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dinsdag 6 november 2007

Terry Pratchett's minor stroke

"I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?" Death thought about it. "Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

Terry Pratchett, writer of the Discworld series, has had a stroke in August. "Symptoms include weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, confusion and difficulties with speech and vision. But, like many people, Terry did not realise that some strokes, classified as mini strokes, might last only minutes and produce less extensive symptoms, which are often put down to other causes. Tests revealed his stroke had been the result of a cerebral thrombosis — a blood clot that causes a blockage in the artery to the brain, killing off brain cells." Luckily it did not affect the part of his brain that he needs to be creative.

For those who don't know the Discworld: The world, which is a disc naturally, travels through space on the backs of four elephants that stand on the back of a giant turtle named Great A'Tuin. It looks something like this or this. It is a world filled with magic, but mostly with a lot of humor. Like the Tolkien novels, the setting isn't more than that: a setting in which a story is being told. That's also where the analogy between the two authors ends. The writings of Pratchett are mostly witty and satirical, full of references to literature, world events and (pop) culture. I would urge anyone to read one of his books. If you like fantasy, the world he has invented is rich and filled with colorful characters; if you don't, there's more going on than wizards, witches, trolls, librarians, assassins, and Death (with his horse Binky and the Death of Rats as companions).

Anyway, I'm very pleased that this stroke was only minor, and I hope that he will be around for some time and keeps churning out books. For more info, check out LSpace (and its Wiki), his profile at Bebo, the site of his American publisher, Discworld Monthly Newsletter, and the Guild of Fans and Disciples (GOFAD).

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