ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING by Ray Bradbury

ZEN IN THE ART OF WRITING

Essays On Creativity
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Bradbury, all charged up, drunk on life, joyous with writing, puts together nine past essays on writing and creativity and discharges every ounce of zest and gusto in him. In the opening piece, he tells us: "The first thing a writer should be is--excited. He should be a thing of fevers and enthusiasms. Without such vigor, he might as well be out picking peaches or digging ditches; God knows it'd be better for his health." In a Writer's Digest piece on writing, he also tells about overcoming his early years of imitating Poe, Dickens, Lovecraft, and finding his real voice in word lists with homey associations ("THE LAKE. THE NIGHT. THE CRICKETS. THE RAVINE. THE ATTIC," and so on), of writing The Martian Chronicles in unconscious imitation of Winesburg, Ohio. Other essays are "The Care and Feeding of the Muse" (". . .I have had a metaphor jump at me, give me a spin, and run me off to do a story"); "Drunk, and in Charge of a Bicycle," more about word-association and where many of his famous stories sprang from; separate pieces on the writing of Fahrenheit 451 (on a dime-operated typewriter rented for half-hours in a UCLA basement) and Dandelion Wine; the rise of science fiction after long neglect; his thoughts on playwriting; and Zen thoughts on writing ("Work. Relax. Don't think"). He ends with a cycle of poems on creativity. Bradbury lovers will find this a Bradbury feast. Nonlovers may find the fare a bit exotic and rich.
Pub Date: March 26th, 1990
ISBN: 1877741094
Page count: 190pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1990




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