June 7, 2012

Ray Bradbury


How important has your sense of optimism been to your career?


I don’t believe in optimism. I believe in optimal behavior. That’s a different thing. If you behave every day of your life to the top of your genetics, what can you do? Test it. Find out. You don’t know—you haven’t done it yet. You must live life at the top of your voice! At the top of your lungs shout and listen to the echoes. I learned a lesson years ago. I had some wonderful Swedish meatballs at my mother’s table with my dad and my brother and when I finished I pushed back from the table and said, God! That was beautiful. And my brother said, No, it was good. See the difference?

Action is hope. At the end of each day, when you’ve done your work, you lie there and think, Well, I’ll be damned, I did this today. It doesn’t matter how good it is, or how bad—you did it. At the end of the week you’ll have a certain amount of accumulation. At the end of a year, you look back and say, I’ll be damned, it’s been a good year.

Read the entire Ray Bradbury interview at the Paris Review.

posted at 03:11 PM by raul

Filed under: noted


06/11/12 05:20 PM

I am intrigued by this -- thanks for sharing.

Though I'm not sure I can see the difference between "That was beautiful" and "that was good" - could you give us your understanding?

06/28/12 06:31 AM

Yeah, he's right! In Germany we had a famous author and poet called Erich Kästner who said something similar:

»Es gibt nichts Gutes, außer: man tut es.«
(There is nothing good unless you do it).

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