The bigger the population, the more minorities.
The bigger the population, the more minorities. Don't step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico...The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy, remember that! All the minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did...There you have it Montag. It didn't come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God. Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time, you are allowed to read comics, the good old confessions, or trade journals.
It's lack that gives us inspiration. It's not fullness.
Digression is the soul of wit. Take the philosophic asides away from Dante, Milton or Hamlet's father's ghost and what stays is dry bones.
All of us, no matter how we look born into this world, feel something like the Hunchback. It doesn't matter if you have a beautiful face or not.
Sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads.
I have my favorite cat, who is my paperweight, on my desk while I am writing.
There's no one way to be creative. Any old way will work.
Christ is one of the 'family' now. I often wonder if God recognizes his own son the way we've dressed him up, or is it dressed him down? He's regular peppermint stick now, all sugar crystal and saccharine -- when he isn't making veiled references to certain commercial products that ever worshiper absolutely needs.
It was a simple thing. All terror is a simplicity.
That's sad," said Montag, quietly, "because all we put into it is hunting and finding and killing. What a shame if that's all it can ever know.
Let me make it clear. People die every day, psychologically speaking. Some part of them gets tired.
I don't tell anyone how to write and no one tells me.
Good to evil seems evil.
Anything that's strange is no good to the average American. If it doesn't have Chicago plumbing, it's nonsense.
If they give you lined paper, write the other way.
The moon is a good, solid base to build a space travel organization in the community.
We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will.
The television, that insidious beast, that Medusa which freezes a billion people to stone every night, staring fixedly, that Siren which called and sang and promised so much and gave, after all, so little.
The important thing for you to remember, Montag, is we're the Happiness Boys, the Dixie Duo, you and I and the others. We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought. We have our fingers in the dike. Hold steady. Don't let the torrent of melancholy and drear philosophy drown our world. We depend on you. I don't think you realize how important you are, we are, to our happy world as it stands now.
Everybody has forgotten that Russia helped start the Second World War.
We are the witnesses to the miracle. We are put here by creation, by God....We're here to be the audience to the magnificent. It is our job to celebrate.
The years go by. The time, it does fly. Every single second is a moment in time that passes. And it seems like nothing -- but when you're looking back ... well, it amounts to everything.
If God treats you well by teaching you a disastrous lesson, you never forget it.
He raged for hours. And the skeleton, ever the frail and solelmn philosopher, hung quietly inside, saying not a word, suspended like a delicate insect within a chrysalis, waiting and waiting.
Passing swiftly on toward further darknesses, but moving also toward a new sun.
Life shoould be touched, not strangled. You've got to relax, let it happen at times, and at other move forward with it.
Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.
If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none.
Why love the woman who is your wife? Her nose breathes in the air of a world that I know; therefore I love that nose. Her ears hear music I might sing half the night through; therefore I love her ears. Her eyes delight in seasons of the land; and so I love those eyes. Her tongue knows quince, peach, chokeberry, mint and lime; I love to hear it speaking. Because her flesh knows heat, cold, affliction, I know fire, snow, and pain. Shared and once again shared experience.
The first stories I wrote when I was 12 were about Mars and landing on Mars.
The average TV commercial of sixty seconds has one hundred and twenty half-second clips in it, or one-third of a second. We bombard people with sensation. That substitutes for thinking.
They felt the wings on their fingers and elbows flying, then, suddenly plunged in new sweeps of air, the clear autumn river flung them headlong where they must go. Up steps, three, six, nine, twelve! Slap! Their palms hit the library door. Jim and Will grinned at each other. It was all so good, these blowing quiet October nights and the library waiting inside now with its green-shaded lamps and papyrus dust.
But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can't last.
Don't live on your goddamn computers, and the internet, and all that crap. Go to the library. Don't let them flim-flam you into owning all these devices.
Do you understand now why books are hated and feared? Because they reveal the pores on the face of life. The comfortable people want only the faces of the full moon, wax, faces without pores, hairless, expressionless.
The river was very real; it held him comfortably and gave him the time at last, the leisure, to consider this month, this year, and a lifetime of years.
Bo Derek is a really good friend of mine, and I'd like to spend more time with her.
Lone at night, when I was twelve years old, I looked at the planet Mars and I said, 'Take me home!' And the planet Mars took me home, and I never came back. So I've written every day in the last 75 years. I've never stopped writing.
And the lesson was this; sit in the sun, head down, within a prickly vine, in a flickery light, or open light, and the world will come to you. The sky will come in its time, bringing rain, and the earth will rise through you, from beneath, and make you rich and make you full.
He knew what the wind was doing to them, where it was taking them, to all the secret places that were never so secret again in life.
I want your loves to be multiple. I don't want you to be a snob about anything. Anything you love, you do it.
I love you and I forgive you. I am like you and you are like me. I love all people. I love the world. I love creating. Everything in our life should be based on love.
Now this greatest tent staled out hot raw breaths of earth, confetti that was ancient when the canals of Venice were not yet staked, and wafts of pink cotton candy like tired feather boas. In rushing downfalls, the tent shed skin; grieved, soughed as flesh fell away until at last the tall museum timbers at the spine of the discarded monster dropped with three canon roars.
Life is like underwear, should be changed twice a day.
You don't organize metaphors ... you explode them.
To solve the drug problem, we have to start at the root -- first grade. If a boy has all the toys in his head that reading can give him, and you hook him into science fiction, then you've got the future secured.
The trouble with a lot of people who try to write is they intellectualize about it. That comes after. The intellect is given to us by God to test things once they're done, not to worry about things ahead of time.
Warm summer twilight here in upper Illinois country in this little town deep far away
from everything, kept to itself by a river and a forest and a meadow and a lake. The sidewalks still scorched. The stores closing and the streets shadowed. And there were two moons; the clock moon with four ' faces in four night directions above the solemn black courthouse, and the real moon rising in vanilla whiteness from the dark east.
I prefer to see myself as the Janus, the two-faced god who is half Pollyanna and half Cassandra, warning of the future and perhaps living too much in the past -- a combination of both.
How do you get so empty? Who takes it out of you?
We need our Arts to teach us how to breathe.
Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You've got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.
At least you were a fool about the right things.
Edgar Allen Poe really started me when I was 8. I fell in love with everything of his.
Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows' Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked.
I believe in having fun first, and along the way, if you teach people, if you influence people, well and good. But I don't want to set out to influence people. I don't want to set out to change the world in any self-conscious way. That way leads to self-destruction; that way, you're pontificating, and that's dangerous and it's boring -- you're going to put people right to sleep.
I sometimes get up at night when I can't sleep and walk down into my library and open one of my books and read a paragraph and say, 'My God, did I write that?
The gods had gone away, and the ritual of the religion continued senselessly, uselessly.
Touch a scientist and you touch a child.
For it is a mad world and it will get madder if we allow the minorities, be they dwarf or giant, orangutan or dolphin, nuclear-head or water-conversationalist, pro-computerologist or Neo-Luddite, simpleton or sage, to interfere with aesthetics. The real world is the playing ground for each and every group, to make or unmake laws. But the tip of the nose of my book or stories or poems is where their rights end and my territorial imperatives begin, run and rule.
So few want to be rebels anymore. And out of those few, most, like myself, scare easily.
Do you notice how people hurt each other nowadays?"
"You sound so very old" "Sometimes I'm ancient. I'm afraid of children my own age. They kill each other. Did it always used to be that way?
My religion encompasses all religions. I believe in God, I believe in the universe. I believe you are god, I believe I am god; I believe the earth is god and the universe is god. We're all god.
This afternoon, burn down the house. Tomorrow, pour critical water upon the simmering coals. Time enough to think and cut and rewrite tomorrow. But today-explode-fly-apart-disintegrate! The other six or seven drafts are going to be pure torture. So why not enjoy the first draft, in the hope that your joy will seek and find others in the world who, by reading your story, will catch fire, too?
I was partially raised by an aunt who was a dress designer, so I was around her studio all of my early life. I know materials. I can look through Harper's Bazaar and decide what works and what doesn't, or any other magazine, Seventeen if you wish.
Do you ever wonder if -- well, if there are people living on the third planet?'
'The third planet is incapable of supporting life,' stated the husband patiently. 'Our scientists have said there's far too much oxygen in their atmosphere.
