Thursday, March 12, 2015

Noli Timere Messorem

Which means "Don't Fear the Reaper."

It comes from Discworld.

It's a world that's flat, resting atop four elephants that stand on a giant turtle swimming through space.

The turtle, by the way, moves.

There's a religious debate on whether the turtle is real, or that such a large thing even moves.  But he does move.  And he's pretty much the only being associated with Discworld who knows where he's going.

This is important to point out because today the chronicler of Discworld finally met one of the characters from the fantasy series.  Sir Terry Pratchett passed away, and met with Death, the one who meets everybody.


As a Librarian myself, I take pains to uphold the Laws of Space-Time Librarianship:

  1. Silence; 
  2. Books must be returned no later than the last date shown; and 
  3. The nature of causality must not be interfered with.

My personal favorite book is Small Gods.  I mentioned that as a favorite book years ago for a year-end review.  It's a book both serious and satirical about the dangers of blind faith and theocracy, a rumination on how faith actually works, and the importance for both humans AND gods of living honest lives.

Pratchett's skill was writing in a humorous, wry tone that rarely condescended towards the reader, with well-rounded characters and a bemused understanding of how the world (our world as well as Discworld's) works (which is to say, rather clunky and imperfect).  Pratchett had an anger about the sins of the world but was optimistic enough that things can, did, and might work out.  He was funnier than Tolkien, more serious than Rowling, more skeptical than Lewis, and more profound than Gaiman.

There's a link to an online Discwolrd story here.  It's a brief example of the subtlety of Pratchett's work.

Terry took Death’s arm and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.

The end.*

* One hopes not.

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