Saturday, 16 April 2011

That's SIR Terry Pratchett, I'll Have You Know

There are some people whose work you just can't imagine your life without.

For me one of those people is definitely Terry Pratchett.

I have been losing myself in his books since I was about 14 and I often find it difficult to believe that so many varied characters, so many worlds could come out of one person's head.

I have trouble believing that some of those characters and places aren't in fact real, because who could have written something so complex and wonderful starting from scratch?

Well, he could.

And he does it in the same way as most of the people I truly admire do such things, by being genuinely and persistently interested in absolutely everything and filtering that interest in through their ears and eyes and then out through their fingers and into their work.

Hearing him speak was a fantastic experience.

I had been a little worried about how he would go as he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in 2007 but apart from the occasional pause to try remember the word he was searching for, he didn't have too much difficulty.

Just hearing about some of the things he has researched for his own interest which may never find heir way into his books was fun, it made me feel like going out to a bookstore and picking up a handful of completely random books and seeing where they take me.

I'm not disappointed that I didn't get to meet him as I tend to believe that I'll make an arse of myself in front of my heroes and wouldn't be able to think of anything original to ask or say.

I might like to have a signed copy of one of my favourite books but apart from the fact I don't think he's really doing that any more, I think I'd be tempted to stop reading it as I would want it to stay pristine for as long as possible and that's not right.
Books are meant to be read.

Speaking of which, now I'm going to have to go home and re-read my entire collection.

It won't take as long as you might expect, familiar words move quickly past the eyes.

[Edit: Ooh look! In July they posted a video of his talk online!]

If you don't like embedded videos, here's the link to the Wheeler Centre webpage instead.

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