Montag wanted to fly near the sun and now that he's burnt his damn wings, he wonders why.
Friendship is an island that you retreat to and you all fall on the floor and laugh at all the other ninnies that don't have enough brains to have your good taste.
If you read fast and read all, maybe some of the sand will stay in the sieve.
Do you know that books smell like nutmeg or some spice from a foreign land? I loved to smell them when I was a boy. Lord, there were a lot of lovely books once, before we let them go.
Why live? Life was its own answer. Life was the propagation of more life and the living of as good a life as possible.
The only good writing is intuitive writing. It would be a big bore if you knew where it was going. It has to be exciting, instantaneous and it has to be a surprise. Then it all comes blurting out and it's beautiful. I've had a sign by my typewriter for 25 years now which reads, ‘DON'T THINK!'.
Was there, then, no strength in growing up? No solace in being an adult? No sanctuary in life? No fleshly citadel strong enough to withstand the scrabbling assault of midnights? Doubts flushed him. Ice cream lived again in his throat, stomach, spine and limbs; he was instantly cold as a wind out of December gone.
Ignorance is fatal.
Fiction gives us empathy: It puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gift of seeing through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over.
I'm interested in having fun with ideas, throwing them up in the air like confetti and then running under them.
Stuff your eyes with wonder," he said, "live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that," he said, "shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.
Well, when I think of thirty-five years of your life ..." Mrs. Goodwater pursed her lips and blinked her eyes, counting. "That's about twelve thousand seven hundred and seventy-five days, or counting three of them per day, twelve thousand-odd commotions, twelve thousand much-ados and twelve thousand calamaties. It's a full rich life you lead,
Elmira Brown. Shake hands!" "Get away!" Elmira fended her off.
You're not like the others. I've seen a few; I know. When I talk, you look at me. When I said something about the moon, you looked at the moon.
If you know how to read, you have a complete education about life, then you know how to vote within a democracy. But if you don't know how to read, you don't know how to decide. That's the great thing about our country -- we're a democracy of readers, and we should keep it that way.
I never ask anyone else's opinion. They don't count.
You must remember, burn them or they'll burn you.
Far away, in the meadow, shadows flickered in the Mirror's Maze, as if parts of someone's life, yet unborn, were trapped there, waiting to be lived.
Suddenly the day was gone, night came out from under each tree and spread.
She looked at the skull and laughed. Death is a good thing in Mexico; it is a thing to talk of at dinner, at breakfast, with or without a drink, with or without a smile.
It was one of those things they keep in a jar in the tent of a sideshow on the outskirts of a little, drowsy town. One of those pale things drifting in alcohol plasma, forever dreaming and circling, with its peeled, dead eyes staring out at you and never seeing you. It went with the noiselessness of late night, and only the crickets chirping, the frogs sobbing off in the moist swampland. One of those things in a big jar that makes your stomach jump as it does when you see a preserved arm in a laboratory vat.
How talented was death. How many expressions and manipulations of hand, face, body, no two alike.
There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.
Poverty made a sound like a wet cough in the shadows of the room.
We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren't happy,Something's missing!
I used to take my short stories to girls' homes and read them to them. Can you imagine the reaction reading a short story to a girl instead of pawing her?
A reason I became a writer was to escape the hopelessness and despair of the real world and enter the world of hope I could create with my imagination.
We're going to become the martians when we land there. When we explore and build communities, we become the martians. That's a wonderful destiny for all of us.
Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then burn the ashes. That's our official slogan.
I am a child of the poisonous wind that copulated with the East River on an oil-slick, garbage infested midnight. I turn about on my own parentage. I inoculate against those very biles that brought me to light. I am a serum born of venoms. I am the antibody of all Time. I am the Cure. You do of the City, do you not? Manhattan is your punisher, let me be you shield.
I ask you, doctor, what is there in the world more selfish than a baby? Nothing!
I know, i know. You're afraid of making mistakes. Don't be. Mistakes can be profited by. Man, when I was younger I shoved my ignorance in people's faces. They beat me with sticks. By the times I was fort my blunt instrument has been honed to a fine cutting point for me. If you hid your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn.
My feet," said Montag. "I can't move them. I feel so damn silly. My feet won't move!"
"Listen. Easy now," said the old man gently. "I know, I know. You're afraid of making mistakes. Don't be. Mistakes can be profited by. Man, when I was young I shoved my ignorance in people's faces. They beat me with sticks. By the time I was forty my blunt instrument had been honed to a fine cutting point for me. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn.
Any man who can take a TV wall apart and put it back together again, and most men can nowadays, is happier than any man who tries to slide-rule, measure, and equate the universe, which just won't be measured or equated without making man feel bestial and lonely.
Sunsets are loved because they vanish. Flowers are loved because they go. The dogs of the field and the cats of the kitchen are loved because soon they must depart. These are not the sole reasons, but at the heart of morning welcomes and afternoon laughters is the promise of farewell. In the gray muzzle of an old dog we see goodbye. In the tired face of an old friend we read long journeys beyond returns.
So bring on your clubs and parties, your acrobats and magicians, your daredevils, jet cars, motorcycle helicopters, your sex and heroin, more of everything to do with automatic reflex. If the drama is bad, if the film says nothing, if the play is hollow, sting me with the theremin, loudly. I'll think I'm responding to the play, when it's only a tactile reaction to vibration. But I don't care. I just like solid entertainment.
To everything there is a season. Yes. A time to break down, and a time to build up. Yes. A time to keep silence and a time to speak. Yes.
Ah, art! Ah, life! The pendulum swinging back and forth, from complex to simple, again to complex. From romantic to realistic, back to romantic.
I mean, you don't just love people, you must love them with exclamation points.
If teachers and grammar school editors find my jawbreaker sentences shatter their mushmilk teeth, let them eat stale cake dunked in weak tea of their own ungodly manufacture.
The Lord is not serious. In fact, it is a little hard to know just what else He is except loving. And love has to do with humor, doesn't it? For you cannot love someone unless you put up with him, can you? And you cannot put up with someone constantly unless you can laugh at him. Isn't that true? And certainly we are rediculous little animals wallowing in the fudge bowl, and God must love us all the more because we appeal to his humor.
The answer I found is you stay away from the people who make fun of you, and you join these ad hoc groups who understand your craziness.
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
The sun burnt every day. It burnt time.
Ours is a culture and a time immensely rich in trash as it is in treasures.
Ne govorim o stvarima, gospodine. Govorim o značenju stvari."
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451.
Do you ever read any of the books you burn?" He laughed. "That's against the law!" "Oh. Of course.
The crisis is past and all is well, the sheep returns to the fold. We're all sheep who have strayed at times. Truth is truth, to the end of reckoning, we've cried. They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts, we've shouted to ourselves.
I never went to college, so I went to the library.
Beer's intellectual. What a shame so many idiots drink it.
We are an impossibility in an impossible universe.
Life is trying things to see if they work.
He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl had run off across the lawn with the mask and there was no way of going to knock on her door and ask for it back.
Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.
Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.
You can't help people like her unless they want to be helped. That's the first law of mental health. You know it, I know it.
The blizzard doesn't last forever; it just seems so.
The local TV news is the greatest danger in your life. It's all crap.
I'm scared of myself. I think I'd be a bad driver. I'm scared of cars, period. I've had too many friends killed now, and I've seen too many people killed in my life when I drove across the country when I was 12. I'm sure that has a lot to do with it. If you see a few real dead bodies with brains on the pavement, it does a lot to change your attitude. It means you can get it too. I've had a lot of relatives killed. I've had a lot of dear friends killed. It's stupid. The whole activity is stupid.
First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him.
A science fiction story is just an attempt to solve a problem that exists in the world, sometimes a moral problem, sometimes a physical or social or theological problem.
Action is hope. At the end of each day, when you've done your work, you lie there and think, Well, I'll be damned, I did this today. It doesn't matter how good it is, or how bad-you did it. At the end of the week you'll have a certain amount of accumulation. At the end of a year, you look back and say, I'll be damned, it's been a good year.
Writing is like sex. You have to save your love for the love object. If you go around spouting about your idea, there'll be no "charge" left. You can't father children that way.
Love what you do and do what you love. Don't listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.
Books bombarded his shoulders, his arms, his upturned face. A book lit, almost obediently, like a white pigeon, in his hands, wings fluttering.
