Ray Bradbury: Genius of the Short Story Form [S-15-48]

Presenter: Frank Palumbo
Location: SUNY: Kellas 217
Classes: 3 Sessions 1.5 hours
Dates: Wed 10:30 AM 03/11, 03/18, 03/25
Status: CLOSED

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This class will focus on Ray Bradbury’s life as a writer of American Literature’s most engaging genre: the Short Story. Topics include: background anecdotes, early influences, and the literary vision from which Mr. Bradbury’s short stories evolved. Selections presented in the sessions will offer an overview of the incredible range of styles Mr. Bradbury’s writings encompassed – from his earliest pulp stories to the classic tales for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in Art for his lifetime achievement. We will focus on approximately twenty of Mr. Bradbury’s most striking short stories. Cap: 18

Frank Palumbo has taught over two hundred works by Ray Bradbury as an English teacher in the Gouverneur School District, as a distance learning sci-fi instructor, and as a SOAR presenter. Frank, along with his family and students, maintained close communications with Ray Bradbury for over fifteen years. (In 2009, the Palumbo family traveled cross-country to join in the celebration of Ray Bradbury’s 89th birthday in Glendale, California. Frank has taught the SOAR class “Karate for All Ages: Fitness, Energy and Personal Safety.” He is a Master Black Belt Instructor of American Kang Duk Won Karate.

LINK to .pdf of COURSE OUTLINE AND ASSIGNMENTS + WEB SITES

LINKS to the web sites alluded to above:

http://www.raybradbury.com/ - Ray Bradbury http://www.bradburymedia.co.uk/ -Bradbury Media http://www.spaceagecity.com/bradbury/bio.htm - Ray Bradbury Online
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001969/ - Internet Movie Database - info on Ray Bradbury
http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?194 - Ray Bradbury - Summary Bibliography

READING LIST: “There Will Come Soft Rains,” “The Jar,” “The Leave Taking,” “The Pedestrian.” “John Huff,” “Cat’s Pajamas,” “The Sound of Thunder,” “Town Where Nobody Got Off,” “The Lake,” “The Big Black and White Game,” “Picasso Summer,” “The Dragon,” “The Flying Machine,” “Usher II,” “The Exiles,” “The Happiness Machine,” “Anthem Sprinters,” “The Veldt,” “To the Chicago Abyss,” “One More for the Road,” “The Murderer,” “Great Wide World over There” “All Summer in a Day” “The Banshee "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh," “Sound of Summer Running,” “Time Intervening.”

NOTE: Participants may bring their own collections of Ray Bradbury’s works to class; Frank also has some collected copies for class use. Some good collections of Ray's stories: The Stories of Ray Bradbury, Golden Apples of the Sun, Dandelion Wine, One More for the Road, Martian Chronicles, Illustrated Man.

SESSION 1 on 3/11

  • Introductory discussion related to Mr. Bradbury's many exchanges with class instructor Frank Palumbo
  • Review of materials from personal library of items received over the years (books, photos, letters, etc.)
  • Reading of passages: “John Huff” and “Sound of Summer Running” to familiarize participants with the author's style, images, and poetic narration.
  • Video of a Ray Bradbury short story Discussion, handout of an outline related to assigned readings for week #2

SESSION 2 on 3/18

  • Open discussion on any stories from suggested titles
  • Review of the assigned short stories from session one BE SURE AND LOOK AT THESE: - "All Summer in a Day" (bullying at its worst); - "The Big Black and White Game" (Pre-Harper Lee story of racial segregation) Some links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darktown_Strutters%27_Ball (background details) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IP0SEXvhTDU (song in the story) - "The Leave Taking"
  • Biographic texts passed around and discussed related to Mr. Bradbury's development as a writer
  • Discussion of selected stories (from class members).
  • Reading aloud: "The Leave Taking" Video of a Ray Bradbury video
  • Discussion, handout of an outline related to assigned readings for week

SESSION 3 on 3/25

  • Open discussion on short stories from session 2 or any of the extra readings from suggested titles
  • You'll have a chance to view items from RB over the years 1996-2012.
  • Ray Bradbury's influence on American Literature, Hollywood movies, Music, and NASA
  • Final exchanges from class participants on their reading of RB stories


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