Thursday, March 1

ray & my mom

I had to stop reading "Dandelion Wine" the other night when I got to the part about The Lonely One because it was too late in the evening (or shall I say morning) and I get scared way too easily.

So I flipped back to the introduction instead. I don't know what it is about me (eagerness? excitement? plain ol' anticipation?) but I never have the patience to read introductions to books. I like to cut to the chase, which is the first sentence of the first chapter.

In lieu of the "Lonely One" segment, I read "Just This Side Of Byzantium: An Introduction." And I'm so happy I did. Mr. Bradbury himself wrote the essay. I loved this part, about finding beauty in the mundane, which I am lately really big on, as I play around more and more with my camera and write about my mostly-average-but- special-to-me life:

I was amused and 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 old 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 we happen on later and become self-conscious about. Counting boxcars is a prime activity of boys. Their elders fret and fume and jeer at the train that holds them up, but boys happily count and cry the names of the cars as they pass from far places.

My mom is one of Ray's "genetic enchanters," and I think it's a gift. Luckily, a little of it rubbed off (genetically) on me. No wonder "Dandelion Wine" is her favorite.


tiffany said...

Ali, I bought a used copy of this book a few weeks ago on your recommendation. I just started it a few nights ago, and I am loving it. It is the perfect remedy to my winter disdain. The imagery is so convincing, I feel like it's summer again. Wahoo!

Thanks for the recommendation, and for being a genetic-enchanter. :)

jamieanne said...

Pam (mom) is truly the ultimate genetic enchanter. But I believe her terminology is the word "tres charmant." Same idea, different word.