I watched this Terry Pratchett documentary today (Choosing to Die):
It set me thinking about aging and getting old and god forbid, afflicted with a disease. It is a glum thought.
Switzerland and Belgium have legalized euthanasia. The documentary shows a couple live which has decided to go for assisted dying. It is terrible to see. It is tragic. Yet, at the same time, I can imagine the dread of a life in which you are nothing like yourself, where you are dependent on everyone but yourself. It is a very confusing topic – legally and emotionally.
I cannot imagine, how must the doctor reconcile with himself/herself in having assisted a person to die.
I wonder, if it comes to that, what would my choice be?
This is the first book by Terry Pratchett that I have read. His reputation had preceded this as a funny writer and I say that in my eyes his level has reached only higher. He is so witty in his writing. The scenes, the satire, the occasional weirdness..all just work out amazingly.
Equal Rites is about an accidental female wizard and her godmother who is a witch. This is a major anomaly in the DiscWorld ( which is a world in the shape of a disc supported by four elephants standing on the back of a giant turtle !) . Women are supposed to be witches who should do household magic and headology than high magic like wizardry which has angles, numbers and “jommettry” which women cannot fathom since there is no clarity of thought. But here we have a girl who is a wizard and a witch and she is bent upon getting into the Unseen University. The turn of events which take place thus are hilarious.
A mocking take on fantasy as a genre, on gender issues, on stereotypes, on governments ( the wizards reached a consensus that the broken roof patching was not their job after all, the council of Liars in the Zoon tribe etc ) , equal rites is entertaining and thought provoking. However, it is lighter than the issues it deals with.
No doubt that Pratchett is a comic genius. I am expecting that I will be reading more of him hereafter.