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Terry Pratchet

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  • David Lenander
    Hm. I didn t find Ms. Jenkins comments (in Michael s quotation) all that bad, even though some of them seemed silly or simply wrong to me. Personally, I
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 17, 2002
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      Hm. I didn't find Ms. Jenkins' comments (in Michael's quotation) all that
      bad, even though some of them seemed silly or simply wrong to me.
      Personally, I don't think Tolkien is always that great at dialogue--I
      noticed it recently more than ever before as I read out loud to my daughter
      from LOTR. (We're somewhere in book 3, just arriving at Meduseld).

      While Moorcock (once an ardent Tolkien fan) and China Mieville and Philip
      Pullman and Pratchett can feel a need to slay their literary father out of
      "anxiety of influence" maybe they have to do this out of some personal need
      to escape the long shadow of the Lonely Mountain in trying to write their
      own fiction. All of these writers have done some terrific work, well worth
      reading. Tolkien has no less illustrious defenders, and he not only endured
      worse in life, he also sometimes unfairly attacked other writers' good work
      (as I think David Bratman once jokingly said, "Tolkien hated everything)"
      and David (or whomever it was) could almost have been speaking in dead
      earnest. I wonder if Moorcock's change of heart may partly come out of his
      loyalty to Mervyn Peake, a feeling that this truly amazing writer is so
      neglected while the comparatively "simple" Tolkien is so celebrated and
      financially successful. I think much of the resentment of Harry Potter is
      partly fueled by this feeling (which I can't help sharing in a little,
      myself--when I consider the poverty in which some truly fine writers exist,
      compared with the fabulous financial rewards accorded to Rowling, which
      really do seem out of proportion to the modest writing achievement--but
      that's the system, it really doesn't reward merit in writing or intention or
      anything other than sales, procured however. And I've bought and read and
      even enjoyed the Harry Potter books, too. But do give _Amazing Maurice_ a
      try, or how about Kara Dalkey's lovely _Little Sister_ books, or the grim
      and beautiful book by Michael Cadnum, RAVEN OF THE WAVES, which I thought
      too little a fantasy to make the final MFA cut this year, but which
      certainly deserves to be read and noticed. I wonder if this isn't a book
      that even Tolkien might have approved. (He probably would've hated _Amazing
      Maurice_, and I'll bet that _The Amber Spyglass_ would have upset him
      greatly, and not just for its artistic failure).

      In particular, I'm curious to know if Pratchet won the Carnegie for his
      recent _the Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents_, which was an
      absolutely marvelous book, that I voted to include on the final MFA ballot.
      It's so far above the dreadful _Amber Spyglass_ that I think the Carnegie
      Medal may be redeemed. (when I said that Philip Pullman had written good
      stuff, I wasn't including that book--try _The Ruby in the Smoke_ or even the
      first book in "His Dark Materials" (what a dumb name for the trilogy, by the
      way), _Northern Lights_ (_The Golden Compass_, U.S. title)).

      on 7/16/02 1:14 AM, mythsoc@yahoogroups.com at mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      wrote:


      > Message: 2
      > Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 17:56:01 -0000
      > From: "michael_martinez2" <michael@...>
      > Subject: Terry Pratchett adds Rowling to list of enemies, gets academic
      > support [. . . .]

      -- David Lenander
      293 Selby Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102-1811
      d-lena@... 651-292-8887
    • Croft, Janet B
      David, I agree with you about _The Amazing Maurice_ -- I think it s some of Pratchett s best work, and I do hate to see him say bad things about Tolkien
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 18, 2002
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        David, I agree with you about _The Amazing Maurice_ -- I think it's some of
        Pratchett's best work, and I do hate to see him say bad things about Tolkien
        (although like you I do sometimes cringe at some of the klunkers in
        Tolkien's dialogue; even after I've worn them smooth be reading them for
        30-odd years, some of Aragorn's pronouncements on the way to Weathertop set
        my teeth on edge, and the trading of aphorisms by Gimli and Elrond just
        cries out to be parodized).

