“Death isn’t cruel, merely terribly, terribly good at his job”
(Terry Pratchett – Sourcery)
After forty Discworld books, read and re read assiduously, we, despite having never met Sir Terry, feel a very personal loss when his death was announced yesterday by his publishers. After all, we have an extremely personal relationship with his books and always thanked the powers that be that such books existed. We remember that in the days before e readers, when travelling with limited luggage and allowing ourselves the luxury of only one or two books to carry, Terry Pratchett was a natural choice as his books can carry you through all circumstances and all moods. And what amazing books they are, full of humour and wisdom. Booker prizes may not have recognised him but he was ultimately knighted for his contribution to literature. Certainly his legions of fans and even contemporary authors have always recognised him as a literary force our times.
Sir Terry always acknowledged his readers and even the last few tweets on his twitter account were styled and worded so that the true implications of the tweets would be instantly understood by them. Death in the books always talks in capital letters.
PS: No other writer has characterised Death the way Sir Terry has done. I think he is the one character who appears in all the Discworld books.
LL: Death in the books is someone who you are comfortable with, a person with a sense of duty and fairness but also someone taking an interest in humans and human nature. So much so, that he adopts a daughter and has a granddaughter.
PS: He even has World’s best Grandad mug on his desk! And not to forget that he likes cats. I think the readers’ idea of Death has forever been coloured by the books of Terry Pratchett. I learnt the meaning word ‘anthropomorphising’ from him.
LL: I am sure that in centuries to come Sir Terry’s books will continue to be read and enjoyed. They are, after all, books that you can read at any age as they speak to you differently each time. When you are young you enjoy the humour and the madness of the story and as you re read, you find the veins of philosophy so adroitly woven in.
PS: Then there is the language he uses, so skilfully crafted. I think in times to come no one will simply wear black, because, we shall all wear midnight.
We can only thank Sir Terry for all the pleasure and thought his books have given us and the wonderfully mad world he created which is so much a reflection of our own madness.
“DON’T THINK OF IT AS DYING”, said Death, “THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH.”