Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Anger and Terry Pratchett

In the foreword to A Slip Of The Keyboard by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman talks about how Terry, who usually seemed jolly and mellow, was nothing of the kind, he had tonnes and tonnes of anger.
And Terry loved his anger, and claimed that it was the driving force behind his creative output, such as their wonderful collaborative book, the very funny Good Omens.

I hate to disagree with a genius like Terry Pratchett, but I must. While it is fantastic to be able to turn around your anger and seemingly having it contribute to powerful creative output, I think it’s a bad metaphysical mistake to *venerate* it and to think it’s a positive force. It is not. Everything is better without anger (or fear, which is below anger). Anger is rigid. You can work well *despite* anger, not because of it.

Admittedly, Anger is not something one gets rid of in a hearbeat. It takes long work. But a good start is recognizing it for what it is.


Joe Dick said...

Disagree. Anger can be good depending on what you're getting angry about. It can be a problem if you're angry all the time, about everything, and about little things. Without anger at injustice no one would be motivated to change anything. Without anger you're just like Nicholson at the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

I don't mind *agreeing* with a genius like Pratchett - although I have to take your word for it that he was a genius, as I've never read anything of his. (Oh, wait, no, I did read Strata, which I've heard is a non-funny kind of lame pre-Discworld-like novel.)

David Evans said...

Disagree. Small Gods would be much less without Terry's anger against dogmatic and cruel religions. Many of his books are driven by anger against powerful and uncaring elites (sometimes disguised as elves)
As he might have said (even more now) if you're not angry about anything, you haven't been paying attention.