And Bradbury continues working, churning out one short story per week, as he has since the mid-1930s: a 90-year-old man beavering away with the enthusiasm and imagination of a teenager. It’s what he loves: life and literature. Follow the love of your life.
“Literature of escape,” Bradbury’s work is sometimes called with a sneer. But then, as Tolkien once observed, who other than jailers are fearfully preoccupied with escape? Kirk wrote that the ideologue, in particular, denounces “escape” because he is a prisoner of his own political obsessions, and misery loves company.
“Bradbury’s stories,” Kirk wrote, “are not an escape from reality; they are windows looking upon enduring reality” — the reality of normative truth glimpsed through wonder. On the occasion of his 90th birthday, Bradbury deserves the nation’s appreciation as one of its most accomplished and imaginative writers, a national treasure.
– James E. Person Jr. is a longtime book reviewer and the author of Russell Kirk: A Critical Biography of a Conservative Mind (Madison Books) and Earl Hamner: From Walton’s Mountain to Tomorrow(Cumberland House Books).