Like a lot of people around the world, I was saddened today to hear about the death of Terry Pratchett – AT LAST, SIR TERRY, said Death, and they walked out the door together.
C and I were talking about literature the other day, about answering questions like “what are your favourite books? which books changed your life?” They’re so weird, those questions, and so impossible to answer. How can you say that a book has changed your life? Eventually, after thinking long and hard, I said that “The Colour of Magic” had changed my life. Before then, I’d never known that a book could make you laugh out loud. I was in high school, maybe 15 years old. I’d never met a character like Rincewind before. Or the Luggage. Or even – ook, oook, oook – The Librarian. The moment I finished it, I gave it to my dad to read. And then I went to the library and borrowed the next 3 Discworld books.
My taste in books has changed a lot since then, and the Pratchett book I read last year wasn’t that great. But when I read the news today, I had a little cry at my computer. Okay, I had a bit of a blubber. C had to come and offer me a hug and everything. I don’t know Terry Pratchett. I never met him. I saw him once at the Opera House but I was pretty drunk and he was pretty wobbly and for both of these reasons I couldn’t understand him. But I cried anyway. And I spent hours today going through Twitter and Facebook and reading about all these people who loved him and are sad, too.
I guess he was a funny guy. I guess he enjoyed shining a light on all the bullshit in the world. He was good at reminding you that that bullshit that you step in every day, is real life. And you may as well live it. Cos even if the world is just a flat disc on the backs of four elephants on top of a turtle in the mud at the bottom of the universe, it’s all we’ve got. So live, laugh and, occasionally, if you must – because we all must sometimes – occasionally cry.