“O: You’re quite a writer. You’ve a gift for language, you’re a deft hand at plotting, and your books seem to have an enormous amount of attention to detail put into them. You’re so good you could write anything. Why write fantasy? Pratchett: I had a decent lunch, and I’m feeling quite amiable. That’s why you’re still alive. I think you’d have to explain to me why you’ve asked that question. O: It’s a rather ghettoized genre. P: This is true. I cannot speak for the US, where I merely sort of sell okay. But in the UK I think every book— I think I’ve done twenty in the series— since the fourth book, every one has been one the top ten national bestsellers, either as hardcover or paperback, and quite often as both. Twelve or thirteen have been number one. I’ve done six juveniles, all of those have nevertheless crossed over to the adult bestseller list. On one occasion I had the adult best seller, the paperback best-seller in a different title, and a third book on the juvenile bestseller list. Now tell me again that this is a ghettoized genre. O: It’s certainly regarded as less than serious fiction. P: (Sighs) Without a shadow of a doubt, the first fiction ever recounted was fantasy. Guys sitting around the campfire— Was it you who wrote the review? I thought I recognized it— Guys sitting around the campfire telling each other stories about the gods who made lightning, and stuff like that. They did not tell one another literary stories. They did not complain about difficulties of male menopause while being a junior lecturer on some midwestern college campus. Fantasy is without a shadow of a doubt the ur-literature, the spring from which all other literature has flown. Up to a few hundred years ago no one would have disagreed with this, because most stories were, in some sense, fantasy. Back in the middle ages, people wouldn’t have thought twice about bringing in Death as a character who would have a role to play in the story. Echoes of this can be seen in Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, which hark back to a much earlier type of storytelling. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature, and by the standard we would apply now— a big muscular guys with swords and certain godlike connections— That’s fantasy. The national literature of Finland, the Kalevala. Beowulf in England. I cannot pronounce Bahaghvad-Gita but the Indian one, you know what I mean. The national literature, the one that underpins everything else, is by the standards that we apply now, a work of fantasy. Now I don’t know what you’d consider the national literature of America, but if the words Moby Dick are inching their way towards this conversation, whatever else it was, it was also a work of fantasy. Fantasy is kind of a plasma in which other things can be carried. I don’t think this is a ghetto. This is, fantasy is, almost a sea in which other genres swim. Now it may be that there has developed in the last couple of hundred years a subset of fantasy which merely uses a different icongraphy, and that is, if you like, the serious literature, the Booker Prize contender. Fantasy can be serious literature. Fantasy has often been serious literature. You have to fairly dense to think that Gulliver’s Travels is only a story about a guy having a real fun time among big people and little people and horses and stuff like that. What the book was about was something else. Fantasy can carry quite a serious burden, and so can humor. So what you’re saying is, strip away the trolls and the dwarves and things and put everyone into modern dress, get them to agonize a bit, mention Virginia Woolf a few times, and there! Hey! I’ve got a serious novel. But you don’t actually have to do that. (Pauses) That was a bloody good answer, though I say it myself.”

— Terry Pratchett, Share via Whatsapp

“Without literature, life is hell.”

— Charles Bukowski, Share via Whatsapp

“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.”

— Thomas Jefferson, Share via Whatsapp

“No one says a novel has to be one thing. It can be anything it wants to be, a vaudeville show, the six o’clock news, the mumblings of wild men saddled by demons.”

— Ishmael Reed, Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down, Share via Whatsapp

“In the end, you have to choose whether or not to trust someone.”

— Sophie Kinsella, Shopaholic & Baby, Share via Whatsapp

“Life is not a PG feel-good movie. Real life often ends badly. Literature tries to document this reality, while showing us it is still possible for us to endure nobly.”

— Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook, Share via Whatsapp

“We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.”

— Anne Frank, Share via Whatsapp

“The real reason for a quest is always self-knowledge”

— Thomas C. Foster, How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Share via Whatsapp

“Bir insanın gençken kuvvetli karakteri yoksa, bir daha da olmaz.”

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Share via Whatsapp

“Herkes kendi derdine daha güç dayanır.”

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward, Share via Whatsapp

“Un bon croquis vaut mieux qu un long discours (A good sketch is better than a long speech)”

— Napoleon Bonaparte, Share via Whatsapp

“The sign of a good novel is what it can cause its reader to see, even if this lies beyond the author s own vision.”

— John Gaddis, The Cold War, Share via Whatsapp

“Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combinatoria of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined?”

— Italo Calvino, Share via Whatsapp

“Inequality was the price of civilization.”

— George Orwell, 1984, Share via Whatsapp

“Really, when I think it over, literature has only one excuse for existing; it saves the person who makes it from the disgustingness of life.”

— Joris-Karl Huysmans, Là-Bas, Share via Whatsapp

“I hate vulgar realism in literature. The man who would call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one.”

— Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Share via Whatsapp

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”

— F. Scott Fitzgerald, Share via Whatsapp