It’s Pastiche, Alright?

Today is Terry Pratchett’s birthday and like a lot of young readers I grew up on the Discworld series, although I probably haven’t read one of his books since I was a teenager.

What Pratchett does in almost all of his writing is take a historical event, a social movement, and apply it to the already existing fantasy world he had created, extending it onwards each time. It was always an accumulative effect, reading another one of his books, because endlessly adding another rule to you fantasy world means that the list of rules ends up being very long indeed.

But that was part of the fan service, to know that this new occurrence will somehow effect the old rules you had, means that sometimes you could work it out. It was a game of what you could remember from the entire corpus — and the historical events he was pastiching — to find the resolution.

This rewriting and rebuilding of old stories, and the interconnectedness of the worlds, is the kind of thing that gets very nice essays written about poets, but usually a dismissive shrug about fantasy writers.


Speaking of interconnectedness, here’s a jolly essay on Anne Carson’s writing and her approach to the building of a world through disparate shards.


Earlier this week, on the 23rd, it was Shakespeare’s birthday. Here’s a few words of what Harold Pinter thought of him from Granta:

I think Pinter was a fan.


I very much missed Sarah Howe’s Loop Of Jade when it was winning awards, but I really have to go pick it up now after reading this one.

Love poems are not always about love — and often more about the pairing of people. It’s not always about the passion, but how life is lived with another person. With that in mind, pair the above with this from Michael Bazzett’s Our Lands Are Not So Different:

And you can pair this again, with a writing pair who work together on their poetry collaboratively, but have only ever met once. They go by the collaborative name of Bright Division, but consist singularly of Corey Zeller and Sophie Klahar.

It’s good to see what’s in the space between people.


Todays song (mix) was wonderful to work through a hectic week to:

Soul Circle Radio — Natalie Oliveri x Freddie Joachim Show #175


Thanks for reading Etch To Their Own. Seems like a short one this week. This might have something to do with me coming off the coffee and being a bit of a grumpy zombie. Who knew you could get headaches from not having a cup of coffee. Still, I do this in the name of sleep and must say, I have been very unconscious lately, if I do say so myself. This old thing? Written by @CJEggett, and proofread by no one. Send me typos, tips, and review copies of your debut poetry collection via whatever means necessary. You can find these words, slightly bigger, on medium.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated C J Eggett’s story.