Bradbury: 100 Years on the Memory of the Machine

By Jorge Inzunza, August 22nd, 2020

Green Town belongs to the imagination of literary cities around the world. All of them are located in coordinates hidden in the libraries of the world. Green Town has touches of Arkham and Macondo. It overlooks a lake that resembles an ocean, with mermaids that stand spellbound by a beacon in the night.

It is a small city, but connected to the great metropolis thanks to its rails. Trains travel back in time to meet knights in rusty armors, melancholic moons and dinosaurs.

During the day, we can walk through the center of the city. In the evening, you can go to see “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” with Lon Chaney and appreciate his scenes that ruffle the hairs on our necks. When leaving the movie theatre, one can find the main performers of the carnival calling the spectators to attend.

In Green Town, the crickets of the night call out to the witches and specters from the graveyard. These beings live alongside mortals and from time to time communicate with animals and children. Sometimes they shine at night and look like stars fallen from a crooked tree. Other times they can be confused with the opaque lines of the spaceships that desperately lead humans to colonize Mars.

The old city library stands as a dark block overlooking the lake. You have to climb a couple of steps, push the heavy door and breathe that air of millions of years that penetrates your lungs. There dwells the most sinister being of all. His skin is like that of a snake, but they are not scales, they are hundreds of tattoos made by a witch of the north. Each of the tattoos is a dream, a nightmare, an unconscious automatic writing, a creative hypnosis, an explosion of darkness and sparkles. These stories subjugate. Words become permanent sores in the memory of the listeners.

In one of the houses in the city, a couple of children are lying on the kitchen floor with their ears pressed to the floorboards. They listen carefully. The sound is like a slow, then agitated purr. It is the voice of the grandfather telling stories on the porch of the house.

In a city room, an old man hunches over his typewriter. Behind his glasses, his eyes have been fixed on a small Egyptian sarcophagus. His fingers have been writing since he was a newspaper boy. At age 12, he received a typewriter and it was like a prescription that led him to write even after his death. Now, made a ghost of Green Town, with calluses and osteoarthritis, he continues to hammer every key to publish his fables.

The Chronicles of Green Town has resisted the age of censorship and the pyromaniac impulse of governments. They may invent new technological screens and high-speed vehicles, but the ghost of the writer will always be there, manufacturing poetic storms in his laboratory.

Then, we will hear the fullness of his deep voice, telling us that “Green Town, lives forever.”

In 2012, I visited for the first time Waukegan, Ray Bradbury’s hometown.

Published by Jorge

Psychologist, educational researcher, dual language teacher, PhD in Education, and writer of children books.

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