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20 Of Ray Bradbury's Thoughts On Life, Death, And Writing

Remembering the prolific author of Fahrenheit 451 with his own words.

People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it. Better yet, build it.

Beyond 1984: The People Machines

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.

Brown Daily Herald

The best scientist is open to experience and begins with romance -- the idea that anything is possible.

Los Angeles Times

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.

Zen in the Art of Writing

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.

Fahrenheit 451

We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will. Incredible. The Life Force experimenting with forms. You for one. Me for another. The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.

I Sing the Body Electric: And Other Stories

I believe the universe created us — we are an audience for miracles. In that sense, I guess, I'm religious.

AARP Magazine

If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you, and you'll never learn.

Fahrenheit 451

Recreate the world in your own image and make it better for your having been here.

Brown University

Life is like underwear, should be changed twice a day.

A Graveyard for Lunatics

We must become astronauts and go out into the universe and discover the God in ourselves.


See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.

Fahrenheit 451

Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, on paper.

Zen in the Art of Writing

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!’

The Writer’s Digest Interview by Robert Jacobs, February 1976

I don’t believe in being serious about anything. I think life is too serious to be taken seriously.

The Writer’s Digest Interview by Robert Jacobs, February 1976

The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.

Fahrenheit 451

Don’t talk about it; write.

The Writer’s Digest

If you can't read and write you can't think. Your thoughts are dispersed if you don't know how to read and write. You've got to be able to look at your thoughts on paper and discover what a fool you were.


I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.

The Writer's Digest

And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn’t crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again, he would never carve another piece of wood or help us raise doves and pigeons in the backyard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did. He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I’ve never gotten over his death. Often I think what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands? He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on.

Fahrenheit 451

(More about his passing)