First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys.
Perhaps I'm not their dead one back, but I'm something almost better to them; an ideal shaped by their minds.
He knew what the wind was doing to them, where it was taking them, to all the secret places that were never so secret again in life.
Science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle.
She didn't watch the dead, ancient bone-chess cities slide under, or the old canals filled with emptiness and dreams. Past dry rivers and dry lakes they flew, like a shadow of the moon, like a torch burning.
Oh, what strange wonderful clocks women are. They nest in Time. They make the flesh that holds fast and binds eternity. They live inside the gift, know power, accept, and need not mention it. Why speak of time when you are Time, and shape the universal moments, as they pass, into warmth and action?
The Martians were there-in the canal-reflected in the water.... The Martians stared back up at them for a long, long silent time from the rippling water....
So the carnival steams by, shakes ANY tree: it rains jackasses.
The rockets set the bony meadows afire, turned rock to lava, turned wood to charcoal, transmuted water to steam, made sand and silica into green glass which lay like shattered mirrors reflecting the invasion, all about. The rockets came like drums, beating in the night. The rockets came like locusts, swarming and settling in blooms of rosy smoke.
The father hesitated only a moment. He felt the vague pain in his chest. If I run, he thought, what will happen? Is Death important? No. Everything that happens before Death is what counts. And we've done fine tonight. Even Death can't spoil it.
They stood there, King of the Hill, Top of the Heap, Ruler of All They Surveyed, Unimpeachable Monarchs and Presidents, trying to understand what it meant to own a world and how big a world really was.
The train skimmed on softly, slithering, black pennants fluttering, black confetti lost on its own sick-sweet candy wind, down the hill, with the two boys pursuing, the air was so cold they ate ice cream with each breath.
We earth men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things.
They whispered to Caesar that he was mortal, then sold daggers at half-price in the grand March sale.
Too late, I found you can't wait to become perfect, you got to go out and fall down and get up with everybody else.
Why love the woman who is your wife? Her nose breathes in the air of a world that I know; therefore I love that nose. Her ears hear music I might sing half the night through; therefore I love her ears. Her eyes delight in seasons of the land; and so I love those eyes. Her tongue knows quince, peach, chokeberry, mint and lime; I love to hear it speaking. Because her flesh knows heat, cold, affliction, I know fire, snow, and pain. Shared and once again shared experience.
Why the Egyptian, Arabic, Abyssinian, Choctaw? Well, what tongue does the wind talk? What nationality is a storm? What country do rains come from? What color is lightning? Where does thunder goe when it dies?
You'll be found, your nickels, dimes and Indian-heads fused by electroplating. Abe Lincolns melted into Miss Columbias, eagles plucked raw on the backs of quarters, all run to quicksilver in your jeans. More! Any boy hit by lightning, lift his lid and there on his eyeball, pretty as the Lord's Prayer on a pin, find the last scene the boy ever saw! A box-Brownie photo, by God, of that fire climbing down the sky to blow you like a penny whistle, suck your soul back up along the bright stair!
Can't you recognize the human in the inhuman?
I have something to fight for and live for; that makes me a better killer. I've got what amounts to a religion now. It's learning how to breathe all over again. And how to lie in the sun getting a tan, letting the sun work into you. And how to hear music and how to read a book. What does your civilization offer?
I'm not anyone, I'm just myself; whatever I am, I am something, and now I'm something you can't help.
Far away, in the meadow, shadows flickered in the Mirror's Maze, as if parts of someone's life, yet unborn, were trapped there, waiting to be lived.
It is good to renew one's wonder, said the philosopher. Space travel has again made children of us all.
I want to feel all there is to feel, he thought. Let me feel tired, now, let me feel tired. I mustn't forget, I'm alive, I know I'm alive, I mustn't forget it tonight or tomorrow or the day after that.
And sometimes, I tell them, I like to put my head back, like this, and let the rain fall in my mouth. It tastes just like wine. Have you ever tried it?
