Pratchett: Tolkien Reheated

“Steer clear of ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ and ‘waxing wroth’ unless you are a genius, and use adjectives as if they cost you a toenail. For some reason adjectives cluster around some works of fantasy. Be ruthless…

I picked up a recently written fantasy book at the weekend, and one character said of another: ‘He will grow wroth.’ Oh, my God. And the phrase was in a page of similar jaw-breaking, mock-archaic narrative. Belike, i’faith… this is the language we use to turn high fantasy into third-rate romantic literature. ‘Yonder lies the palace of my fodder, the king.’ That’s not fantasy – that’s just Tolkien reheated until the magic boils away.”

– Terry Pratchett, A Slip of the Keyboard: Collected Non-Fiction (pp. 82, 100)

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