Bradbury News on Bradbury’s Birthday 8/22

Bradbury's basement in 1985.

Bradbury’s basement in 1985.

Ray Bradbury would have been 94 today. Although he isn’t here to celebrate, his fans are keeping his name in the news.

(1) There will be a screening of The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit on October 12 to support the Pomona Public Library. Steven Paul Leiva will moderate a panel afterwards with Joe Mantegna, Edward James Olmos, Stuart Gordon, and possibly Sam Weller. John King Tarpinian will provide items from his Bradbury collection to display at the library.

Bradbury receives autographed "Ice Cream Suit."

Bradbury receives autographed “Ice Cream Suit.”

(2) Tim Youd will performance-type Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 next month and then consign his art to the flames:

September 2014: Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 on a Royal KMM at the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University/IUPUI. This performance will take place as part of the 2014 Banned Books Week. Upon completion, Youd will burn the finished diptych at the Vonnegut Memorial Library as part of their annual Banned Books celebration.

How does performance-typing work? The Huffington Post described the process when Youd performance-typed The Right Stuff last year:

Youd uses the very same make and model of typewriter that the original author did, and types the entire novel on a single sheet of paper, backed by a stronger supporting sheet. He often has to tape the paper back together with its ghost image in order to feed it into the typewriter over and over again. Youd realizes a marathon of typewriting: he vocalizes the words of the book as he hunts and pecks the words in it, resulting in a unique combination of spoken and written – – rather, typed — word.

The finished artwork is a framed diptych, one page a mass of black ink in an indecipherable but visceral representation of the arduous work of the writer and a ghost image next to it that is mostly white but retains some spillover of the ink and imagery the original paper couldn’t handle.

(3) This may have been the best reason to be in Indiana in the middle of summer. On August 20 the Indianapolis Public Library inaugurated an annual Ray Bradbury Lecture in conjunction with Indiana University’s Center for Ray Bradbury Studies.

Professor Jonathan Eller, director of the Center, spoke about “Ray Bradbury in the Twenty-First Century”, answering the questions “How did Ray Bradbury, a child of the Great Depression who never attended college, become one of the best-known American writers of his time?” and “Why does this master storyteller of the 20th century remain a powerful cultural influence today?”

(4) Ray Bradbury Unbound, the second volume of Eller’s three-volume study of Bradbury’s life and career, will be published by the University of Illinois Press in early September. At the same time, Kent State University Press will publish volume two of the Bradbury Center’s Collected Stories of Ray Bradbury, a series that recovers the seldom-seen original versions of Bradbury’s earliest published stories.

(5) Over 400 items from the Bradbury estate will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Fine Autographs & Memorabilia at the end of September, including paintings by Charles Addams and Hannes Bok that hung on his walls, and items from his collections of Disney animation cels, comic strips and original illustration art.

(6) John King Tarpinian suggests the two of us meet on August 30 in downtown LA at Ray Bradbury Square, to mark the day that the Library of Congress hosts the annual National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Joe Mantegna and Sam Weller at the Ray Bradbury Square dedication on December 6, 2012.

Joe Mantegna and Sam Weller at the Ray Bradbury Square dedication on December 6, 2012.

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian for these items.]