Life is about trying things to see if they work.
They began by controlling books of cartoons and then detective books and, of course, films, one way or another, one group or another, political bias, religious prejudice, union pressure; there was always a minority afraid of something, and a great majority afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of the past, afraid of the present, afraid of themselves and shadows of themselves.
Mysteries abound where most we seek for answers.
Facts are not interesting to me.
Each person was himself one alone. One oneness, a unit in a society, but always afraid, always alone. If I should scream, if I should call for help, would anyone hear would it even matter?
We lost our faith and went around wondering what life was for. If art was no more than a frustrated out-flinging of desire, if religion was no more than self-delusion, what good was life? Faith had always given us answers to all things. But it all went down the drain with Freud and Darwin. We were and still are a lost people.
I don't like being up high. It took me three days to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Today we haved touched Mars. There is life on Mars, and it us us-extensions of our eyes in all directions, extensions of our mind, extensions of our heart and soul have touched Mars today. That's the message to look for there: We are on Mars. We are the Martians!
Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were heading for shore.
No sound, once made, is ever truly lost. In electric clouds, all are safely trapped, and with a touch, if we find them, we can recapture those echoes of sad, forgotten wars, long summers, and sweet autumns.
I'm being ironic. Don't interrupt a man in the midst of being ironic, it's not polite. There!
Grandma, he had often wanted to say, Is this where the world began? For surely it had begun in no other than a place like this. The kitchen, without doubt, was the center of creation, all things revolved about it; it was the pediment that sustained the temple.
I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it.
The most improbable tales can be made believable, if your reader, through his sense, feels certain that he stands at the middle of events.
That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts.
I'll tell you," said Beatty, smiling at his cards. "That made you for a little while a drunkard. Read a few lines and off you go over the cliff. Bang, you're ready to blow up the world, chop off heads, knock down women and children, destroy authority. I know. I've been through it all.
The merry-go-round was running, yes, but... It was running backward. The small calliope inside the carousel machinery rattle-snapped its nervous-stallion shivering drums, clashed its harvest-moon cymbals, toothed its castanets, and throatily choked and sobbed its reeds, whistles, and baroque flutes.
Most members of Congress are politicians. They're bores.
Write what you love and love what you write.
I wonder how many men, hiding their youngness, rise as I do, Saturday mornings, filled with the hope that Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam and Daffy Duck will be there waiting as our one true always and forever salvation?
Writing can be described in two verbs: Throw up and clean up.
The woman knelt among the books, touching the drenched leather and cardboard, reading the gilt titles with her fingers while her eyes accused Montage.
"You can't ever have my books," she said.
I am a passionate, not an intellectual writer, which means my characters must plunge ahead of me to live the story.
And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.
I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped.
Think of Shakespeare and Melville and you think of thunder, lightning, wind. They all knew the joy of creating in large or small forms, on unlimited or restricted canvases. These are the children of the gods.
Everything of mine is permeated with my love of ideas-both big and small. It doesn't matter what it is, as long as it grabs me and holds me, facinates me. And then I'll run out and something about it... I write for fun.
I don't have a computer. A computer's a typewriter. I already have a typewriter.
All my stories are like the Greek and Roman myths, and the Egyptian myths, and the Old and New Testament.
I'm never going to go to Mars, but I've helped inspire, thank goodness, the people who built the rockets and sent our photographic equipment off to Mars.
Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.
It is a subliminal thing. It is the tick of a clock that has ticked so long one no longer notices. Something is in a room when a man lives in it. Something is not in the room when a man is dead in it.
You've got to love libraries. You've got to love books. You've got to love poetry. You've got to love everything about literature. Then, you can pick the one thing you love most and write about it.
When I started writing seriously, I made the major discovery of my life -- that I am right and everybody else is wrong if they disagree with me. What a great thing to learn: Don't listen to anyone else, and always go your own way.
Burroughs is crap. Crap.
Somewhere, a book said once, all the talk ever talked, all the songs ever sung, still lived, had vibrated way out in space and if you could travel to Far Centauri you could hear George Washington talking in his sleep or Caesar surprised at the knife in his back.
Men are men, unfortunately, no matter what their shape, and inclined to sin.
Is it because we're having so much fun at home we've forgotten the world? Is it because we're so rich and the rest of the world's so poor and we just don't care if they are? I've heard rumors; the world is starving, but we're well fed. Is it true, the world works hard and we play? Is that why we're hated so much?
But souls can't be sold. They can only be lost and never found again.
I'm not a serious person, and I don't like serious people.
Oh God, the terrible tyranny of the majority. We all have our harps to play. And it's up to you to know with which ear you'll listen.
Remember, Montag, we're the happiness boys. We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought.
I love the musical form of books. It's a different way of doing things, it's very beautiful. You're able to sing things instead of saying them. So what the heck -- why not do them?
Those who live in the best cliffs think they are better than us. That is always man's attitude when he has power.
You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.
As Samuel Spaulding, Esquire, once said, 'Dig in the earth, delve in the soul.' Spin those mower blades, Bill, and walk in the spray of the Fountain of Youth. End of lecture. Besides, a mess of dandelion greens is good eating once in a while.
Too late, I found you can't wait to become perfect, you got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.
Young man,' she said to Bill Forrester, 'you are a person of taste and imagination. Also, you have the will power of ten men; otherwise you would not dare veer away from the common flavors listed on the menu and order, straight out, without quibble or reservation, such an unheard-of things as lime-vanilla ice.'
He bowed his head solemnly to her. 'Come sit with me, both of you,' she said. 'We'll talk of strange ice creams and such things as we seem to have a bent for.
I've written about 2,000 short stories; I've only published 300 and I feel I'm still learning. Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he'll eventually make some kind of career for himself as a writer. Ray Bradbury, 1967 interview (Doing the Math -- that means for every story he sold, he wrote six "un-publishable" ones. Keep typing!).
When rivers flooded, when fire fell from the sky, what a fine place the library was, the many rooms, the books. With luck, no one found you. How could they! -- when you were off to Tanganyika in '98, Cairo in 1812, Florence in 1492!?
Rubens! All bosom and bum, big cumulus clouds of pink flesh, eh? You can feel the heart beating like a kettledrum in a ton of that stuff. Every woman a bed; throw yourself on them, sink from sight.
Action is hope. There is no hope without action.
Time was a film run backward. Suns fled and ten million moons fled after them.
Now that I have you thoroughly confused, let me pause to hear your own dismayed cry.
The problem in our country isn't with books being banned, but with people no longer reading. Look at the magazines, the newspapers around us -- it's all junk, all trash, tidbits of news. The average TV ad has 120 images a minute. Everything just falls off your mind. You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
I was only kicking down the Christmas tree to get the star on top.
It is a lie to write in such way as to be rewarded by fame offered you by some snobbish quasi-literary groups in the intellectual gazettes.
In our time the search for extraterrestrial life will eventually change our laws, our religions, our philosophies, our arts, our recreations, as well as our sciences. Space, the mirror, waits for life to come look for itself there.
I went to bed and woke in the middle of the night thinking I heard someone cry, thinking I myself was weeping, and I felt my face and it was dry.
Then I looked at the window and thought: Why, yes, it's just the rain, the rain, always the rain, and turned over, sadder still, and fumbled about for my dripping sleep and tried to slip it back on.
Whenever a light blinked out, life threw another switch; rooms were illumined afresh.
Gardening is the handiest excuse for being a philosopher. Nobody guesses, nobody accuses, nobody knows, but there you are, Plato in the peonies, Socrates force-growing his own hemlock. A man toting a sack of blood manure across his lawn is kin to Atlas letting the world spin easy on his shoulder.
Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.
I am not a science fiction writer. I am a fantasy writer. But the label got put on me and stuck.
Hello!" He said hello and then said, "What are you up to now?" "I'm still crazy. The rain feels good. I love to walk in it. "I don't think I'd like that," he said. "You might if you tried." "I never have." She licked her lips. "Rain even tastes good." "What do you do, go around trying everything once?" he asked. "Sometimes twice.
There is no failure unless one stops. Not to work is to cease, tighten up, become nervous and therefore destructive of the creative process.
