Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Ray Bradbury, fully Ray Douglas Bradbury

American Fantasty, Horror, Science Fiction and Mystery Writer

"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things."

"A book is a loaded gun in the house next door... Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?"

"All isn't well with the world."

"A good night sleep, or a ten minute bawl, or a pint of chocolate ice cream, or all three together, is good medicine."

"A life's work should be based on love."

"All of the good, weird stories I"

"A single face turned upward toward all Time. One flesh, one ecstasy, one peace. I am the dreamer and the doer. I the hearer and the knower, I the giver and the taker, I the sword and the wound of sword. If this be true, then let sword fall free from hand. I embrace myself. I laugh until I weep. And weep until I smile."

"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"

"Americans are far more remarkable than we give ourselves credit for. We've been so busy damning ourselves for years. We've done it all, and yet we don't take credit for it."

"And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is 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."

"Anything you dream is fiction, and anything you accomplish is science, the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction."

"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."

"All silence is. All emptiness. And now: The dawn."

"And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn"

"Because I like you, she said, and I don't want anything from you."

"Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers."

"At the center of religion is love. 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."

"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."

"Do you ever read any of the books you burn? That's against the law! Oh. Of course."

"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."

"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."

"Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme."

"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."

"Find out what your hero or heroine wants, and when he or she wakes up in the morning, just follow him or her all day."

"Facts quite often, I fear to confess, like lawyers, put me to sleep at noon. Not theories, however. Theories are invigorating and tonic. Give me an ounce of fact and I will produce you a ton of theory by tea this afternoon. That is, after all, my job."

"Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there."

"From now on I hope always 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."

"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. If Mormons do not like my plays, let them write their own. If the Irish hate my Dublin stories, let them rent typewriters. 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."

"Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down."

"Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness."

"I absolutely demand of you and everyone I know that they be widely read in every damn field there is; in every religion and every art form and don"

"Heaven is a house with porch lights."

"I always say to students, give me four pages a day, every day. That"

"I believe the universe created us "

"I don't believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don't have any money. When I graduated from high school, it was during the Depression and we had no money. I couldn't go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for 10 years."

"I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room."

"I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it."

"I just act and react and emotionalize and all good stuff comes out. Nobody"

"I have two rules in life - to hell with it, whatever it is, and get your work done."

"I love writing, it's the center of my life. If you don't love what you do, you'd better find something else to love. Otherwise, you don't have a reason for living."

"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 "

"I sometimes think drivers don't know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly."

"I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true -- hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don't love something, then don't do it."

"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."

"I want to see everything now. And while none of it will be me when it goes in, after a while it'll all gather together inside and it'll be me."

"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."

"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."

"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?"