        I really enjoy both Tolkien and Pratchett for their different approaches and
        philosophies; sometimes I'm in the mood for Tolkien's purer moral vision,
        and sometimes I prefer Pratchett's worldy cynicism and keen humor. Have you
        read _The Last Hero: A Discworld Fable_, by Pratchett and illustrated by
        Paul Kidby? What did you think of it? (of course I always like anything in
        which the Librarian has a major role...)

        Janet

        -----Original Message-----
        From: David Lenander [mailto:d-lena@...]
        Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2002 1:33 AM
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [mythsoc] Terry Pratchet


        Hm. I didn't find Ms. Jenkins' comments (in Michael's quotation) all that
        bad, even though some of them seemed silly or simply wrong to me.
        Personally, I don't think Tolkien is always that great at dialogue--I
        noticed it recently more than ever before as I read out loud to my daughter
        from LOTR. (We're somewhere in book 3, just arriving at Meduseld).

        While Moorcock (once an ardent Tolkien fan) and China Mieville and Philip
        Pullman and Pratchett can feel a need to slay their literary father out of
        "anxiety of influence" maybe they have to do this out of some personal need
        to escape the long shadow of the Lonely Mountain in trying to write their
        own fiction. All of these writers have done some terrific work, well worth
        reading. Tolkien has no less illustrious defenders, and he not only endured
        worse in life, he also sometimes unfairly attacked other writers' good work
        (as I think David Bratman once jokingly said, "Tolkien hated everything)"
        and David (or whomever it was) could almost have been speaking in dead
        earnest. I wonder if Moorcock's change of heart may partly come out of his
        loyalty to Mervyn Peake, a feeling that this truly amazing writer is so
        neglected while the comparatively "simple" Tolkien is so celebrated and
        financially successful. I think much of the resentment of Harry Potter is
        partly fueled by this feeling (which I can't help sharing in a little,
        myself--when I consider the poverty in which some truly fine writers exist,
        compared with the fabulous financial rewards accorded to Rowling, which
        really do seem out of proportion to the modest writing achievement--but
        that's the system, it really doesn't reward merit in writing or intention or
        anything other than sales, procured however. And I've bought and read and
        even enjoyed the Harry Potter books, too. But do give _Amazing Maurice_ a
        try, or how about Kara Dalkey's lovely _Little Sister_ books, or the grim
        and beautiful book by Michael Cadnum, RAVEN OF THE WAVES, which I thought
        too little a fantasy to make the final MFA cut this year, but which
        certainly deserves to be read and noticed. I wonder if this isn't a book
        that even Tolkien might have approved. (He probably would've hated _Amazing
        Maurice_, and I'll bet that _The Amber Spyglass_ would have upset him
        greatly, and not just for its artistic failure).

        In particular, I'm curious to know if Pratchet won the Carnegie for his
        recent _the Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents_, which was an
        absolutely marvelous book, that I voted to include on the final MFA ballot.
        It's so far above the dreadful _Amber Spyglass_ that I think the Carnegie
        Medal may be redeemed. (when I said that Philip Pullman had written good
        stuff, I wasn't including that book--try _The Ruby in the Smoke_ or even the
        first book in "His Dark Materials" (what a dumb name for the trilogy, by the
        way), _Northern Lights_ (_The Golden Compass_, U.S. title)).

        on 7/16/02 1:14 AM, mythsoc@yahoogroups.com at mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        wrote:


        > Message: 2
        > Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 17:56:01 -0000
        > From: "michael_martinez2" <michael@...>
        > Subject: Terry Pratchett adds Rowling to list of enemies, gets academic
        > support [. . . .]

