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Terry Pratchett adds Rowling to list of enemies, gets academic support

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  • michael_martinez2
    Terry Pratchett finally got a Carnegie Medal for children s literature. In receiving his award, he blasted Tolkien once again: In a clear reference to
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 15, 2002
      Terry Pratchett finally got a Carnegie Medal for children's
      literature. In receiving his award, he blasted Tolkien once again:

      "In a clear reference to Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings trilogy, he
      said: 'Far more beguiling than the idea that evil can be destroyed by
      throwing a piece of expensive jewellery into a volcano is the
      possibility that evil can be defused by talking.'"

      He also took on J.R. Rowling and the poor Harry Potter books.

      Now, Pratchett's Tolkien-bashing is becoming old hat, but the article
      where I found the above comment is accompanied by one of those
      academic Tolkien bashers I have so ardently insisted are figments of
      people's 1950s experiences <sheepish grin>:

      Cited from:
      http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/entertainment.cfm?id=754152002
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------
      AUTHORS WITH FANTASTIC STYLES

      FANTASY has an extremely long history; it goes back to the middle
      ages, writes Dr Alice Jenkins. Yet the genre has split into so many
      directions, the label "fantasy" is perhaps inadequate to hold them
      all together.

      Terry Pratchett began by spoofing the conventions of fantasy fiction.
      He took wizards and put them into real-world conversations.
      Interactions are based on money, food - things that don't get talked
      about in fantasy fiction.

      He also deals with questions of social justice and how societies
      work. In Jingo, two large civilisations clash over a tiny island,
      which then disappears into the sea. It's about the futility of
      conflict. Small Gods is a hostile attack on organised religion.

      Pratchett deals with real-world questions with humour. In this sense,
      he is likened to Jonathan Swift. He is becoming increasingly
      satirical, using the mechanisms of fantasy in a fairly subversive
      way.

      JRR Tolkien creates a very profound moral cosmos without much of a
      direct connection to the real world, although many have read The Lord
      of the Rings as an allegory of Hitler.

      Tolkien was imbued with a sense of justice; how to be a good person,
      the nature of evil. He gives a sense of real evil, whereas, for
      Pratchett, most people are somewhere between good and bad.

      Tolkien believes in absolute evil but also shows absolute evil being
      destroyed.

      He creates a world without culture or manners. It is based purely on
      moral drama. He poses fairly profound questions, such as what can an
      ordinary person do in the face of great evil?

      Pratchett takes up some big questions and considers what kind of
      conversations people would have. He has a wonderful ear for dialogue.
      Tolkien's dialogue is just to move the plot along.

      JK Rowling has learned a lot from Terry Pratchett . She tries to
      represent pure evil, but because she doesn't have Tolkien's profound
      commitment to a moral universe, her notion of evil is rather trivial.
      Many readers are disconcerted by her return to hierarchical and
      traditional social values. She marks a return to fictional values
      which are not seen in Pratchett.

      Dr Alice Jenkins is a lecturer in English literature at Glasgow
      University
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------

      Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but how academics
      can write nonsense like this (and I realize it's being filtered
      through the media, so Jenkins' comments MIGHT have been distorted,
      but I don't think so -- not in this case) is beyond me. One should
      at least ATTEMPT to read a work before commenting on it, in my humble
      opinion.

      This is the first time I can remember anyone saying Tolkien did not
      have a way with dialogue. And since Tolkien himself denied the
      existence of absolute evil, clearly the Glasgow lecturer is not
      putting all the pieces together. Mr. "Nothing is evil in the
      beginning, not even Sauron" Tolkien has been reduced to a handful of
      convenient detrimental assertions for the sake of -- apparently --
      boosting the posture of the zany Mr. Pratchett.


      But, you know, in my opinion, book sales speak volumes. Pratchett
      has certainly sold millions more books than I have, but Tolkien and
      Rowling could eat him for breakfast. I think that is the crux of Mr.
      Pratchett's continued venting toward Tolkien (and now Rowling).
    • Bill
      I agree wholeheartedly. I m tired of Pratchett and Moorcock and others of their views pounding away at Tolkien, sneering at phat fantasy and bleating about
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 15, 2002
        I agree wholeheartedly.
        I'm tired of Pratchett and Moorcock and others of their
        views pounding away at Tolkien, sneering at "phat fantasy"
        and bleating about how much more superior their view of
        fantasy is than that of Tolkien or Lewis.
        If they patted themselves on the back any harder, they'd
        knock themselves over on their faces, as my dad used
        to say.
        Small minds, big egos.


        michael_martinez2 wrote:

        > But, you know, in my opinion, book sales speak volumes. Pratchett
        > has certainly sold millions more books than I have, but Tolkien and
        > Rowling could eat him for breakfast. I think that is the crux of Mr.
        > Pratchett's continued venting toward Tolkien (and now Rowling).
        >
        >
        >
        >
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