Ray Bradbury was born on August 22, 1920.

The celebrated author famously claimed to remember his own birth.

Jonathan R. Eller, director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, writes in the opening of his book Becoming Ray Bradbury:

When he discovered (in his late seventies) that he had been delivered as a ten-month baby, Bradbury felt sure that his memories were the result of heightened development of his senses. He stands ready to argue the point with psychologists of any school and to proclaim his memories with conviction to any audience. These memories—whether imagined or real—surface with great impact in such stories as “The Small Assassin,” one of his best-known weird tales of the 1940s: What if birth trauma can translate into hate during the first hours of life? What if a ten-month baby developed more quickly than the norm, and found the ability to turn on its parents with murderous intent? Is it merely fear projected by a mother who nearly died in childbirth? Or is there really a small movement in the dark at the top of the stairs, carefully planting a toy that sends the mother tumbling to her death?

Eller also attributes the experience of childbirth to other stories that came from the the darker corners of Bradbury’s imagination, including “The Jar” (1944).

 

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