Sunday, March 29, 2015

Book #13: The Bromeliad Trilogy

I've appreciated Terry Pratchett for a long time. I have a lot of friends and family members who love Terry Pratchett. And in fact, I've sold a lot of Terry Pratchett books. But until now I've never actually read a Terry Pratchett book. I know. It seems inconceivable. Sorry.

When he passed away recently, I asked Roger if we had any of Pratchett's books. This is the one he produced from our bookshelves, primarily because he knew that growing up I had loved stories about tiny people living in a human world (The Borrowers, The Littles).

This trilogy was written for a young adult audience. As with the best of that genre, it's full of sophisticated philosophical themes I understand he explores in many (all?) of his books.

So it wasn't just about resourceful tiny people living in a human world, but in this case it was also very much about the journey of figuring out what the "world" actually is.

"Are you trying to tell me you came from Outside?" he said.
"That's right."
"But that's impossible!"
"Is it?" Masklin looked worried.
"There's nothing Outside!"
"There isn't? Sorry," said Masklin. "But we seem to have come in from it anyway. Is this a problem?"

The trilogy reminded me of a quote I recently came across from Robert Persig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) and shared immediately with my college writing students (I'm always pushing them to stretch the boundaries of their thinking): "We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world."

Can we always be certain of what we think we are certain of? For me, I will keep grabbing more handfuls of sand.

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