Interesting article on Ray Bradbury by Interesting Literature.
Originally posted on Interesting Literature:
‘I heard this typing. I went down in the basement of the UCLA library and by God there was a room with 12 typewriters in it that you could rent for 10 cents a half-hour. And there were eight or nine students in there working away like crazy.’
This was Ray Bradbury, speaking about the genesis of his most famous novel, Fahrenheit 451, published sixty years ago this year. According to the writer himself, he went to the bank and got a heap of change in dimes. Then he went to the basement and started to put dimes into one of the typewriters, topping it up every half-hour. Nine days later, he’d written a short story, ‘The Fireman’, which would develop into Fahrenheit 451. And the rest, as they clichaically say, is history.
Fahrenheit 451 tells of a ‘fireman’, Guy Montag – who, ironically, goes about setting fire to things rather than helping to put fires out. More specifically, it is his job to set fire to books, which are outlawed in the dystopian future world depicted by Bradbury’s novel. The first line of the novel reads, ‘It was a pleasure to burn.’ Ever since that first line, Bradbury’s novel has taken its place alongside Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four as one of the classic dystopian novels of the twentieth century. It was successful almost immediately. In 1954, the year after the novel was published, it was serialised in – of all places - Playboy magazine, helping it to reach an even wider audience.