June 06, 2012

Ray Bradbury's Cherokee influences

Martian Chronicles Author Ray Bradbury Dies at 91Renowned author Ray Bradbury, famous for such classics as Fahrenheit 451, Dandelion Wine and The Martian Chronicles, died on Tuesday June 5 at age 91.

The writer of 27 novels and 600 short stories “helped give stylistic heft to fantasy and science fiction,” the Los Angeles Times said of his work. “In ‘The Martian Chronicles’ and other works, the L.A.-based Bradbury mixed small-town familiarity with otherworldly settings.”

One of his most famous works, The Martian Chronicles, evoked parallels between the race that Earthlings aim to conquer, and American Indians.

“Bradbury’s Mars is a place of hope, dreams and metaphor—of crystal pillars and fossil seas—where a fine dust settles on the great, empty cities of a silently destroyed civilization,” reads the description on his official website from his publisher, HarperCollins. “It is here the invaders have come to despoil and commercialize, to grow and to learn—first a trickle, then a torrent, rushing from a world with no future toward a promise of tomorrow. The Earthman conquers Mars … and then is conquered by it, lulled by dangerous lies of comfort and familiarity, and enchanted by the lingering glamour of an ancient, mysterious native race.”

This may or may not have been influenced by his wife’s Cherokee heritage. Her grandmother was Cherokee, according to the site’s entry about Marguerite Bradbury, who died in 2003.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Colonization in The Martian Chronicles.

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