Thursday, September 25, 2014

Gaiman on Pratchett: "Terry Pratchett isn't jolly. He's Angry"

I promised myself to write more often, but truth is, these days I am just trying to find more time for sleep. So here's a piece from Neil Gaiman, on Terry Pratchett and the inner rage that drove his writings. They have been friends for a while now, even wrote a book together, which was hilarious. The worldknows about Pratchett's decline because of early on-set Alzheimer's. As a fan of his books, this saddens me, because it's a disease that will gradually strips one of their dignity before the end.

This essay by Gaiman shares something about Pratchett that I have always believed in - that there's something serious and earnest behind his books.

Terry looked at me. He said: “Do not underestimate this anger. This anger was the engine that powered Good Omens.” I thought of the driven way that Terry wrote, and of the way that he drove the rest of us with him, and I knew that he was right.

There is a fury to Terry Pratchett’s writing: it’s the fury that was the engine that powered Discworld

This rage that Gaiman describes, seems to me a symptom of a sense of injustice; things should be better, ought to be better. People should know better, ought to do better - but we often fail. I see it in the moments of sad acceptance in Granny Weatherwax and Tiffany Aching - characters who have enough wisdom and courage to see the truth about human nature, yet somehow found something precious within themselves to continue to care. I always believe that people gets truly angry because they care.

This is why I love Pratchett's writings: the moral outrage in his writings that's cleverly disguised as "low-brow" humour. The humanity and heart in them.

I also have a parent at home with early on-set Alzheimer's. I can't bring myself to wish that he gets better, because I know that's an empty hope at the moment. It will only get worse. We are losing one of our greatest mind. That is a tragedy.

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