The Shape of this Blog

  • December 1, 2016
  • W.R.Smith

Ray Bradbury wrote the following as part of his introduction to Bradbury Stories – 100 of his most celebrated titles. I got my copy from Google Books.

“The Pedestrian” was a precursor to Fahrenheit 451. I had dinner with a friend fifty-five years ago and after dining we decided to take a walk along Wilshire Boulevard. Within minutes we were stopped by a police car. The policeman asked us what we were doing. I replied, “Putting one foot in front of the other,” which was the wrong answer. The policeman looked at me suspiciously because, after all, the sidewalks were empty: nobody in the whole city of Los Angeles was using them as a walkway. I went home, sorely irritated at being stopped for simply walking—a natural, human activity—and wrote a story about a pedestrian in the future who is arrested and executed for doing just that. A few months later I took that pedestrian for a walk in the night, had him turn a corner and meet a young girl named Clarisse McClellan. Nine days later, Fahrenheit 451 was born as a short novella called “The Firemen.”

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