IUPUI’s Bradbury center director mourns loss of ‘mythmaker’

The real power of Ray Bradbury’s writing, according to IUPUI professor Jonathan Eller, comes from his “vision as a mythmaker, the edginess and the emotional impact and the rich metaphors of the earlier work.”

Jonathan Eller

News of Bradbury’s death spread quickly earlier this week, with many — including the Indianapolis Business Journal’s Lou Harry and The Indianapolis Star — joining Eller in mourning the late author. Bradbury died June 5 in Los Angeles at the age of 91.

Eller is director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, which opened in 2007 to provide an archive for Bradbury’s writings and a library of related reference books in the fields of fantasy and science fiction. The center is a research unit within the Institute for American Thought in the School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The center publishes an annual journal, and Eller is the author of “Becoming Ray Bradbury,” a biography of the author’s early years.

I’ll never forget reading “Fahrenheit 451.” As a young bibliophile, I was horrified by the idea of people burning books. And I cried after reading his most recent essay in the New Yorker, detailing how he wrote “The Fire Balloons” as a tribute to his grandfather.

Our world will be dimmer and smaller without you, Mr. Bradbury. Farewell, and thank you.

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