That’s my thin slice.
And I say that he will not kill himself because Pratchett has a moral imagination that goes beyond the self and self determination. That is, he has a truer moral imagination. It’s not your responsibility to die Terry. You have people around you that care for you and their voice will resonate in the dome which houses your moral imagination. It is true, most main characters in his book are quite individualistic, but all of his stories include the relationship between at least two characters, very often unlikely allies, are stronger than one persons choice to die. Listen to your wife Terry, you always do in your books.
But I am wondering why, if he is wavering, he insists on campaigning for the legalization of assisted suicide in the UK. He recently narrated and appeared in a documentary on the BBC entitled Choosing to Die, in which the producers chose to show the death of Peter Smedley was well produced, fairly unbalanced (but to be honest, that is fine with me as long as they do another program highlighting the problems with legalizing assisted suicide). I guess my only critique is that at times the documentary seemed lacking in thought-rigor. It was Terry and Rob, watching and discussing other peoples death, with lots of emotions and far too many references to the beauty of things.
Mr. Pratchett obviously has a high view of beauty and I commend him for it. One of his complaints about the dignitas clinic in Switzerland was that the house they provide was based on an industrial estate. The snow seemed beautiful to him, and quite appropriate in relation to the death of Mr. Smeadly, though Terry wants to die outside in the sunshine. The thrust of the documentary was really about beauty, wanting to control ones environment (and the environment in which one dies), as if that in itself makes the terrible reality of death manageable. How profoundly childish and narcissistic. Death is never beautiful, however you dress it up. Deaths says: “I WILL TAKE YOU AWAY.” There is a reason the personified Deaths voice appears in all caps in the Discworld novels: death is that deep, even when personified.
But Mr. Pratchett is dying (as all of us are), Alzheimers is horrible, but Terry also suffers of a more particular problem, which is “the will to control,” a most immense disorder, suffered by most authors who love and savor, and quite rightly so, the beauty of telling stories. Terry is the master of his written universe and there is nothing wrong with that, but the reality is that in life outside the Discworld he is not that master, but rather like Rincewind is looked after by something bigger than his magic chest, though the chest is bigger than he is. God bless you Terry Pratchett. Lets enjoy some Snuff, but not the verb. Keep up the challenge Rob.