Terry Pratchett vs. JK Rawling

Sunday July 31st 2005, 1:00 pm

Bookish quotes this article from the [London] Times, which I can’t seem to read because they want me to pay for it. So I’ll just copy Bookish’s quote, this is Terry Pratchett on a recent article in the Times about JK Rowling:

Why is it felt that the continued elevation of J K Rowling can only be achieved at the expense of other writers (Mistress of magic, News Review, last week)? Now we learn that prior to Harry Potter the world of fantasy was plagued with “knights and ladies morris-dancing to Greensleeves.”

In fact the best of it has always been edgy and inventive, with “the dark heart of the real world” being exactly what, underneath the top dressing, it is all about. Ever since The Lord of the Rings revitalised the genre, writers have played with it, reinvented it, subverted it and bent it to the times. It has also contained some of the very best, most accessible writing for children, by writers who seldom get the acknowledgement they deserve.

Rowling says that she didn’t realise that the first Potter book was fantasy until after it was published. I’m not the world’s greatest expert, but I would have thought that the wizards, witches, trolls, unicorns, hidden worlds, jumping chocolate frogs, owl mail, magic food, ghosts, broomsticks and spells would have given her a clue?


Here’s the BBC on the article: BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Arts | Pratchett anger at Rowling’s rise

Here’s the BBC on Pratchett’s career: Terry Pratchett

Pratchett is one of those novelist’s who is much more well known in the UK than over here (despite the fact that he seems to be at every US Science Fiction and Fantasy convention ever). In 1983 Radio 4 serialized his first Discworld novel. Which is exactly the kind of thing that illustrates why British literary culture is better than ours. (When was the last time you heard about any novel getting serialized on any American radio station?)

But then our literary culture is a little like this (also from Bookish): Wulfforgenthaler


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