Last night, I began reading Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. Ah, it does me good to reunite with a favorite author from my youth! However, I do notice that with age I am more likely to read an author’s introduction. When I was a teen, I did not have the patience for introductions – it was dive into the novel, full speed ahead with the plot, onwards with characters development.
Happily, I found the following gem, my reward for taking the time to read Mr. Bradbury’s introduction:
I was amused and somewhat astonished at a critic a few years back who wrote an article analyzing Dandelion Wine plus the more realistic works of Sinclair Lewis, wondering how I could have been born and raised in Waukegan, which I renamed Green Town for my novel, and not noticed how ugly the harbor was and how depressing the coal docks and railyards down below the town.
But, of course, I had noticed them and, genetic enchanter that I was, was fascinated by their beauty. Trains and boxcars and the smell of coal and fire are not ugly to children. Ugliness is a concept that we happen on later and become self-conscious about.
Genetic Enchanter…oh gawd, I love that phrase! Could it be possible that I am one? Could it mean that I, in some tickle-my-fancy manner, bear the slightest of kinship to the likes of a Ray Bradbury?