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Ray Bradbury — Zen in the Art of Writing

 

J’ai ouvert ce livre, à 5 h 15 du matin, à mi-chemin entre mon lit et mon canapé, une mauvaise tendinite du pied m’ayant poussé hors du premier et empêché d’atteindre le second. Mais Bradbury écrit fort. Si fort qu’après quelques minutes de lecture, je ne m’entendais plus souffrir.

Notes

Ne pas écrire c’est mourir, p. xi :

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

« Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte », disait Pascal, p. 7 :

What can we writers learn from lizards, lift from birds? In quickness is truth. The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for a style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-wrapping.

Évidemment que Bradbury a écrit Farenheit 451 au sous-sol d’une bibliothèque, p. 52 :

Between investing dimes and going insane when the typewriter jammed (for there went your precious time!) and whipping pages in and out of the device, I wandered upstairs. There I strolled, lost in love, down the corridors, and through the stacks, touching books, pulling volumes out, turning pages, thrusting volumes back, drowning in all the food stuffs that are the essence of libraries. What a place, don’t you agree, to write a novel about burning books in the Future!

So much for pasts. What about Farenheit 451 in this day and age? Have I changed my mind about much that it said to me, when I was a younger writer? Only if by change you mean has my love of libraries widened and deepened, to which the answer is a yes that ricochets off the stacks and dusts talcum off the librarian’s cheek. Since writing this book, I have spun more stories, novels, essays, and poems about writers than any other writer in history that I can think of.

J’ai toujours cru que c’était voulu, p. 56-57 :

A last discovery. I write all of my novels and stories, as you have seen, in a great surge of delightful passion. Only recently, glancing at the novel, I realized that Montag is named after a paper manufacturing company. And Faber, of course, is a maker of pencils! What a sly thing my Subconscious was, to name them thus.

And not tell me!

Qu’est-ce que la science-fiction, p. 77 :

The children sensed, if they could not say, that fantasy, and its robot child science fiction, is not escape at all. But a circling round of reality to enchant it and make it behave. What is an airplane, after all, but a circling of reality, an approach to gravity which says: Look, with my magic machine, I defy you. Gravity be gone. Distance, stand aside. Time, stand still, or reverse, as I finally outrace the sun around the world in, by God! look! plane/jet/rocket—80 minutes!

The children guessed, it they did not whisper it, that all science fiction is an attempt to solve problems by pretending to look the other way.

DON’T THINK, p. 103 :

Now while I have you here before my platform, what words shall I whip forth painted in red letters ten feet tall?

WORK.

That’s the first one.

RELAXATION.

That’s the second. Followed by two final ones:

DON’T THINK!

L’homme à la plume est soudain pris de fièvre, et substitue la pure sueur bouillonnante à l’encre violette, p. 106 :

For the comes a time in the day’s occupations when old Money Writer falls so in love with an idea that he begins to gallop, steam, pant, rave, and write from the heart, in spite of himself.

So, too, the man with the quill pen is suddenly taken with fevers, gives up purple ink for pure hot perspiration. Then he tatters quills by the dozen and, hours later, emerges ruinous from the bed of creation looking as if he had channeled an avalanche through his house.

J’aurais préféré qu’on me le dise plutôt qu’on me le reproche, p. 112 :

I hasten to add here that imitation is natural and necessary to the beginning writer. In the preparatory years, a writer must select that field where he thinks his ideas will develop comfortably. If his nature in any way resembles the Hemingway philosophy, it is correct that he will imitate Hemingway. If Lawrence is his hero, a period of imitating Lawrence will follow. If the westerns of Eugene Manlove Rhodes are an influence, it will show in the writer’s work. Work and imitation go together in the process of learning. It is only when imitation outruns its natural function that a man prevents his becoming truly creative. Some writers will take years, some a few months, before they come upon the truly original story in themselves. Afer millions of words of imitation, when I was twenty-two years old I suddenly made the breakthrough, relaxed, that is, into originality with a ‘science-fiction’ store that was entirely my ‘own’.

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