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WOSSNAME -- SPECIAL -- DECEMBER 2009 -- A LETTER AT HOLIDAY SEASON

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  • granny_tude
    WOSSNAME Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion 24th DECEMBER 2009 ********************************************************************* SPECIAL EDITION
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 23, 2009
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      WOSSNAME
      Newsletter of the Klatchian Foreign Legion
      24th DECEMBER 2009
      *********************************************************************

      SPECIAL EDITION DECEMBER 2009: A LETTER AT HOLIDAY SEASON

      *********************************************************************

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      LETTER FROM YOUR EDITOR: THIS TIME, IT'S PERSONAL

      Happy Hogswatch/Christmas/Hanukkah/Yuletide/holiday-of-choice to you
      all!

      This month's issue of WOSSNAME will be somewhat delayed, partly
      owing to the holiday season and partly owing to your Editor being a
      grumpus. But fear not, it shall arrive...eventually...

      First off, some cheering news: Joe Schaumburger ate'nt dead! I
      received a Christmas card and letter from him yesterday. Sadly, his
      health has continued to decline, and in addition to yet more heart
      attacks he had a bout of pneumonia that nearly finished him, but he
      continues to defy doctors' predictions by stubbornly refusing to
      keep his appointment with Bill Door just yet. Joe has been keeping
      up with WOSSNAME, and has asked me to give his holiday greetings and
      best wishes to all you readers out there. Hang in there, Joe!

      In a less cheery vein...it is said, possibly by sages in the
      Trollbone Mountains, that some are born to publish WOSSNAME and some
      have WOSSNAME thrust upon them. As you know, O readers, I fall into
      that latter category. In May of 2007, founder Joe Schaumburger
      became too ill to carry on as chief of WOSSNAME and handed the baton
      to me; I'd already been doing most of the donkey-work for quite some
      time before that, so I knew at least some of the ropes, but at the
      time neither Joe nor I had much hope for the continued existence of
      this monthly newsletter since I, too, have chronic health issues.
      Somehow, with the help of the Newshound Gang -- and for more than a
      year now, Fernando the monthly horoscope writer -- I've managed to
      carry on, getting an issue out every month just as Joe did. I said
      I'd step aside as soon as a proper editor came forth, but none ever
      did, and over the past two and one-half years I think I've turned
      out to be a reasonably proper editor myself.

      But.

      In private life I'm known as someone who never minces words when
      giving an opinion, good *or* bad, and who doesn't suffer fools
      gladly -- but as the editor of WOSSNAME I feel it incumbent upon me
      to look (as impartially as possible) for the good (if any) in
      poorly-presented or agenda-ridden reviews of Terry Pratchett's
      work, and refrain from suggesting that the Assassins' Guild should
      be contacted in regard to certain arts critics... and this month,
      I've found it well-nigh impossible to do so. Oh, I've no cavil with
      legitimate criticisms, but when a reviewer is patently sniffing
      balloon juice or obviously wrong-headed, it's very hard for me to
      hold my temper -- yet slinging brickbats is not what I think
      WOSSNAME is meant to be about.

      Last month we featured several intelligent punter reviews of the
      first performances of Mark Ravenhill's adaptation of Nation at the
      National Theatre, London. Both reviews contained some criticisms of
      the play, but were approving overall, and both reviews were written
      by people whom I know personally and whose judgement I respect. But
      then came an avalanche of press reviews, almost all of them so
      scathing -- and so off-message -- that I'd been avoiding doing my
      editorial duty of by quoting extracts and providing links, because I
      felt the volleys of negativity were too upsetting.

      And guess what? So did the author. So he went to see Nation at the
      National, and got his own review published.

      I entreat you to read Sir Pterry's entire review (see below), and
      bear it in mind as you read the other press reviews in the December
      WOSSNAME when it arrives. Apparently he saw the same play our
      November reviewers did -- and most of the press reviewers didn't,
      from the look of it.

      And now I'm off to partake of Hogswatch cheer. May you enjoy your
      holidays, and here's to a brand new year. And if the December issue
      of WOSSNAME arrives just after the turn of the calendar, we'll see
      you in the Year of the Happy Goose!

      -- Annie Mac


      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


      THE AUTHOR AS THEATRE CRITIC: "LOOK WHAT THEY'VE DONE TO MY BOOK"

      And so it came to pass that Sir Pterry finally saw the National
      Theatre's production of Nation, and wrote about it in The Telegraph.

      Here are some extracts from his review:

      "Last Wednesday, I went to the National Theatre to see the play
      Nation, based on my book, which by a happy coincidence was also
      called Nation. It is, I think, the best book that I have ever
      written or will write; it is certainly the one that took most
      effort... when the play opened to the press two weeks ago, it got
      rather more kicks than plaudits. There was praise for the staging,
      but the play on the whole got such epithets as 'racist',
      'politically correct' and 'fascist', although to be fair, I think
      that whoever said that was probably confused.

      "All this for the play of a book that was universally well-received
      last year and this year won the Printz Medal, given by the American
      Librarians Association and the highest US award for young adult
      literature that it is possible for a British author to win. I know
      some of those librarians. They are tough cookies. Racism, fascism
      and overt PC wouldn't stand a chance...

      "I was so depressed that fellow authors rallied around as a kind of
      small support group to say, 'Don't take any notice of the critics'
      and to remind me that the author doesn't get blamed.

      "So, last week, I walked into the theatre like Wyatt Earp on a
      deceptively quiet street in Tombstone, my finger already on the
      trigger..."


      To read the entire review and see what Pterry thought, go to:

      http://tinyurl.com/ybkt5e2

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