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WOSSNAME -- JULY 2005 -- PART 2 OF 4 (continued)

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  • JSCHAUM111@aol.com
    WOSSNAME -- JULY 2005 -- PART 2 OF 4 (continued) ... oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ====Part 2 5) PRATCHETT vs. ROWLING Article from
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 5, 2005
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      WOSSNAME -- JULY 2005 -- PART 2 OF 4 (continued)

      ====Part 2


      Article from BBC news:

      Pratchett anger at Rowling's rise

      Terry Pratchett is the author of the best-selling Discworld series
      Author Terry Pratchett has complained that the status of Harry Potter author
      JK Rowling is being elevated "at the expense of other writers".
      Pratchett, one of the UK's most successful novelists with 40 million books
      sold, said the media ignores the achievements of other fantasy authors.

      He also took a sideswipe at Rowling for saying she did not realise Harry
      Potter was fantasy until it was published.

      His comments came on Rowling's 40th birthday, also Harry Potter's birthday.

      In a recent interview with Time magazine, Rowling said she was "not a huge
      fan of fantasy" and was trying to "subvert" the genre.

      JK Rowling recently launched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
      The magazine also said Rowling reinvented fantasy fiction, which was
      previously stuck in "an idealised, romanticised, pseudofeudal world, where
      knights and ladies morris-dance to Greensleeves".

      Pratchett, whose first fantasy novel was published 34 years ago, wrote to
      the Sunday Times saying the genre had always been "edgy and inventive".

      "Ever since The Lord of the Rings revitalised the genre, writers have played
      with it, reinvented it, subverted it and bent it to their times," he wrote.

      "It has also contained come of the very best, most accessible writing for
      children, by writers who seldom get the acknowledgement they deserve."

      He also expressed surprise at Rowling's comments that she only realised
      Harry Potter was fantasy after the first book was published.

      "I'm not the world's greatest expert," he wrote.

      "But I would have thought that the wizards, witches, trolls, unicorns,
      hidden worlds, jumping chocolate frogs, owl mail, magic food, ghosts,
      broomsticks and spells would have given her a clue?"

      Rowling's latest book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, sold almost
      nine million copies in the UK and US in its first 24 hours of release on 16

      Meanwhile, Rowling celebrated reaching 40 on Sunday, the same day she has
      given as her young creation's birthday.

      The author's website displayed pictures of a birthday cake and birthday card
      with the words: "Happy birthday Harry Potter."

      Fans have been trying to deduce how old he is, with one site saying the boy
      wizard has now turned 25.

      To the Editor:

      I don't understand all this 'Potter better than Discworld'and vice versa
      stuff -- why does it matter? I read both, I enjoy reading both, that's the
      end of it. I also enjoy reading James Herriot books, and Michael
      Crichton books, but I don't compare them with Pterry...

      -- Fiona

      To the Editor:

      Exactly, can't compare the two, as I said before. It's like saying "my
      god, Terry's work is like so much better than the Yellow Pages"....lol

      -- Hania Trzaskowski

      To the Editor:

      That's a good example. Hands up anyone who thinks reading the Yellow
      Pages will be as entertaining, mind-opening and interesting as reading
      even the *least* of PTerry's books?

      [pin drops]

      What was that sound???

      But seriously... I would be the last person to put people down for
      liking Harry Potter books. I like lots of things that I cheerfully
      admit aren't particularly good, but they make me happy. If people get
      enjoyment out of Harry Potter books, I cheer them on and am glad for

      But I do get annoyed when people mistake "I like it" for "it is great
      quality". Judging the quality of a book is not an arbitrary matter of
      taste, like choosing between lamb and beef, or red and yellow roses.
      There are some arbitrary elements, of course, but quality is not
      entirely a matter of taste.

      When it comes to books, there are such things as humour (do the jokes
      work?), cliches (the fewer the better), grammar, originality, does the
      work expand your mind, does it make you think, is it easy to read or do
      you have to struggle to get past each sentence?

      Does the author cheat? Is the resolution of the problem the natural
      consequence of the events that occured, or is it a deus ex machina? Are
      the sppeling erorrs deliberate?

      Are the characters believable? Are they sympathetic when they need to
      be? If the character changes, are their reasons for that change, or is
      the author just playing games?

      Does the author succeed in convincing the reader to suspend disbelief?
      Does the book just trudge half-heartedly over the same old ground over
      and over again? Is it pretentious? And so on.

      I think that, deep in their hearts, most people understand this. They
      damn Harry Potter with faint praise: "The books are really good, for
      children's books." Um, yeah. Notice that we don't have to say that
      about Terry Pratchett's children's books like the Johhny series or the
      two Tiffany Aching books.

      Nobody says "A Hat Full Of Sky is really good, for a children's book."
      Instead they say, "Don't let the fact that it is marketed as a
      children's book fool you, A Hat Full Of Sky is really good."

      While I'm watching Harvey Birdman Attorney At Law, or reading Groo the
      Wanderer comics, or even listening to The Strokes or Deep Forest, my
      enjoyment is not in the least reduced by my understanding that while
      they are fun, they aren't especially very good.

      -- Steven D'Aprano

      To the Editor:

      For goodness sakes, the market is different - one is geared towards
      children, the other to fantasy fans.

      I'm not really sure that is relevent. And it certainly doesn't explain
      the obsession so many adults have with Harry Potter -- and let's not
      even touch on the middle-aged matrons writing thousands of pages of
      Harry/Draco, Harry/Snape, Harry/Ron, and Harry/Dobby slash fiction.

      -- Steven D'Aprano

      To the Editor:

      I hereby refuse to believe that there is Harry/Dobby slashfic.

      -- Mogg

      Editor's note:

      My feeling is that both Terry and Rowling are geniuses, and
      cannot be compared with each other. For what it's worth, in Florence,
      Italy, during the Renaissance, the Cathedral held a contest to select
      the design for the doors of the Baptistery. Several of the top artists
      of the time entered the contest, which was won by a 20-year old
      sculptor named Ghiberti. He beat out, among others, the great
      Brunellschi designer of the magnificent dome of the Duomo. Did this
      mean that the other artists lacked talent. Hardly. They were some of
      the guiding lights of the Renaissance whose works are in many of
      the top museums today.

      To say that Pratchett is better than Rowling is like saying that
      Raphael is "better" than Michaelangelo, or Leonardo da Vinci is
      better than Botticelli. Such statements are just meaningless noises.

      I've been reading fantasy since 1940 or so, and I do not make
      such distinctions any more. If a book in our genre is good, it
      is good, and so are many others. If everyone liked the same
      thing, there would be one library with one book in it.

      Great authors, like fine wines, should be appreciated and praised.
      Comparing one against another is a waste of time, and demeans
      the critic. Our best people should be celebrated and cherished.

      -- Joe Schaumburger

      End of Part 2, says my computer -- continued on Part 3 of 4
      If you did not get all 4 parts, write: jschaum111@...

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