Orwell was dealing with communism and his disillusionment with communism in Russia and what he saw the communists do in Spain. His novel was a response to those political situations. Whereas I was interested in more things than the political atmosphere. I was considering the whole social atmosphere: the impact of TV and radio and the lack of education. I could see the coming event of schoolteachers not teaching reading anymore. The less they taught, the more you wouldn't need books.
I write screenplays in the middle of the night.
I did what most writers do at their beginnings: emulated my elders, imitated my peers, thus turning away from any possibility of discovering truths beneath my skin and behind my eye.
He had seen her painted sign by the road: Skin Illustration! Illustration instead of tattoo! Artistic!
In our time this search (for extraterrestrial life) will eventually change our laws, our religions, our philosophies, our arts, our recreations, as well as our sciences. Space, the mirror, waits for life to come look for itself there.
See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask for no guarantees, ask for no security.
A good night sleep or a ten-minute bawl, or a pint of chocolate ice cream, or all three together, is good medicine.
We all are rich and ignore the buried fact of accumulated wisdom.
You'd type like hell. I spent $9.80 and in nine days I had Fahrenheit 451.
I've often been accused of being too emotional and sentimental, but I believe in honest sentiment, and the need to purge ourselves at certain times, which is ancient. Men would live at least five or six more years and not have ulcers if they could cry better.
The women in my life have all been librarians, English teachers, or booksellers. If they couldn't speak pidgin Tolstoy, articulate Henry James, or give me directions to Usher and Ox, it was no go. I have always longed for education, and pillow talk's the best.
I'm not a futurist.
When I was seven or eight years old, I began to read the science-fiction magazines that were brought by guests into my grandparents' boarding house in Waukegan, Illinois. Those were the years when Hugo Gernsback was publishing 'Amazing Stories,' with vivid, appallingly imaginative cover paintings that fed my hungry imagination.
Cram them full of noncombustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant' with information. Then they'll feel they're thinking, they'll get a sense of motion without moving. And they'll be happy, because facts of that sort don't change. Don't give them any slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up with. That way lies melancholy.
Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451.
The psychiatrist wants to know why I go out and hike around in the forests and watch the birds and collect butterflies. I'll show you my collection some day."
"Good." "They want to know what I do with my time. I tell them that sometimes I just sit and think. But I won't tell them what. I've got them running. And sometimes, I tell them, I like to put my head back, like this, and let the rain fall in my mouth. It tastes just like wine. Have you ever tried it?
Libraries raised me.
You laugh when I haven't been funny and you answer right off. You never stop to think what
I've asked you.
I don't believe in government. I hate politics. I'm against it. And I hope that sometime this fall, we can destroy part of our government, and next year destroy even more of it. The less government, the happier I will be.
The books leapt and danced like roasted birds, their wings ablaze with red and yellow feathers.
Why then you're as mad as me. No, madder. For I distrust 'reality' and its moron mother, the universe, while you fasten your innocence to fallible devices which pretend at happy endings.
You grow ravenous. You run fevers. You know exhilarations. You can't sleep at night, because your beast-creature ideas want out and turn you in your bed. It is a grand way to live.
"I won't argue that point."
We've gotta reinvest in space travel. We should've never left the moon.
It is the privilege of old people to seem to know everything. But it's an act and a mask, like every other act and mask. Between ourselves, we old ones wink at each other and smile, saying, ‘How do you like my mask, my act, my certainty? Isn't life a play? Don't I play it well?
Don't haggle and nag them; you were so recently of them yourself. They are so confident that they will run on forever. But they won't run on. They don't know that this is all one huge big blazing meteor that makes a pretty fire in space, but that some day it'll have to hit. They see only the blaze, the pretty fire, as you saw it.
From now on I hope always to stay alert, to educate myself as best I can. But lacking this, in Future I will relaxedly turn back to my secret mind to see what it has observed when I thought I was sitting this one out. We never sit anything out.
We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
I don't believe in colleges and universities.
I've written about 2,000 short stories; I've only published 300 and I feel I'm still learning. Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he'll eventually make some kind of career for himself as a writer.
Ray Bradbury, 1967 interview (Doing the Math -- that means for every story he sold, he wrote six "un-publishable" ones. Keep typing!).
Everything that happens before Death is what counts.
Trains and boxcars and the smell of coal and fire are not ugly to children. Ugliness is a concept that we happen on later and become self-conscious about.
The dust was antique spice, burnt maple leaves, a prickling blue that teemed and sifted to earth. Swarming its own shadows, the dust filtered over the tents.
He glanced back at the wall. How like a mirror, too, her face. Impossible; for how many people did you know who reflected your own light to you? People were more often -- he searched for a simile, found one in his work -- torches, blazing away until they whiffed out. How rarely did other people's faces take of you and throw back to you your own expression, your own innermost trembling thought?
In my later years, I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back. Occasionally I wonder why I can be so happy. The answer is that every day of my life I've worked only for myself and for the joy that comes from writing and creating. The image in my mirror is not optimistic, but the result of optimal behavior.
Mr. Montag, you are looking at a coward. I saw the way things were going, a long time back. I said nothing. I'm one of the innocents who could have spoken up and out when no one would listen to thèguilty,' but I did not speak and thus became guilty myself.
How men envy and often hate these warm clocks, these wives, who know they will live forever. So what do we do? We men turn terribly mean, because we can't hold to the world or ourselves or anything. We are blind to continuity, all breaks down, falls, melts, stops, rots, or runs away. So, since we cannot shape Time, where does that leave men? Sleepless. Staring.
Don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.
I don't decide. My secret self decides. I just go with my subconscious. If it wants to do a poem, I do a poem, and if it wants to do a play, I do a play. So I'm not in charge, I'm not in control.
An athlete may run ten thousand miles in order to prepare for one hundred yards. Quantity gives experience.
The library is the biggest cracker box factory in the world. The more you eat, the more you want.
You're not like the others. I've seen a few; I know. When I talk, you look at me. When I said something about the moon, you looked at the moon, last night. The others would never do that. The others would walk off and leave me talking. Or threaten me. No one has time any more for anyone else. You're one of the few who put up with me. That's why I think it's so strange you're a fireman, it just doesn't seem right for you, somehow.
There was her face, like a summer peach, beautiful and warm, and the light of the candles reflected in her dark eyes. He held his breath. The entire world waited and held its breath.
I think the sun is a flower, That blooms for just one hour.
Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal.And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day, every day, sleeping its life away.
Shakespeare wrote Moby-Dick, using Melville as a Ouija board.
Miraculously, smoke curled out of his own mouth, his nose, his ears, his eyes, as if his soul had been extinguished within his lungs at the very moment the sweet pumpkin gave up its incensed ghost.
She laid a hand on his face. "Son," she said. "We love you. We all love you. No matter how different you are, no matter if you leave us one day." She kissed his cheek. "And if and when you die your bones will lie undisturbed, we'll see to that, you'll lie at ease forever, and I'll come see you every All Hallows' Eve and tuck you in more secure.
What should I do?" "Throw up in your typewriter every morning." "Yeah." "Clean up every noon.
You ask Why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it. The poor girl's better off dead.
RELISH! What a special name for the minced pickle sweetly crushed in its white-capped jar. The man who had named it, what a man he must have been. Roaring, stamping around, he must have tromped the joys of the world and jammed them in this jar and writ in a big hand, shouting, RELISH! For its very sound meant rolling in sweet fields with roistering chestnut mares, mouths bearded with grass, plunging your head fathoms deep in trough water so the sea poured cavernously through your head. RELISH!
The terrible tyranny of the majority.
We've got to reinvest in space travel. We should have never left the moon.
Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself. ...Science fiction is central to everything we've ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writers don't know what they're talking about.
I don't think about what I do. I do it. That's Buddhism. I jump off the cliff and build my wings on the way down.
Let the war turn off the families. Our civilization is flinging itself to pieces. Stand back from the centrifuge.
Please, please, help me grow to be like them, the ones'll soon be here, who never grow old, can't die, that's what they say, can't die, no matter what, or maybe they died a long time ago but Cecy calls, and Mother and Father call, and Grandmere who only whispers, and now they're coming and I'm nothing, not like them who pass through walls and live in trees or live underneath until seventeen-year rains flood them up and out, and the ones who run in packs, let me be the one! If they live forever, why not me?