        -- David Lenander
        293 Selby Ave. St. Paul, MN 55102-1811
        d-lena@... 651-292-8887





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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Stolzi@aol.com
        In a message dated 7/18/2002 1:34:36 AM Central Daylight Time, d-lena@umn.edu ... Whether dumb or not, I will not opine, but I believe he took the phrase from
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 18, 2002
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          In a message dated 7/18/2002 1:34:36 AM Central Daylight Time, d-lena@...
          writes:


          > "His Dark Materials" (what a dumb name for the trilogy, by the
          > way

          Whether dumb or not, I will not opine, but I believe he took the phrase from
          Milton, who perhaps makes better use of it.

          Diamond Proudbrook


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • michael_martinez2
          ... It may cry out to be parodized, but Tolkien s dialogue is superb, and you have clearly missed what he was trying to achieve with it (a criticism only of
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 18, 2002
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            --- In mythsoc@y..., "Croft, Janet B" <jbcroft@o...> wrote:
            > David, I agree with you about _The Amazing Maurice_ -- I think it's
            > some of Pratchett's best work, and I do hate to see him say bad
            > things about Tolkien (although like you I do sometimes cringe at
            > some of the klunkers in Tolkien's dialogue; even after I've worn
            > them smooth be reading them for 30-odd years, some of Aragorn's
            > pronouncements on the way to Weathertop set my teeth on edge, and
            > the trading of aphorisms by Gimli and Elrond just cries out to be
            > parodized).

            It may cry out to be parodized, but Tolkien's dialogue is superb, and
            you have clearly missed what he was trying to achieve with it (a
            criticism only of your perception).

            I doubt if anyone alive today could write dialogue like Tolkien's and
            pull it off so well.

            He understood what he was doing far better than most people, and he
            seemed amused in one of his letters when someone tried to take him to
            task for that dialogue.

            He was, after all, inventing idiom for languages which didn't exist,
            and expressing that idiom through modern English. Let Terry Pratchet
            and Michael Moorcock choke all they wish, neither of them is capable
            of duplicating Tolkien's eloquent dialogue, no matter how clunky it
            may seem to Tolkien's most ardent admirables.

            As Frank Herbert might have said, when it comes to Tolkien's writing,
            there were wheels within wheels within spokes....

            Long live Aragorn's name-in-a-speech: "Elendil! I am Aragorn son of
            Arathorn, and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dunadan, the heir of
            Isildur Elendil's son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken
            and is forged again!"

            God, I'd love to see Viggo pull that off in the next movie. It might
            make for a good line party contest.

            It's not the dialogue that is the problem. It's the setting, and
            only Tolkien could really envision it as he intended. The rest of us
            have to grope for the rhythms and inflections.
          • michael_martinez2
            ... And I say that as one admirable to another. Move the flyt into the folde, now, if you please. Loki is waiting for his turn at the wheel.
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 18, 2002
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              --- In mythsoc@y..., "michael_martinez2" <michael@x> wrote:
              >
              > He was, after all, inventing idiom for languages which didn't
              > exist, and expressing that idiom through modern English. Let Terry
              > Pratchet and Michael Moorcock choke all they wish, neither of them
              > is capable of duplicating Tolkien's eloquent dialogue, no matter
              > how clunky it may seem to Tolkien's most ardent admirables.

              And I say that as one admirable to another.

              Move the flyt into the folde, now, if you please. Loki is waiting
              for his turn at the wheel.
            • michael_martinez2
              Well, I don t really owe him this courtesy, but it appears that Terry Pratchett was taken to task over this article by members of the Tolkien flame
              Message 6 of 6 , Jul 28, 2002
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                Well, I don't really owe him this courtesy, but it appears that Terry
                Pratchett was taken to task over this article by members of the
                Tolkien flame groups...er, news groups, over the past few weeks. He
                has stated he was misquoted or something.

                I mention that for the sake of completeness, although I did not
                bother to ask him about an article he wrote last year.

                I would not recommend searching for the thread as there were well
                over 400 messages when I last scanned it. I have no idea of how many
                flames there were. I draw enough of those in my own right I have no
                need to go looking for more <g>.

                'Nuff said.
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