Two Terry Pratchett Items

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1. The trailer for Going Postal is online. It's one of Terry Pratchett's best Discworld novels, so I expect it to be good. The adaptations have so far been pretty good. I didn't like the Hogfather book as much as most of the series, but the adaptation was great, and The Colour of Magic adaptation (which included the stories from the book of that name and its followup, The Light Fantastic) was very well done. This is the third by the same people, and it's got an even better story to work with, although the downside of that is that it will be harder to measure up to the book.

2. Terry Pratchett has written a letter updating fans on how he's doing. There's no mention of how he's doing with his Alzheimer's in general (other than the clear implication that it's not easy for him right now), but it sounds as if he's done with the first draft of his next book, which awaits editing and revision, and there's a long diatribe against some of the people writing letters to him.

Some of them seem pretty evil, but it doesn't justify his lumping together those who oppose assisted suicide or abortion with those who wanted to outlaw painkillers during labor because it negates the curse of Genesis 3 or those who opposed letting women vote. I expect better of him than this. I feel sorry for him having to put up with some of the ridiculous mail he's been getting, some of it giving a bad name to things I happen to agree with, but it doesn't justify the association of all who disagree with him on a contentious moral issue with those who held positions in the past that we all disagree with now.

I'm curious about the reference to Chesterton's fame "fool the prophet". Google turns up exactly zero on that phrase with his name. Does anyone happen to know what he's referring to?


Chesterton's actual phrase is "Cheat the Prophet". The reference is to the opening paragraphs of The Napoleon of Notting Hill:

The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. And one of the games to which it is most attached is called "Keep to-morrow dark," and which is also named (by the rustics in Shropshire, I have no doubt) "Cheat the Prophet." The players listen very carefully and respectfully to all that the clever men have to say about what is to happen in the next generation. The players then wait until all the clever men are dead, and bury them nicely. They then go and do something else. That is all. For a race of simple tastes, however, it is great fun.

I have a feeling Chesterton would object to this use of his point.

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