1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Terry pratchett is not a genius

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Steerpike, Sep 4, 2015.

    So says the author of this piece in The Guardian:

    http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2015/aug/31/terry-pratchett-is-not-a-literary-genius

    I will admit I'm not a Pratchett fan. I should be, in theory, because it's the kind of thing I like, but I tried four or five of his and just couldn't read very much of them.

    That said, doesn't it seem odd to write a column making Pratchett a focal point when the author of the column has never read a single one of his works?
     
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  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    What would you expect of the gaurdian?
     
  3. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    That is bizarre. Just a desperate attempt at attention seeking via controversy, I expect.
     
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  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I've seen this. He was attacked for saying basically: 'Pratchett wasn't worth reading, he's so not worth reading I've never even read him myself'. So he wrote a second article after having read one of Pratchett's books where he said, 'Yeah, it's good and I enjoyed it, but it still wasn't good'.

    Here it is:

    http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2015/sep/11/jonathan-jones-ive-read-terry-pratchett-now-its-more-entertainment-than-art?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Facebook

    The man is in short a god-damn idiot. It doesn't surprise me in the least that he says his favourite writer is Gabriel Garcia Marquez. If anyone mentions his name, like they are name dropping, or 100 Years of Solitude, it's usually a 50/50 chance they haven't actually read it. Marquez is used a lot by pretentious people to make themselves seem better read than they actually are. He also says in the second blog that Prachett doesn't try to reach the 'heights' of Henry James - a writer I often find insufferably dull. Spoils of Poynton is perhaps the most boring book I've ever had to read, and I've happily read through some very boring books in my life.

    In that second, follow up article you'll read how Jones thinks boys jerking off to their mothers and fathers makes great literature. Because 'psychological depth 4deep8u'. I've always liked Pratchett - he's not a writer I read carefully, he's funny and he even writes well for someone clearly very conscious of commercial tastes (which, before you think I'm condemning, is not a bad thing in and of itself). But 'literary genius'? Do you only ever want to read 'good books'? How do you know they are 'good books' anyway? Because people tell you they are?

    Yeah, no, I have absolutely no respect for people who like/dislike writers based on their reputation. Read Pratchett before you write a blog saying he's a good/bad writer. Because anything else is incompetence and intellectual dishonesty, and no should pay attention to whatever you have to say then.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
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  5. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is that the abridged version of 100 Years of Solitude?

    :p
     
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  6. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    My mistake. :p:oops:

    Thanks for correcting me, I've changed it. :)
     
  7. Australis
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    Australis Active Member

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    Pratchett's stories are pedestrian. I can say this because I've read several of them.

    To slam his works without reading them is the act of an idiot with a big mouth.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Gorgeous. Love this. Life is made of these moments. :bigwink:
     
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  9. Jared Carter
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    Jared Carter Member

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    This article is the biggest piece of BS I've ever read. I think Terry Pratchett is a very talented author, and that's saying a lot, since I've only read two of his books so far (The Fifth Elephant and Interesting Times). I mean, sure, maybe he's not of the literary elite that have published some of the most important and influential books of all time, but that doesn't automatically make his books 'mediocre' or 'trash'.
    Terry's Discworld books are obviously meant for a very different demographic then what this columnist is used to. Discworld is humorous and doesn't take itself very seriously (except when it does), and contrary to what he says about them having no beneficial content, they do, in fact, explore mature themes such as politics, religion, and science. Again, maybe not in a groundbreaking way, but in a contagious style that's likely to be more accessible to a wider audience, and that's not a bad thing.
    Just because something is popular doesn't make it bad by default, and if its not as significant as classic 'literature' that doesn't necessarily mean that its contributing to the world's stupidity. If anything, there's a large decline of readers and more people should be just reading something in general. Studies have even showed that reading fiction makes people smarter and more likely to empathize with others, so there's that.
     
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  10. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    This author from the Guardian is a moron.

    Pratchett isn't a genius because of his prose, he's a genius because of his ability to create unique and original stories and worlds in which they take place. Though being able to pen solid and bearable prose is half of the work, having a good, fresh, and well crafted story is more important. You could be the best 'writer' on the planet, but if you don't have anything of value to write then it doesn't mean shit. And saying that Pratchett has ordinary prose is quite stupid because I think his prose is very unique -- it has very vivid and warm characteristics.
     
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  11. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I read the article before I saw this thread. I've always enjoyed Pratchett's quirkiness, and also that of another British writer, Robert Rankin. I dread to think what the author of that article would make of him. These guys are my comic relief. There is nothing quite like a gut busting chortle to brighten the spirits.

    I have read Marquez...he's a bit short on belly laughs.
     
  12. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I pre-judged Terry Pratchett for years and refused to read him. In my defense, it's because I got him mixed up with Terry Brooks. (The Sword of Shannara guy, whom I did try to read ...once.) I think it's because they both had cartoon covers on their books.

    When I discovered my mistake, I started reading Terry Pratchett ...and absolutely loved him. I have deliberately slowed down when I learned he had Alzheimers, so I still have some of his classics yet to read. Still some unread Pratchett to look forward to. My favourites are all of the Night Watch series, Going Postal, Jingo, Hogfather ...well, I realise I could probably list about 20 more, easily. He quite literally is a laugh a minute, BUT he's also a philosopher who makes you think. A unique talent. I'm glad he was so prolific, and so sorry that his life ended far too soon.
     
  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Yeah, little mistake on my part. :oops:
     
  14. IlaridaArch
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    IlaridaArch Active Member

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    Gotta always love, when mainstream media which has grown in size and really has strong words, shits on one guy, who is now dead.

    That is not only journalist being an idiot. He also went low, really low.
     
  15. Delrohir
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    Delrohir Member

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    I have to say this doesn't surprise me in the least- the Guardian are not exactly well known online for their "journalistic integrity", let alone any article of value.:supermad:

    I honestly can't imagine a world in which Pratchet is not at least in the major book stores, if not the local ones as well! :cheerleader:

    -Del.
    :supercool:
     
  16. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    If you have any Discworld books you aren't using, most used bookstores will give you half cover for them, because they sell so fucking well.
     
  17. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Calling Pratchett "not a genius" seems to have been less effective as a diss against Pratchett and more effective as an unintentional diss at the concept of "genius".
     
  18. Song
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    Song Active Member

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    For me the genius of pratchett is not in how he writes, but his observations. I love the religion and social structures he gives to things like trees and flies. He sees the obsurdity of life and society in ways that ironically this journalist doesn't seem to get.
     
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  19. DancingCorpse
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    DancingCorpse Member

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    I have tried repeatedly at various points in my life to get into Pratchett, I've tried The Colour of Magic, Guards! Guards!, The Light Fantastic, Jingo, Thud... I manage 20 or so pages, then flick through and still... not attached or cannot commit... I never feel it's weak or bile, it's good stuff, it's just one of those things for me, I appreciate the hell out of the concept, I don't consider it substandard, I just cannot get into it.
     
  20. Delrohir
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    Delrohir Member

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  21. SH1988
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    SH1988 New Member

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    I'm with you I have tried on a few occasions to read Pratchett but not my cup of tea which is odd as being a fantasy genre fan I SHOULD like him same with Terry Goodkind I struggle to get engrossed in their books compared to say Tolkien, Feist etc. but I suppose that's the great thing about the genre if you don't like one author there are hundreds more you will like :)
     

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