A Tribute to Author Ray Bradbury and a Glance into his Literary Influences from Mexican Culture
Ray Bradbury, the visionary science fiction author passed away at the age of 91 on June 5, 2012. Throughout his life, Bradbury proved himself a literary innovator, creating supernatural worlds and metaphors with his expansive imagination. Up until the very end, Bradbury consistently wrote, securing elaborate dreams into artistic reality.
Although, Bradbury is known primarily for his endeavors in the realm of science fiction, he was an avid enthusiast of Mexican culture and history. Living in Los Angeles for most of his life, Bradbury’s career in writing was spurred by a trip to Mexico he took early on. The young writer traveled to Mexico in 1942 for two months. Looking for creative inspiration and exploration, he collected Indian masks with a friend for the Los Angeles County Museum along his journey. This venture to Mexico inspired Bradbury in the writing of a story entitled Calling Mexico. Calling Mexico, just one of many tales Bradbury wrote, shows his powerful fascination with Mexican culture. All the sounds, colors, and feelings of Mexico are documented in the story of an old man feeling an ominous nostalgia for a time and place of the past.
Many of his other works contain references to Mexico and Mexican culture as well, including And the Rock Cried Out and Death is a Lonely Business. Furthermore, his renowned book The Halloween Tree features an otherworldly character’s adventures in understanding the world’s many contradicting cultural interpretations of death. The book references Mexico’s celebrations of the Day of the Dead. It is thought that the culture of Mexico and Mexico’s specifically prevailing traditions surrounding life and death influenced the mood and thematic developments of Bradbury’s works in a profound way.
As seen through his short stories, books, and poems, Bradbury reveled in the beauty of embracing different cultures, different people, and different ways of thinking, making him a voice of not only American culture, but world culture as well.