Monday, August 22, 2011

THE LIBRARY PEOPLE

One of my favourite favourite writers, RAY BRADBURY – author of Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Dandelion Wine and a legion of other volumes of prose and poetry – is 91 today!

This is how this one-man-book-factory described his boyhood experience of entering the library...
I'd open the door of the library and I'd look in, and all those people were waiting for me in there.

You see, a library is people. It's not books. People are waiting in there, thousands of people, who wrote the books.

It's much more personal than just a book. So, when you open a book, the person pops out and becomes you. You look at Charles Dickens, and you are Charles Dickens, and he is you.

You go in the library and you pull a book off the shelf, and you open it, and what are you looking for? A mirror. All of a sudden, a mirror is there and you see yourself, but your name is Charles Dickens. Or the book is Shakespeare, and so you become William Shakespeare or you become Emily Dickinson or Robert Frost or all the great poets...

You find the author who can lead you through the dark.
I thank the gods of the library for that day when I pulled a book off the library shelf with Ray Bradbury's name on it!

SALUTATIONS, RAY
and thanks for leading me through the dark!


Here are are a trio of earlier Ex Libris postings about Ray Bradbury's The Golden Apples of the Sun; Something Wicked This Way Comes; and The Halloween Tree.

And there's more about Ray on the Sibley Blog.

Image: Ray Bradbury by John Sherffius

Saturday, August 06, 2011

DONNE WITH

From one of Kenneth Williams' letters quoted in Christopher Stevens' biography:

Living with someone always means a denial of self in some way and I suppose I have always known it was something I couldn't accomplish. So I've always stayed on the sidelines. Getting the pleasure vicariously. It's not wholly satisfactory but then of course no lives are...

Only in the channelling of energy – in career or in private life – does there lay the seed of hopefulness. And we can't live without hope...

All problems have to be solved eventually by oneself and that's where all your lovely John Donne stuff turns out to be a load of crap because, in the last analysis, a man is an island...

From Born Brilliant - The Life of Kenneth Williams