Sunday, June 1, 2008

TSS Week 10

I am reading a book of essays by Ray Bradbury entitled Zen in the Art of Writing. I stumbled across it at the library. In the past, I read Fahrenheit 451 like most but didn't find it all that exciting. Instead, I have had a love affair for years with The Martian Chronicles.

This book of essays on our beautiful craft is already inspiring me beyond belief, and I only just started. Here are some fabulous quotes I came across so far:

  • "First and foremost, [writing] reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right. We must earn life once it has been awarded us. Life asks for rewards back because it has favored us with animation.

    So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.

    Secondly, writing is survival. Any art, any good work, of course, is that.

    Not to write, for many of us, is to die."

  • "You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."

I can't put it down; it has gripped me like non-fiction rarely does. Alternately, I also feel inspired to throw the book down and run and write every few minutes, which is exactly what such a book should make me feel.


Clare Dudman said...

Ah, that sounds wonderful - I too had a love affair with some of Bradbury's work - in fact it was reading his work that really made me want to write with a passion. I re-read some of the Martian Chronicles a year or so back, and they had stood the test of time for me, too.

I also love books about writing - it is odd what they do to us, isn't it? Really, inspiring - and you have to make that decision - write more or read...very tough!

John's comments said...

Love anything by Bradbury and I DO have the Zen Book but just discovered that I have no idea in which one of eight bookcases it is in :(

Anonymous said...

I had never heard of this book by Bradbury, but loved The Martian Chronicles, and like you, wasn't enamored with Fahrenheit 451. As if I need another book to add to my ever-expanding TBR list, but I think I'll add this.

My blog:

Julie said...

Oh I love love love Ray Bradbury! Didn't know about this book, though; I'll have to check it out.

Andi said...

Ooooh! I enjoyed Fahrenheit 451 and From the Dust Returned, but I didn't have much luck with The Illustrated Man. I need more Bradbury for sure, and I think I'd totally love some non-fic.

King Rat said...

Bradbury is well-known for loving the writing process. I can't remember the award, but he had a great acceptance speech about writing. It was a very non-genre award. I wish I could remember what it was.

Bryan said...

Recently I rented the movie Moby Dick, directed by John Huston and starring John Huston, from our local library. One of the odd things about the movie, Bradbury was the writer for the movie.

April Boland said...

Hey Bryan - he mentions that in the book as well.

colleen said...

That good? Well I'm writing it down. I already saved the last quote about staying drunk. Right now I'm reading and pondering the accessiblity of poetry, inspired by an anthology that Billy Collins edited and the Introduction on this topic.

I read Bradbury years ago but can't even remember it now. I remember Vonnegut better

Mo said...

I really like the first excerpt. I've read Fahrenheit 451, but wasn't all that impressed with it, like you. I did read his Dandelion Wine as a pleasure read while in high school and remember loving his writing, though I haven't the faintest idea now what it's about.

I recently put Zen in the Art of Writing on my TBR list because I've been looking for books that inspire and assist with writing. I'm more excited to check it out now.