somewhere before. There is, for instance, the tale of the time traveler who goes back into time and accidentally steps on a butterfly, thereby changing irrevocably the course of history (“A Sound of Thunder”). . .The stories are familiar because they’ve been adapted, and plundered from, by countless other writers—in books, television shows, and films. To the extent that there is a mythology of our age, Bradbury is one of its creators.”

Michael Berger is a barely-published writer and book-seller living in San Francisco. He is one of the founding Corsairs of the Iron Garters Bike Club and is currently pursuing a degree in applied pataphysics. He sometimes eats oatmeal for dinner. More from this author →