Terry Pratchett on conjuring

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scodischarge, Dec 4, 2019.

  1. In the last pages of the book "Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, they had the opportunity to write a bit about each other. This is an excerpt of Terry Pratchett's opinion on Gaiman, where he delves into details on what makes a good magician (or conjuror, as he says):

    "Well, [Neil Gaiman is] no genius. He's better than that.
    He's not a wizard, in other words, but a conjurer.
    Wizards don't have to work. They wave their hands, and the magic happens. But conjurors, now . . . conjurers work very hard. They spend a lot of time in their youth watching, very carefully, the best conjurers of their day. They seek out old books of trickery and, being natural conjurers, read everything else as well, because history itself is just a magic show. They observe the way people think, and the many ways in which they don't. They learn the subtle use of springs, and how to open mighty temple doors at a touch, and how to make the trumpets sound.
    And they take centre stage and amaze you with flags of all nations and smoke and mirrors, and you cry: "Amazing! How does he do it? Where's the rabbit? Did he really smash my watch?"
    And in the back row we, the other conjurers, say quietly: "Well done. Isn't that a variant of the Prague Levitating Sock? Wasn't that Pasqual's Spirit Mirror, where the girl isn't really there? But where the hell did that flaming sword come from?"
    And we wonder if there may be such a thing as wizardry, after all . . ."

    What are your thoughts on this?
    Josh Burch likes this.
  2. It's good. I think conjurers are much better than wizards.
  3. "They observe the way people think, and the many ways in which they don't."
    This is my favorite sentence in the paragraph. Although I was sold when a non-magician acknowledged that magicians in fact do have to work hard . . .

    By the way: Is it possible that Terry Pratchett has a magic background himself? This paragraph, as well as other parts throughout his books, make me think so, but the web hasn't turned up any results. Does anybody have some info on that?

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