Sandwich outdoors isn't a sandwich anymore. Tastes different than indoors, notice? Got more spice. Tastes like mint and pinesap. Does wonders for the appetite.
I went to bed and woke in the middle of the night thinking I heard someone cry, thinking I myself was weeping, and I felt my face and it was dry. Then I looked at the window and thought: Why, yes, it's just the rain, the rain, always the rain, and turned over, sadder still, and fumbled about for my dripping sleep and tried to slip it back on.
Every story I've written was written because I had to write it. Writing stories is like breathing for me; it is my life.
Colonel Freeleigh?" said Douglas softly.
There was something in his silence that made them all shut up their mouths. They approached, almost on tiptoe. Douglas, bent down, disengaged the phone from the old man's now quite cold fingers. Douglas lifted the receiver to his own ear, listened. Above the static he heard a strange, a far, a final sound. Two thousand miles away, the closing of a window.
If someone tells you to do something for money, tell them to go to hell.
Why travel to the Moon or Mars if we only continue our wars there with Russia or China or Africa? Why build rockets at all? For fun? For adventure? Or is this the same process that sends the salmons back upstream year after year to spawn and die -- a subliminal urge in mankind to spread, in self-preservation, to the stars? Are we then secretly fearful that one day the sun might freeze and the the earth grow cold or the sun explode in a terrific thermal cataclysm and burn down our house of cards?
Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.
La maggior parte di noi non può correre qua e là notte e giorno, parlare con tutti, conoscere tutte le città della terra, non abbiamo tempo, denaro, nemmeno tanti amici. Le cose che voi cercate, Montag, sono su questa terra, ma il solo modo per cui l'uomo medio potrà vederne il novantanove per cento sarà un libro.
Every time you take a step, even when you don't want to... When it hurts, when it means you rub chins with death, or even if it means dying, that's good. Anything that moves ahead, wins. No chess game was ever won by the player who sat for a lifetime thinking over his next move.
Garrett," said Stendahl, "do you know why I've done this to you? Because you burned Mr. Poe's books without really reading them. You took other people's advice that they needed burning. Otherwise you'd have realized what I was going to do to you when we came down here a moment ago. Ignorance is fatal, Mr. Garrett.
First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.
Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon sunshine.
Science fiction is really sociological studies of the future, things that the writer believes are going to happen by putting two and two together.
Before the bus had run another fifty yards on the highway, its destination would be meaningless, and its point of departure changed from metropolis to junkyard.
You can't learn to write in college. It's a very bad place for writers because the teachers always think they know more than you do -- and they don't. They have prejudices. They may like Henry James, but what if you don't want to write like Henry James? They may like John Irving, for instance, who's the bore of all time.
The wind outside nested in each tree, prowled the sidewalks in invisible treads like unseen cats. Tom Skelton shivered. Anyone could see that the wind was a special wind this night, and the darkness took on a special feel because it was All Hallows' Eve. Everything seemed cut from soft black velvet or gold or orange velvet. Smoke panted up out of a thousand chimneys like the plumes of funeral parades. From kitchen windows drifted two pumpkin smells: gourds being cut, pies being baked.
I'll be damned if death wears my sadness for glad rags.
Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spent the rest of the day putting the pieces together.
Don't write for money. Write because you love to do something. If you write for money, you won't write anything worth reading.
I have something to fight for and live for; that makes me a better killer. I've got what amounts to a religion , now .
I want to feel all there is to feel, he thought. Let me feel tired, now, let me feel tired. I mustn't forget, I'm alive, I know I'm alive, I mustn't forget it tonight or tomorrow or the day after that.
He said hello and then said, "What are you up to now?" "I'm still crazy. The rain feels good. I love to walk in it. "I don't think I'd like that," he said. "You might if you tried." "I never have." She licked her lips. "Rain even tastes good." "What do you do, go around trying everything once?" he asked. "Sometimes twice.
Isn't this a nice time of night to walk? I like to smell things and look at things, and sometimes stay up all night, walking, and watch the sun rise.
You've got to jump off cliffs and build your wings on the way down.
All of my writing is God-given.
It was only the other night everything was fine and the next thing I know Im drowning. How many times can a man go down and still be alive? I can't breathe.
Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he'll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.
Far away in the cool dim empty rooms of the big old house, a silver bell tinkled and faded.
Video games are a waste of time for men with nothing else to do. Real brains don't do that.
If you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer. It means you are so busy keeping one eye on the commercial market, or one ear peeled for the avant-garde coterie, that you are not being yourself. You don't even know yourself. For the first thing a writer should be is -- excited. He should be a thing of fevers and enthusiasms.
I talk. Jim runs. I tilt stones, Jim grabs the cold junk under the stones and -lickety-split! I climb hills. Jim yells off church steeples. I got a bank account. Jim's got the hair on his head, the yell in his mouth, the shirt on his back and the tennis shoes on his feet. How come I think he's richer?
You must live feverishly in a library. Colleges are not going to do any good unless you are raised and live in a library everyday of your life.
Putting out the stars and extinguishing the sun.
"Christ, you could massacre half a Hindu village and still look like Peter Rabbit. What are you stuffed with?"
"Chocolate bars. And I keep six kinds of ice-cream in my icebox, when I can afford it."
You're peculiar, you're aggravating, yet you're easy to forgive. You say you're seventeen?..How odd. How strange. And my wife thirty and yet you seem so much older at times. I can't get over it.
She did not think it unusual, her choice of the feminine pronoun. Already she had identified herself with that tiny fragment parceled like an unripe variety of fruit. Now, in this moment, she was being carried up the hill within compression darkness, a stone in a peach, silent and terrified, the touch of the father against the coffin material outside; gentle and noiseless and firm inside.
I'm numb and I'm tired. Too much has happened today. I feel as if I'd been out in a pounding rain for forty-eight hours without an umbrella or a coat. I'm soaked to the skin with emotion.
When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money.
You can't ever have my books.
You could see her thoughts swimming around in her eyes, like fish -- some bright, some dark, some fast, quick, some slow and easy, and sometimes, like when she looked up where Earth was, being nothing but colour and nothing else.
When I was born in 1920, the auto was only 20 years old. Radio didn't exist. TV didn't exist. I was born at just the right time to write about all of these things.
In quickness is truth. The more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for a style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping.
It is good to renew one's wonder, said the philosopher. Space travel has again made children of us all.
Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn't exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.
Listen. Easy now," said the old man gently. "I know, I know. You're afraid of making
mistakes. Don't be. Mistakes can be profited by. Man, when I was young I shoved my ignorance in people's faces. They beat me with sticks. By the time I was forty my blunt instrument had been honed to a fine cutting point for me. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn.
Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating, by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer's make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road he wants to go. I would only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto.
'Fahrenheit 451' postulates a lot of things I didn't want to have happen.
All of the good, weird stories I've written are based on things I've dredged out of my subconscious. That's the real stuff. Everything else is fake.
The other six or seven drafts are going to be pure torture. So why not enjoy the first draft, in the hope that your joy will seek and find others in the world who, reading your story, will catch fire, too?
They walked still farther and the girl said, "Is it true that long ago firemen put fires out instead of going to start them?" No. Houses have always been fireproof, take my word for it." Strange. I heard once that a long time ago houses used to burn by accident and they needed firemen to stop the flames.
I ate them like salad, books were my sandwich for lunch, my tiffin and dinner and midnight munch. I tore out the pages, ate them with salt, doused them with relish, gnawed on the bindings, turned the chapters with my tongue! Books by the dozen, the score and the billion. I carried so many home I was hunchbacked for years. Philosophy, art history, politics, social science, the poem, the essay, the grandiose play, you name 'em, I ate 'em.
Work is the only answer. I have three rules to live by. One, get your work done. If that doesn't work, shut up and drink your gin. And when all else fails, run like hell!
Some people turn sad awfully young. No special reason, it seems, but they seem almost to be born that way. They bruise easier, tire faster, cry quicker, remember longer and, as I say, get sadder younger than anyone else in the world. I know, for I'm one of them.
In the dim, wavering light, a page hung open and it was like a snowy feather, the words delicately painted thereon. In all the rush and fervor, Montag had only an instant to read a line, but it blazed in his mind for the next minute as if stamped there with fiery steel.
My personal telephone book is a book of the dead now. I'm so old. Almost all of my friends have died, and I don't have the guts to take their names out of the book.
Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them, at all. The magic is only in what the books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.
How do you get so empty? he wondered. Who takes it out of you?
A story should be like a river, flowing and never stopping, your readers passengers on a boat, whirling downstream through constantly refreshing and changing scemery.
He balanced in space with the book in his sweating cold fingers.
Programs like 'Jeopardy' and 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' are ridiculous. They're the stupidest shows in history. They're making us dumber. They don't give us information, they give us facts, factoids. You don't learn who Napoleon was and how he was motivated. You learn what year he was born, and when he died. That's useless.
Why the Egyptian, Arabic, Abyssinian, Choctaw? Well, what tongue does the wind talk? What nationality is a storm? What country do rains come from? What color is lightning? Where does thunder goe when it dies?
Just write every day of your life. Read intensely.
She had a very thin face like the dial of a small clock seen faintly in a dark room in the middle of a night when you waken to see the time and see the clock telling you the hour and the minute and the second, with a white silence and a glowing, all certainty and knowing what it has to tell of the night passing swiftly on toward further darknesses, but moving also toward a new sun.
The man was cold as an albino frog.
Look at the Chandra Levy case. It's become a Star Chamber. The major networks, the cable networks, they're being prosecutors. They're judges and jurors and executioners. Well, c'mon, that's ridiculous. But they're doing it.
It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.
You'll be found, your nickels, dimes and Indian-heads fused by electroplating. Abe Lincolns melted into Miss Columbias, eagles plucked raw on the backs of quarters, all run to quicksilver in your jeans. More! Any boy hit by lightning, lift his lid and there on his eyeball, pretty as the Lord's Prayer on a pin, find the last scene the boy ever saw! A box-Brownie photo, by God, of that fire climbing down the sky to blow you like a penny whistle, suck your soul back up along the bright stair!
The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.
Why is it," he said, one time, at the subway entrance, "I feel I've known you so many years?"
"Because I like you," she said, "and I don't want anything from you.
Somewhere on the Earth tonight, my Tylla, there is a Man with a Lever, which, when he pulls it, Will Save The World. The man is now unemployed. His switch gathers dust. He himself plays pinochle.
It takes writing a billion bad words before you get to the good ones.
If you have moved over vast territories and dared to love silly things, you will have learned even from the most primitive items collected and put aside in your life.
You have to learn to take rejection not as an indication of personal failing but as a wrong address.
Le cose che voi cercate, Montag, sono su questa terra, ma il solo modo per cui l'uomo medio potrà vederne il novantanove per cento sarà un libro.
I sometimes think drivers don't know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly," she said. "If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! he'd say, that's grass! A pink blur? That's a rose-garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows. My uncle drove slowly on a highway once. He drove forty miles an hour and they jailed him for two days. Isn't that funny, and sad, too?
They whispered to Caesar that he was mortal, then sold daggers at half-price in the grand March sale.
It was summer and moonlight and we had lemonade to drink, and we held the cold glasses in our hands, and Dad read the stereo-newspapers inserted into the special hat you put on your head and which turned the microscopic page in front of the magnifying lens if you blinked three times in succession.
Love is easy, and I love writing.
So now do you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life. The comfortable people want only wax moon faces, poreless, hairless, expressionless.
I don't control my writing -- it controls me.
I was doing a terrible thing in using the very books you clung to, to rebut you on every hand, on every point! What traitors books can be! You think they're backing you up, and then they turn on you. Others can use them, too, and there you are, lost in the middle of the moor, in a great welter of nouns and verbs and adjectives.
My goal is to entertain myself and others.
La verità è che non abbiamo bisogno soltanto di tranquillità. Ogni tanto dobbiamo essere turbati, tanto per cambiare.
All the women in my life have been librarians, English teachers and book sellers.
Go out and make your own speeches. People need you. Go on TV. It can be done. After you speak up a few times, people say, "Hey, we got a crazy man in the community," and they'll begin talking to you.
There must be something in books, something we can't imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don't stay for nothing.
I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it's better than college. People should educate themselves -- you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I'd written a thousand stories.
Why go to a machine when you could go to a human being?
I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. ... I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories -- science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.
Everyone must leave something behind when he dies ... Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die ... It doesn't matter what you do, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away.
That's life for you," said McDunn. "Someone always waiting for someone who never comes home. Always someone loving some thing more than that thing loves them. And after a while you want to destroy whatever that thing is, so it can't hurt you no more.
Let me alone," said Mildred
"Let you alone!" He almost cried out with laughter. "Letting you alone is easy, but how can I leave myself alone? That's what's wrong. We need not to be let alone. We need to be upset and stirred and bothered, once in a while, anyway. Nobody bothers anymore. Nobody thinks. Let a baby alone, why don't you? What would you have in twenty years? A savage, unable to think or talk -- like us!
He was always here to offer cups of good clear Walden Pond, or shout down the deep well of Shakespeare and listen, with satisfaction, for echoes. Here the lion and the hartebeest lay together, here the jackass became a unicorn.
Important thing is not the me that's lying here, but the me that's sitting on the edge of the bed looking back at me, and the me that's downstairs cooking supper, or out in the garage under the car, or in the library reading. All the new parts, they count. I'm not really dying today. No person ever died that had a family.
We're a free society; we've got television. We have radio. We have newspapers. We have the videocassette, which is coming into play. These are new freedoms.
Life should be touched, not strangled.
I discovered me in the library. I went to find me in the library.
To hell with you. To hell with you and to hell with the Internet.
We're allotted a little space on earth and that we survive in that wilderness that can take back what it has given, as easily as blowing its breath on us or sending the sea to tell us we are not so big. When we forget how close the wilderness is in the night, my grandpa said, someday it will come in and get us, for we will have forgotten how terrible and real it can be.
And he remembered thinking then that if she died, he was certain he wouldn't cry. For it would be the dying face of an unknown, a street face, a newspaper image, and it was suddenly so very wrong that he had begun to cry, not at death but at the thought of not crying at death, a silly empty man near a silly empty woman.
If you're living in your time, you cannot help but to write about the things that are important.
But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own
We travel, initially, to lose ourselves, and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again--to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.
I was never young. Whoever I was then is dead. That's more of your quills. I don't want a hide full, thanks. I have always figured that you die each day and and each day is a is a box, you see, all numbered and neat; but never go back and lift the lids, because you have died a couple thousand times in your life, and that's a lot of corpses, each dead a different way, each with a worse expression. Each of those days is a different you, somebody you don't know or understand or want to understand.
People want to be happy, isn't that right? Haven't you heard it all your life? I want to be happy, people say. Well, aren't they? Don't we keep them moving, don't we give them fun? That's all we live for, isn't it? For pleasure, for titillation? And you must admit our culture provides plenty of these.
One year Halloween came on October 24, three hours after midnight. At that time, James Nightshade of 97 Oak Street was thirteen years, eleven months, twenty-three days old. Next door, William Halloway was thirteen years, eleven months, and twenty-four days old. Both touched toward fourteen; it almost trembled in their hands. And that was the October week when they grew up overnight, and were never so young any more.
We must move into the universe. Mankind must save itself. We must escape the danger of war and politics. We must become astronauts and go out into the universe and discover the God in ourselves.
And some days, he went on, were days of hearing every trump and trill of the universe. Some days were good for tasting and some for touching. And some days were good for all the senses at once. This day now, he nodded, smelled as if a great and nameless orchard had grown up overnight beyond the hills to fill the entire visible land with its warm freshness. The air felt like rain, but there were no clouds.
He was a victim of concussion. When it was all over he felt like a man who had been thrown from a cliff, whirled in a centrifuge, and spat out over a waterfall that fell and fell into emptiness and emptiness and never -- quite -- touched -- bottom -- never -- never -- quite -- no not quite -- touched bottom... and you fell so fast you didn't touch the sides either... never... quite... touched... anything.
I want to hold onto this funny thing. God, it's gotten big on me. I don't know what it is. I'm so damned unhappy, I'm so mad, and I don't know why. I feel like I'm putting on weight. I feel fat. I feel like I'm saving a lot of things, and I don't know what. I might even start reading books.
Or maybe he means in a richer world the begging population is melting away. But no to that too. So maybe, perhaps, he means there aren't many 'human beings' left to look, see, and understand well enough for one to ask and one to give. Everyone busy, running, jumping, there's no time to study one another. But I guess that's bilge and hogwash, slop and sentiment.
