Skip to comments.Pratchett anger at Rowling's rise (at Harry Potter 's author)
Posted on 07/31/2005 1:32:27 PM PDT by kiriath_jearim
Sunday, 31 July 2005, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK Pratchett anger at Rowling's rise
Author Terry Pratchett has complained that the status of Harry Potter author JK Rowling is being elevated "at the expense of other writers".
Pratchett, one of the UK's most successful novelists with 40 million books sold, said the media ignores the achievements of other fantasy authors.
He also took a sideswipe at Rowling for saying she did not realise Harry Potter was fantasy until it was published.
His comments came on Rowling's 40th birthday, also Harry Potter's birthday.
In a recent interview with Time magazine, Rowling said she was "not a huge fan of fantasy" and was trying to "subvert" the genre.
The magazine also said Rowling reinvented fantasy fiction, which was previously stuck in "an idealised, romanticised, pseudofeudal world, where knights and ladies morris-dance to Greensleeves".
Pratchett, whose first fantasy novel was published 34 years ago, wrote to the Sunday Times saying the genre had always been "edgy and inventive".
"Ever since The Lord of the Rings revitalised the genre, writers have played with it, reinvented it, subverted it and bent it to their times," he wrote.
"It has also contained come of the very best, most accessible writing for children, by writers who seldom get the acknowledgement they deserve."
He also expressed surprise at Rowling's comments that she only realised Harry Potter was fantasy after the first book was published.
"I'm not the world's greatest expert," he wrote.
"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?"
Rowling's latest book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, sold almost nine million copies in the UK and US in its first 24 hours of release on 16 July.
Meanwhile, Rowling celebrated reaching 40 on Sunday, the same day she has given as her young creation's birthday.
The author's website displayed pictures of a birthday cake and birthday card with the words: "Happy birthday Harry Potter."
Fans have been trying to deduce how old he is, with one site saying the boy wizard has now turned 25.
Terry Pratchet is not only a great writer, he's mostly right. But he still needs to get over himself. I've always had doubts about how big the "rising tide" around Harry Potter was going to be.
Oh, please, Terry, don't sink to this level. She's writing kids books - she can't come close to your level of humor. Harry Potter will never match Rincewind, Sir Sam Vimes, or (and see my tag line) the Wee, Free Men.
I read the Potter books because my daughter does - but I've never gone back and read them again. Yours on the other hand, I'll read again and again - I catch something new each time, and always find myself laughing.
Now, hurry up and get Thud to the printers.
Isn't this where the distinction really lies?
I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books (saw the movies), but most fantasy from my adolescent years seemed aimed at a teen/young adult audiences. I recall that the Harry Potter books first made news because it revitalized younger children's interest in reading novels, and large ones at that.
Terry Pratchett ping
That said, this is sour grapes.
I have been marveling, having just finished the sixth Harry Potter book at the depth that Rowling's work has reached. Her target audience has aged, mostly at the same rate as Harry, and all the teen angst, all the first date jitters, all the zeitgeist of youth is counterpointed by the demands of manhood. I have watched her write him from a mostly innocent boy, beset by bad relatives, into a young man who is rapidly taking on the mantle of leadership, of standing up to both the outright evil of Voldemort and the sleazy, half-truth evil of the Clintonian Ministry of Magic. I see nuances and subtleties in her work that are not present in Pratchett.
I find it to be the choice of McDonalds vs. Burger King. Both fine products, but they are different and distinct. For him to whine about her making money is much akin to the small businessmen who complain about Walmart. (That is, "OK, now what are you going to do to change your business to compete?")
There's no accounting for the taste of some people.
You might enjoy this :)
Pratchett is acting pretty small. What his complaint essentially amounts to, it seems, is that Rowling is selling more books than he is, and that she's not well-versed in the technicalities of genre. This is nothing but nit-picking.
Exactly what I was thinking.
I love Terry Pratchett and have been trying to collect all his books, so I know his material, and it is definitely not serious fantasy. I would think that any writer being successful at fantasy would be good for the entire genre. I hope he finds his sanity soon.
Thanks; I take a look.
Depends upon your definition.
McDonalds has a market cap of about 40 billion dollars.
He's just mad because he's been a little off his stride since that magnificent "Night Watch". I don't like his kidie fantasies (leave it to Rowling, or her superior, Diana Wynne Jones, and give us more Vimes, dude) and "Monstrous Regiment" just wasn't funny.
But. The first Discworld novel I located was on a display the night HP4 came out. I had the whole evening to read it, and I was hooked. The world's big enough for both of you, Mr. Pratchett.
David and Leigh Eddings, Harry Turtledove, Christopher Rowley and Raymond E. Feist. I have read books of each of these authors as many as eight times each.
I like writers, grab your attention and hang on.
I don'r begrudge any good author their success they have earned it.