I don't talk things, sir. I talk the meaning of things.
Montag, falling flat, going down, saw or felt, or imagined he saw or felt the walls go dark in Millie's face, heard her screaming, because in the millionth part of time left, she saw her own face reflected there, in a mirror instead of a crystal ball, and it was such a wildly empty face, all by itself in the room, touching nothing, starved and eating of itself, that at last she recognized it was her own...
The average TV commercial of sixty seconds has one hundred and twenty half-second clips in it, or one-third of a second. We bombard people with sensation. That substitutes for thinking.
We all have our harps to play. And it's up to you now to know with which ear you'll listen.
If you had your way you'd pass a law to abolish all the little jobs, the little things. But then you'd leave yourselves nothing to do between the big jobs and you'd have a devil of a time thinking up things to do so you wouldn't go crazy. Instead of that, why not let nature show you a few things? Cutting grass and pulling weeds can be a way of life, son.
Any man who can take a TV wall apart and put it back together again, and most men can nowadays, is happier than any man who tries to slide-rule, measure, and equate the universe, which just won't be measured or equated without making man feel bestial and lonely.
I don't want to change sides and just be told what to do. There's no reason to change if I do that.
Nobody listens anymore. I can't talk to the walls because they're yelling at me, I can't talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk long enough it'll make sense. And I want you to teach me to understand what I read.
The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are.
We are all bits and pieces of history and literature and international law, Byron, Tom Paine, Machiavelli or Christ, it's here. And the hour's late. And the war's begun. And we are out here, and the city is there, all wrapped up in its own coat of a thousand colors.
I'm ALIVE. Thinking about it, noticing it, is new. You do things and don't watch. Then all of a sudden you look and see what you're doing and it's the first time, really.
But remember that the Captain belongs to the most dangerous enemy to truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority
I feel alive for the first time in years. I feel I'm doing what I should've done a lifetime ago. For a little while I'm not afraid. Maybe it's because I'm doing the right thing at last. Maybe it's because I've done a rash thing and don't want to look the coward to you. I suppose I'll have to do even more violent things, exposing myself so I won't fall down on the job and turn scared again
Oh God, the terrible tyranny of the majority.
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.
We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.
I'm really alive! he thought. I never knew it before, or if I did I don't remember!
But you can't make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can't last.
I feel like I've been saving up a lot of things, and I don't know what.
Oh God, the terrible tyranny of the majority. We all have our harps to play. And it's up to you to know with which ear you'll listen.
The important thing for you to remember, Montag, is we're the Happiness Boys, the Dixie Duo, you and I and the others. We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought. We have our fingers in the dike. Hold steady. Don't let the torrent of melancholy and drear philosophy drown our world. We depend on you. I don't think you realize how important you are, we are, to our happy world as it stands now.
We're going to meet a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and the next year. And when they ask us what we're doing, you can say, We're remembering. That's where we'll win out in the long run. And someday we'll remember so much that we'll build the biggest goddamn steamshovel in history and dig the biggest grave of all time and shove war in it and cover it up.
My gosh, if you're going away, we got a million things to talk about! All the things we would've talked about next month, the month after! Praying mantises, zeppelins, acrobats, sword swallowers!
Digression is the soul of wit. Take the philosophic asides away from Dante, Milton or Hamlet's father's ghost and what stays is dry bones.
More Ray Bradbury Quotations (Based on Topics)
Books - World - Time - Thought & Thinking - Life - Night - Mind - People - Man - Death & Dying - Idea - God - Education - Majority & Minority - Love - Sleep - Fire - Running - Writing - View All Ray Bradbury Quotations
More Ray Bradbury Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Dandelion Wine
- Fahrenheit 451
- Something Wicked This Way Comes
- The Martian Chronicles
Voltaire - Thomas Kuhn - T. H. White - Robert Louis Stevenson - Oliver Wendell Holmes - Mitch Albom - Karen Armstrong - Bram Stoker - Bernardo Bertolucci - Arthur C. Clarke