Space travel is life-enhancing, and anything that's life-enhancing is worth doing. It makes you want to live forever.
At the top of your lungs, shout and listen to the echoes. You must live life at the top of your voice!
All isn't well with the world.
You don't have to turn on the TV set. You don't have to work on the Internet. It's up to you.
Fire the doubters out of your life.
And the men with the cigarettes in their straight-lined mouths, the men with the eyes of puff adders, took up their load of machine and tube, their case of liquid melancholy and the slow dark sludge of nameless stuff, and strolled out the door.
If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn.
A conglomerate heap of trash, that's what I am. But it burns with a high flame.
To fail is to give up. But you are in the midst of a moving process. Nothing fails then. All goes on. Work is done. If good, you learn from it. If bad, you learn even more.
You should love literature. You should live in the library. Forget about films.
We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against.
I don't write science fiction. I've only done one science fiction book and that's Fahrenheit 451, based on reality. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal.
A book has got smell. A new book smells great. An old book smells even better. An old book smells like ancient Egypt.
You have got to jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.
I'm alive. Thinking about it, noticing it, is new. You do things and don't watch. Then all of a sudden you look and see what you're doing and it's the first time, really.
Most of my short stories are fantasy.
Look at it this way, child, life is a magic show, or should be if people didn't go to sleep on each other. Always leave folks with a bit of mystery, son.
Libraries are absolutely at the center of my life. Since I couldn't afford to go to college, I attended the library three or four days a week from the age of eighteen on, and graduated from the library when I was twenty-eight.
He stood breathing, and the more he breathed the land in, the more he was filled up with all the details of the land. He was not empty. There was more than enough here to fill him. There would always be more than enough.
For everyone nowadays knows, absolutely certain, that nothing will ever happen to me. Others die, I go on.
I'm seventeen and I'm crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane.
My passions drive me to the typewriter every day of my life, and they have driven me there since I was twelve. So I never have to worry about schedules. Some new thing is always exploding in me, and it schedules me, I don't schedule it. It says: Get to the typewriter right now and finish this.
We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone MADE equal. Each man man the image of every other; then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against.
Without the library, you have no civilization.
Everyone has a telephone. Whether they can afford it or not. It's one of those things that people have, regardless of their income.
The gift of life is so precious that we should feel an obligation to pay back the universe for the gift of being alive.
From this outer edge of his life, looking back, there was only one remorse, and that was only that he wished to go on living. Did all dying people feel this way, as if they had never lived? Did life seem that short, indeed, over and done before you took a breath? Did it seem this abrupt and impossible to everyone, or only to himself, here, now, with a few hours left to him for thought and deliberation?
Have a drink?"
" I don't need it," said Halloway. "But someone inside me does." "Who?" The boy I once was, thought Halloway, who runs like the leaves down the sidewalk autumn nights. But he couldn't say that. So he drank, eyes shut, listening to hear if that thing inside turned over again, rustling in the deep bons that were stacked for burning but never burned.
I'm inclined to believe you need the psychiatrist.
Her eyes reversed into herself, to watch the secret heart of herself pounding itself into pieces against the side of her chest.
But I wanted to show what we all have in us, that it has always been there, and so few of us bother to notice. When people ask me where I get my ideas, I laugh. How strange -- we are so busy looking out, to find ways and means, we forget to look in.
There was a smell like a cut potato from all the land, raw and cold and white from having the moon on it most of the night.
That's the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and WORTH the doing.
My dear, you never will understand time, will you? You're always trying to be the things you were, instead of the person you are tonight. Why do you save those ticket stubs and theater programs? They'll only hurt you later. Throw them away, my dear.
A book is a loaded gun in the house next door...Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?
We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
Half of the fun of travel is the aesthetic of lostness.
Write a short story every week. It's not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.
We have everything we need to be happy, but we aren't happy. Something's missing.
Oh, ancient god, whatever your name," whispered Ahmed. "Help this lost son of a good father, this evil boy who meant no harm but slept in school, ran errands slowly, did not pray from his heart, ignored his mother, and did not hold his family in great esteem. For all this I know I must suffer. But here in the midst of silence, at the desert's heart, where even the wind knows not my name? Must I die so young? Am I to be forgotten without having been?
The very first experiments with building rockets and firing them off were carried out by students at Cal Tech in 1937, '38 and '39. And later these people put together these jet propulsion labs in Pasadena and wound up sending aircraft and spacecraft to the moon. So it all began very primitively with love.
My gosh, if you're going away, we got a million things to talk about! All the things we would've talked about next month, the month after! Praying mantises, zeppelins, acrobats, sword swallowers!
There are too many of us, he thought. There are billions of us and that's too many. Nobody knows anyone. Strangers come and violate you. Strangers come and cut your heart out. Strangers come and take your blood. Good God, who were those men? I never saw them before in my life!
It was like a great bee come home from some field where the honey is full of poison wildness, of insanity and nightmare, its body crammed with that over-rich nectar and now it was sleeping the evil out of itself.
The things you're looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book. Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.
Then, of course, the telephone's such a convenient thing; it just sits there and demands you call someone who doesn't want to be called.
When I was a young writer if you went to a party and told somebody you were a science-fiction writer you would be insulted. They would call you Flash Gordon all evening, or Buck Rogers.
Everything is my demon muse. I have a muse which whispers in my ear and says, 'Do this, do that,' but it's my demon who provokes me.
"Why is it," he said, one time, at the subway entrance, "I feel I've known you so many years?" "Because I like you," she said, "and I don't want anything from you."
Grandfather's been dead all these years, but if you lifted my skull, by God, in the convolutions of my brain you'd find the big ridges of his thumbprint. He touched me. As I said earlier, he was a sculptor. 'I hate a Roman named Status Quo!' he said to me. 'Stuff your eyes with wonder,' he said, 'live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.
Savory...that's a swell word. And Basil and Betel. Capsicum. Curry. All great. But Relish, now, Relish with a capital R. No argument, that' the best.
And sleeping put an end to summer, 1928,.
You pay a certain penalty for going your own way. A lot of people think you're nuts, and you're not as popular with girls as you should be.
There are a lot of wonderful women writers who would be good influences on writers. You've got to spread yourself out and educate yourself with all kinds of stories.
When did it all start, you ask, this job of ours (to burn books). There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship. Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God. Ask yourself what do people want in this country above all? People want to be happy isn't that right? That's all we live for, isn't it? For pleasure, for titillation?
We are anthill men upon an anthill world.
We're all dreamers.
Ideas and philosophies change just as machines do. Religions changed because of the birth control pill. Politics changes because of the hydrogen bomb. All because of science fictional inventions.
Who ever heard of a Martian not invading? Who!
But that's the wonderful thing about man; he never gets so discouraged or disgusted that he gives up doing it all over again, because he knows very well it is important and worth the doing.
Somewhere in him, a shadow turned mournfully over. You had to run with a night like this so the sadness could not hurt.
I'm seventeen and I'm crazy.
Was there any special reason for selecting French chocolate ice cream to spoon into the broadcasting unit?'
Brock thought about it and smiled. 'It's my favorite flavor.' 'Oh,' said the doctor. 'I figured, hell, what's good enough for me is good enough for the radio transmitter.' 'What made you think of spooning ice cream into the radio?' 'It was a hot day.
Science and religion have to go hand in hand with the mystery, because there's a certain point beyond which you say, "There are no answers.
Those who don't build must burn. It's as old as history and juvenile delinquents.
All silence is. All emptiness. And now: The dawn.
Forget them. Burn all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean.
When you're older you want to learn from other people.
In my later years I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back. Occasionally I wonder why I can be so happy. The answer is that every day of my life I've worked only for myself and for the joy that comes from writing and creating. The image in my mirror is not optimistic, but the result of optimal behavior.
The girl who had known the weather and never been burnt by fireflies, the girl who had known what dandelions meant rubbed off on your chin.
Then, she would be gone.
Maybe the books can get us half out of the cave. They just might stop us from making the same damm insane mistakes!
My stories run up and bite me on the leg -- I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite. When I finish, the idea lets go and runs off.
Will we ever stop being afraid of nights and death?
