Terry Pratchett: Guilty of Literature
Edited by Andrew M. Butler, Edward James
and Farah Mendlesohn
Introduction by David Langford
Cover by Josh Kirby
Second edition, updated to 2004, with three additional essays
"Terry Pratchett, who has more range than Wodehouse and is a better craftsman than Leacock, is a master builder: an observer, a recorder of his times, an explainer, and, like all good writers, an obsessive, driven maniac on the side. It's about time he got his due."
"In creating his Discworld, Terry Pratchett has created a proper venue for the tournament of return; and with each new title it is Spring. [...] The players disappear, at dusk, into air, into thin air; and with the dawn return. They are creatures of Comedy. Their ties to the world we know -- the incipits which engender them from the books of this world -- are never closed. Under their varying garbs, they are free. [...] And that may be the secret of Terry Pratchett's success. We love the jokes -- we ride the rollercoasters of slapstick with joy -- and each time we hope Cinderella will find her slipper. But the true secret of Discworld is that it has remained free. Free of the dangerous pieties of transformative Healing. Free, in the end, of fantasy."
"Whatever people tell you, the comic novels of Terry Pratchett are nothing like those of P.G. Wodehouse, Douglas Adams, or J.R.R. Tolkien. Antics in a burlesque antiquity, with a splash of satire and a streak of slapstick, they are much closer to the adventures of Asterix the Gaul -- persistently amusing, goodhearted and shrewd."
"There is a rule now, that no British train may leave the station until there's someone on board reading Terry Pratchett."
Terry Pratchett is a publishing phenomenon. Every new book becomes a best-seller, and every book gains him more fans. Despite this -- or perhaps because of it -- he has not been taken seriously by critics, even though some reviewers have, as he has said , "accused him of literature".
This collection of studies covers the whole range of Pratchett's writings, from The Carpet People to The Fifth Elephant, and includes essays by critics such as John Clute and Andy Sawyer and children's author Cherith Baldry
One pound goes to the Orangutan Foundation for each book sold, and any other profits from this book will help the charitable aims of the Science Fiction Foundation (Registered Charity 1041052).
Preface: Andrew M. Butler, Edward James, Farah Mendlesohn
Introduction: David Langford
Coming of Age: John Clute
The Childrens' Books: Cherith Baldry
Theories of Humour: Andrew M. Butler
Unseen University: Penelope Hill
The Librarian and his Domain: Andy Sawyer
The Witches: Karen Sayer
Death: Nickianne Moody
The City Watch: Edward James
Mapping Narrative Spaces: Matthew Hills
Faith and Ethics: Farah Mendlesohn
Notes on Contributors
Published by the Science Fiction Foundation
Price £10 or US $16
Paperback, x + 185pp, 143 x 210 mm
- Michael Dirda, author of Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments in The Washington Post.
- The SF Site.