Witches Abroad Essays

Witches Abroad Essays-53
It is that sense of fairness that underlies Terry’s work and his writing…” Put in this light, it makes sense.Much of the time, Pratchett’s humor is pointed at skewering hypocrisy and stupidity, and demonstrating the cleverness of unlikely and marginalized characters.

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Or to put it another way, anger is the engine that drives him, but it is the greatness of spirit that deploys that anger on the side of the angels, or better yet for all of us…”Reading this made me realize that another crucial aspect of Terry Pratchett’s writing that I’ve always appreciated is that basic sense of humanity. Let’s face it, any particularly intelligent and witty writer can tend to become a bit of a self-righteous ass, sitting in superiority over the rest of mankind. Byatt says in her forward to his short fiction collection A Blink of the Screen, “[Pratchett] gets more and more attached to his characters, who become more and more complicated—consider the way in which Captain Vimes grows from being a drunk in charge of a dysfunctional Night Watch to a commander who can arrest two armies for a breach of peace.

But in Pratchett’s stories there are always those “serious” moments that can unexpectedly and surprisingly touch you as much as the cleverness humors you. He finds it hard to go on disliking characters.”Now that Terry has gone from us, I’m somewhat comforted by the fact that I still have many Discworld books to read and enjoy, but I’ll miss the potential stories and characters that will never see the light of day.

At the time I happened to be in the middle of reading one of his Discworld novels, Unseen Academicals.

The sad news led me to recall my first encounter with his stories, and the impact they’ve had on my life.

It was a strange, magical, flat world, populated by wizards, dwarfs and trolls, replete with dragons and barbarian heroes.

In turn, this world was perched atop four enormous elephants, themselves standing atop a giant star-turtle swimming through the galactic void.

They introduce its idiosyncratic societal peculiarities, geographies and some recurring characters.

All are brought to life and framed by Terry’s wit and irreverence and presented in a uniquely original style: no chapters, many puns, twisted takes on the contemporary presented in less than contemporary environs and frequent forays into footnotes, which meander through humorous observation parallel to the main story.

Back in 1983, Terry was working full-time and writing in his spare time.

When he created the Discworld, Pratchett simply couldn’t have foreseen how things would evolve.

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