Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamroller

Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamroller

Postby Sean Hayden » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:47 am

Terry Pratchett, the well-known British fantasy author, had a wish fulfilled two years after his death: A hard drive containing his unpublished work was destroyed by steamroller.

Mr. Pratchett, a wildly popular fantasy novelist who wrote more than 70 books, including the “Discworld” series, died at 66 in 2015. That year his friend, the writer Neil Gaiman, told The Times of London that Mr. Pratchett had wanted “whatever he was working on at the time of his death to be taken out along with his computers, to be put in the middle of a road and for a steamroller to steamroll over them all.” Mr. Gaiman added at the time that he was glad this hadn’t happened.

Now, though, it has. Mr. Pratchett’s estate manager and close friend, Rob Wilkins, posted a picture of a hard drive and a steamroller on Aug. 25 on an official Twitter account they shared.

View image on Twitter


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/30/book ... &smtyp=cur

Is this a bizarre request? I wonder why he'd want that? :dunno:
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby JimC » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:29 am

I saw that on our news too. I suspect that his unpublished work that dates from the period when his dementia was increasing was not up to his usual standard, and that he realised it. He choose a typically eccentric means of ensuring that that poorer quality fragment of his opus was not published...
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby Sean Hayden » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:02 am

That sounds plausible. The article mentions several others who also asked that their unfinished work be destroyed. It just seems odd to me that anyone with their level of mastery would be uneasy about others seeing their unfinished or even poor work. :dunno:
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby NineBerry » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:26 am

The NSA surely has a backup.
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby Svartalf » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:24 am

I hear the fan wanting to know what else he had written gnashing their teeth... though I understand the wish, the work was unfinished, he did not want it edited and 'completed' by a hack into something he would not have wanted to acknowledged as his.
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby Animavore » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:30 am

They probably just don't want people making money off their work, or making shoddy compilations of half-finished stuff, or other authors completing their work from footnotes (like Wheel of Time).
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby JimC » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:05 am

Animavore wrote:They probably just don't want people making money off their work, or making shoddy compilations of half-finished stuff, or other authors completing their work from footnotes (like Wheel of Time).


The guy who finished The Wheel of Time, Brandon Sanderson, did so with the prior approval of the dying author, and did a pretty reasonable job, IMO...
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby Hermit » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:09 am

Sean Hayden wrote:That sounds plausible. The article mentions several others who also asked that their unfinished work be destroyed. It just seems odd to me that anyone with their level of mastery would be uneasy about others seeing their unfinished or even poor work. :dunno:
You might have a high regard for his work, but artists of all stripes are frequently so unhappy with their creations that they destroy them before they die. Take Monet, for instance. You might have seen some of his paintings of water lilies.

Image

These days they typically change hands for a consideration of somewhere between 18.5 and 41 million pounds each. Not many people know that he destroyed 30 of them in a single day before they reached their first exhibition. On another occasion his wife complained in a letter:
Today Monet is so very frustrating; he has just told me that he would definitely refuse to have the exhibition. He punctures canvases every day, it is truly distressing. One day, things are not too bad; the next day all is lost. He keeps putting the blame on himself, on old age, and his own inability, as he says, and the way he treats the results of eight years’ work is most unfair!


Monet was an extreme case, but by no means the only one to destroy their works. Some sculptors did the same, as did composers. Brahms was notorious for deciding his compositions were not quite right, then shredding the score. Tchaikovsky and Verdi did likewise.

We'll never know if they were right for doing so, but I guess that too often they were not, that they were simply too critical, ridden with self-doubt and/or depression.
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby NineBerry » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:11 am

Kafka
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby Hermit » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:30 am

Animavore wrote:They probably just don't want people making money off their work, or making shoddy compilations of half-finished stuff, or other authors completing their work from footnotes (like Wheel of Time).
Completion by others is not necessarily a bad thing. Almost all of Mozart's crowning work was written by Franz Xaver Süssmayr. Only the Introit was completed by the pauper, though Süssmayr had some detailed drafts of the Kyrie and a few sketches of some of the following movements to guide him. The completion was done in secret because the work was commissioned by Count Franz von Walsegg, to be paid for on completion, and 'Stanzi was in dire need of the money. I did not remain a secret for long, and the Count did not ask for the money back.

Another successful completion by others - actually there are several of them - went to Bach's (J.S.) Art of the Fugue. I doubt anybody who has not studied Bach's compositions at some music conservatory is able to tell where the master let go of the feather for the last time and where someone else completed the work. I only know because I cheated. I went to a concert where the performers stopped abruptly on the last note Bach had written himself. Yes, it was a jolt. Bastards could have warned us at the start. :lay:
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby pErvinalia » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:34 am

Sean Hayden wrote:That sounds plausible. The article mentions several others who also asked that their unfinished work be destroyed. It just seems odd to me that anyone with their level of mastery would be uneasy about others seeing their unfinished or even poor work. :dunno:


I don't think even successful artists are spared from self-doubt. It seems to be a pretty common human trait.
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby pErvinalia » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:36 am

Svartalf wrote:I hear the fan wanting to know what else he had written gnashing their teeth... though I understand the wish, the work was unfinished, he did not want it edited and 'completed' by a hack into something he would not have wanted to acknowledged as his.


So we won't see any "Terry Pratchett presents: Compact Disc World, by Author Chase Pornburlger"? :hehe:
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby PsychoSerenity » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:09 pm

I was in two minds when I saw this story. Part of me would have loved to have seen all the bits and pieces, the ideas of where the stories might go etc. but on the other hand having it all crushed with a steamroller is such a Terry Pratchett thing to do I couldn't help but smile, and it leaves it all forever as a beautiful mystery.
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby Brian Peacock » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:42 pm

:this:
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Re: Terry Pratchett’s Unpublished Work Crushed by Steamrolle

Postby devogue » Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:53 am

I'm playing Schubert's Steamrollered Unfinished Symphony later this month.
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