In it, among other things, Timberg wonders why it was California where science fiction writers flourished. He concludes that it was because there was no literary elite or hierarchy to disapprove of the genre.
Reminds me of Tijuana in the 1950s through the 1980s, where lots of poor people could join the middle class because there was no wealthy class controlling opportunity as there was in the long-established cities of Mexico’s interior.
Timberg sees a California vibe in Bradbury’s stories about Martians, and notes the author was a young autograph hound, with no college education, who wrote his first stuff on butcher paper, and Fahrenheit 451 on a UCLA library typewriter into which he had to keep pumping dimes.
“Libraries raised me,” Bradbury is quoted as saying. “I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries.”
Here, she talks about writing an essay on the legends surrounding Maximilian, the Austrian emperor that Mexico imported to rule it for a few years in the 1800s — which has to be itself one of the weirdest chapters in the history of any country.
Then they set him before a firing squad and that was that. Except that his body was embalmed and put on display for a while. His wife, Carlotta, died many decades later.
I’m hoping C.M. writes that essay, since in the duel between legend and fact, legend is usually more interesting. In another life, she was an economist who wrote a lot about informal methods of savings/finance. Now she does other stuff.