Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Views on Life, by two great writers, and frivolities

Neil Gaiman Addresses the University of the Arts Class of 2012

Neil Gaiman [link] is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films (like, really, the guy has done almost everything). His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. But… let the man tell you himself, not me:

Terry Pratchett on Religion

Sir Terry Pratchett [link] is an English novelist, who “ocassionaly gets accused of literature”. He is best known for his popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels. the Discworld started running in 1983 and is still going strong, with 39 novels. He writes an average of two books a year, and suffers form Alzheimer’s disease.

That was the Wikipedia bit. On with the personal. Terry Pratchett is a Genius. Although the Discworld is officially ‘fantasy’ (because of course, the moment you have a dragon you are a fantasy writer) it draws inspiration from any and everything in the world. “Classic” Fantasy books gave birth to Rincewind the Wizard [link], Crime books to the City Watch [link], a ruffle with Hollywood made Moving Pictures [link] happen, and human perception in general created Death, the antropomorphic personification in shape of a walking skeleton – scythe and all that rides a white horse named Binky [link].

The Discworld is a “magical world in the shape of a disc which – as in certain well-known ancient cosmologies – is mounted on top of four giant elephants which are standing on a giant turtle, Great A’Tuin.” Take that. In the Discworld there are gods and magical things that can only be in existence if people believe in them (Small Gods [link]) and regarding that, he got asked about his own religion in The Guardian Book Club. Click on the image for his answer.

As a random pimp, here’s one of my favourite excerpts of one of my favourite books by Pratchett:

This is where the dragons went.

They lie…

Not dead, not asleep. Not waiting, because waiting implies expectation. Possibly the word we’re looking for here is…

… dormant

And although the space they occupy isn’t like normal space, nevertheless they are packed in tightly. Not a cubic inch there but is filled is filled by a claw, a talon, a scale, the tip of tail, so the effect is like one of those trick drawings and your eyeballs eventually realize that the space between each dragon is, in fact, another dragon.

They could put you in mind of a can of sardines if you thought sardines were huge and scaly and proud and arrogant.

And presumably, somewhere, there’s the key.

Terry Pratchett – Guards! Guards! [link]

(I shall refrain here from pointing out the amount of adverbs. Honestly.)

Frivolities!!

I came across chocolate bars with quotes on them. How awesome can that be?? [link] I want one! Because as Charles M. Schulz once said “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt”.

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4 responses to “Views on Life, by two great writers, and frivolities

  1. Denise June 7, 2012 at 09:20

    all those adverbs must be why he is only sometimes accused of literature! But a Pratchett without adverbs would be like… Shakespeare without the sexual implications.