When you reach the stars, boy, yes, and live there forever, all the fears will go, and Death himself will die.
For if we're destroyed, the knowledge is dead...We're nothing more than dust jackets for books...so many pages to a person.
May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.
For these beings, fall is ever the normal season, the only weather, there be no choice beyond. Where do they come from? The dust. Where do they go? The grave. Does blood stir their veins? No: the night wind. What ticks in their head? The worm. What speaks from their mouth? The toad. What sees from their eye? The snake. What hears with their ear? The abyss between the stars. They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners. They frenzy forth. Such are the autumn people.
With a book tucked in one hand, and a computer shoved under my elbow, I will march, not sidle, shudder or quake, into the twenty-first century.
You fail only if you stop writing.
Who has more pockets than a magician? A boy. Whose pockets contain *more* than a magicians? A boy's.
Where would you like to go, what would you really like to do with your life? See Istanbul, Port Said, Nairobi, Budapest. Write a book. Smoke too many cigarettes. Fall off a cliff but get caught in a tree halfway down. Get shot at a few times in a dark alley on a Morrocan midnight. Love a beautiful woman.
Work. Don't Think. Relax.
What's the point of having a library full of books you've already read?
I still love books. Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book. You can't really put a book on the Internet. Three companies have offered to put books by me on the Net, and I said, 'If you can make something that has a nice jacket, nice paper with that nice smell, then we'll talk.' All the computer can give you is a manuscript. People don't want to read manuscripts. They want to read books. Books smell good. They look good. You can press it to your bosom. You can carry it in your pocket.
And yet.looking here at this bottle which by its number signalized the day when Colonel Freeleigh had stumbled and fallen six feet into the earth, Douglas could not find so much as a gram of dark sediment, not a speck of the great flouring buffalo dust, not a flake of sulphur from the guns at Shiloh.
Sexed but sexless, the robots. Named but unnamed, and borrowing from humans everything but humanity, the robots stared at the nailed lids of their labeled F.O.B boxes, in a death that was not even a death, for there had never been a life.
Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know, is bad, or amoral, at least. You can't act if you don't know. Acting without knowing takes you right off the cliff.
It's just...It's just, if I didn't see these windows until today, what else did I miss?
I've always known that the quality of love was the mind, even though the body sometimes refuses this knowledge. The body lives for itself. It lives only to feed and wait for the night. It's essentially nocturnal. But what of the mind which is born of the sun, William, and must spend thousands of hours of a lifetime awake and aware? Can you balance off the body, that pitiful, selfish thing of night against a whole lifetime of sun and intellect? I don't know.
No," said a voice, "the only thing wrong on a night like that is that there is a world and you must come back to it.
Creativity is a continual surprise.
How working for the wrong motives poisons our creativity and warps our ideas of success and failure.
There's no reason to burn books if you don't read them.
Did you hear them, did you hear these monsters talking about monsters? Oh God, the way they jabber about people and their own children and themselves and the way they talk about their husbands and the way they talk about war, dammit, I stand here and I can't believe it!
If you're reluctant to weep, you won't live a full and complete life.
Millions of students now, in all the schools of America, are reading science fiction and especially, thank God, 'The Martian Chronicles.'
I'm trying to teach people of all ages to, number one: how to criticize, how to offer creative analysis on top of that, how to try to build things in a new direction and how to compliment people when the thing gets done.
Out of the nursery into the college and back into the nursery; there's your intellectual pattern for the past five centuries or more.
The answer to all writing, to any career for that matter, is love.
And besides, I like to cry. After I cry hard it's like it's morning again and I'm starting the day over.
Since our tongues first moved in our mouths we've asked, What does it all mean? No other question made sense, with death breathing down our necks. But just let us settle in on ten thousand worlds spinning around ten thousand alien suns and the question will fade away.
We haven't been too bad, have we?"
"No, nor enormously good. I suppose that's the trouble -- we haven't been much of anything except us, while a big part of the world was busy being lots of awful things.
If you learn only methods, you'll be tied to your methods, but if you learn principles you can devise your own methods.
What can we writers learn from lizards, lift from birds? In quickness is truth. The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for a style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping.
I'm afraid of them and they don't like me because I'm afraid.
We're all watching each other, so there's no chance for censorship. The main problem is the idiot TV. If you watch local news, your head will turn to mush.
I felt a bit bookish, cut off from life.
MOTHER: Why, just lying there, Jim, you run so fast. I never saw anyone move so much, just sleeping. Promise me, Jim. Wherever you go and come back, bring lots of kids. Let them run wild. Let me spoil them, some day. JIM: I'm never going to own anything that can hurt me.
I've never worked a day in my life. The joy of writing has propelled me from day to day and year to year. I want you to envy me, my joy. Get out of here tonight and say: 'Am I being joyful?' And if you've got a writer's block, you can cure it this evening by stopping whatever you're writing and doing something else. You picked the wrong subject.
I can write faster on a typewriter than you can on a computer. I do 120 words a minute, and you can't do that on a computer.
I have four daughters and eight grandchildren. My soul lives on in them. That's immortality. That's the only immortality I care about.
If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.
Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.
We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?
But the tables were silent and the cards untouched.
The ability to "fantasize" is the ability to survive. It's wonderful to speak about this subject because there have been so many wrong-headed people dealing with it.... The so-called realists are trying to drive us insane, and I refuse to be driven insane.... We survive by fantasizing. Take that away from us and the whole damned human race goes down the drain.
Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, on paper.
Whoever he was or whatever he was and no matter how different and crazy he seemed, he was not crazy.
Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.
Don't let people interfere with you. Boot 'em out, turn off the phone, hide away, get it done. If you carry a short story over to the next day you may overnight intellectualize something about it and try to make it too fancy, try to please someone.
Screenplays are not writing. They're a fake form of writing. It's a lot of dialogue and very little atmosphere. Very little description. Very little character work. It's very dangerous. You'll never learn to write.
Happiness is important. Fun is everything.
Men read science fiction to build the future. Women don't need to read it. They are the future.
Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he'll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer."
It shows too much. Women are meant to be inhaled, not impaled.
All you umpires, back to the bleachers. Referees, hit the showers. It's my game. I pitch, I hit, I catch. I run the bases. At sunset, I've won or lost. At sunrise, I'm out again, giving it the old try.
When a man talks from his heart, in his moment of truth, he speaks poetry.
I often wonder if God recognizes His own son the way we've dressed him up, or is it dressed him down? He's a regular peppermint stick now, all sugar-crystal and saccharine when he isn't making veiled references to certain commercial products that every worshiper absolutely needs.
We meet on the common ground of an uncommon age and share out our gifts of dark and light, good and bad, simple joy and not so simple sorrow.
You're afraid of making mistakes. Don't be. Mistakes can be profited by.
The rockets set the bony meadows afire, turned rock to lava, turned wood to charcoal, transmuted water to steam, made sand and silica into green glass which lay like shattered mirrors reflecting the invasion, all about. The rockets came like drums, beating in the night. The rockets came like locusts, swarming and settling in blooms of rosy smoke.
Not much to say except to warn you not to get too serious about all this, if you want to become a writer of fiction in the future. If you intend to become a critic, that is a Whale of another color…Playing around with symbols, even as a critic, can be a kind of kiddish parlor game. A little of it goes a long way. There are other things of greater value in any novel or story…humanity, character analysis, truth on other levels…Good symbolism should be as natural as breathing…and as unobtrusive.
No," moaned Tom in despair. "School. School straight on ahead! Why, why do dime stores show things like that in windows before summer's even over! Ruin half the vacation!
Have I said anything I started out to say about being good? God, I don't know. A stranger is shot in the street, you hardly move to help. But if half an hour before, you spent just ten minutes with the fellow and knew a little about him and his family, you might just jump in front of his killer and try to stop it. Really knowing is good. Not knowing, or refusing to know, is bad, or amoral, at least. You can't act if you don't know. Acting without knowing takes you right off the cliff.
Our civilization is flinging itself to pieces. Stand back from the centrifuge.
He saw many hands held to its warmth, hands without arms, hidden in darkness. Above the hands, motionless faces that were only moved and tossed and flickered with firelight. He hadn't known fire could look this way. He had never thought in his life that it could give as well as take.
We are living in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of on good rain and black loam.
Those who don't build must burn.