Thursday, 14 April 2011

An Evening with Terry Pratchett Transcript: Part 1

I'm got to hear Pterry speak on April 14th in Auckland, NZ, and recorded the conversation on my Mp3. We did get an excerpt from Snuff, and that went by far too fast for me, so I'm glad I recorded it! It sounds interesting, though, and I've tried to transcribe it all. 

It is taking me ages, and it's two hours long, so I'll be posting it in bits.  The sound quality is terrible, too, which is why I'm not just uploading the recording!

This is the first fourteen minutes (followed by the reading from Snuff).

Pterry can be a bit difficult to understand - but I think most of that is his accent not his Alzheimer's, as I had trouble catching everything he said the first time I saw him, too (which was... gosh, ten years ago? At least?).

He's not a perfect speaker - I've edited out all the umms, long pauses, and repetitions of sentence parts as he talks, because they're a) extra typing and b) boring to read. (And yes, I know that the automatic assumption is that 'Oh noes, it's the Alzheimer's Disease! But he' a lot better than some public speeches I've had to sit through! And while he may have planned some of it, and some of the quotes or anecdotes that I'd heard before went a lot more smoothly (e.g. the airport story) other bits were clearly being thought up on the fly - his interviewer/co-host often ended up interrupting him by accident as he suddenly added something else on the end!).

I admit, I spent a lot of time thinking "I'm glad I'm recording this so I can figure out what he said later!" or "That's sounds like it will be really awesome when I write it down and figure out what the timing was meant to be!"

An Evening with Terry Pratchett (Part 1)

It begins with a bit of introduction and pimping of the sponsor, and random giving away of BIP 'Meet Terry Pratchett afterwards' tickets (my friend snagged one, I didn't). Then Terry walks in with a woman who is - I think - playing the role of host or interviewer. Half the audience ends up on their feet applauding.

*Pterry tries to control people standing and sitting in applause by raising and lowering his hat, then gives up because everyone has fallen respectfully silent* (I think. I was behind people standing at this point!)

Pterry: Oh well, never mind.

*they sit*

Jo Carol(?): My name is Jo Carol and of course you know the other person on stage. I'm here because I'm a major fan of Terry Pratchett. I would assume most of you are too. And just because we were talking backstage about just how wide the Pratchett area of Terry Pratchett fans is, just to place myself in that, I read and reread the books, I contribute to online forums but I've never worn a costume. I mention that because I was looking at some pics from a convention -

Pterry: Yes, you see, that's the con-, that's the convention.Which is like a big thing and people think they are loonies. Now, strictly speaking, this is in fact true. But its up to me to say that, throughout their lives, people will go to things that involve wearing ridiculous clothing. Like golfers, for example - and nuns, for that matter. And my friend Jack Cohen thinks that not having sex at all is a perversion. Cause you're built to have sex! If you don't do it, you're perverted - no, I think it's just unlucky.

The thing is, it's always puzzled me that you behave like raving loonies, somehow, yet you all know more about me than I do about all kinds of stuff. The average age now of a Discworld reader, I suppose, is into the fifties. Easily, I would have thought, given the number of letters I've had from varied people. Because once a Discworld reader, I've got you for life.

I had a letter once "I'm 75, I bet I'm your oldest reader." And I said "Nooo, I believe my oldest fan reader, that I'm familiar with, is in fact going to the next American Discworld convention from England, and I believe she's 90. And the lady concerned can play the most ferocious Granny Weatherwax. You have never seen ferocious until she glares at you. You don't know where the fans are - you find them twice when going through various Customs procedures in the last few days, I met a fan. There was an occasion in America, when once - I can't remember why - I was going to Memphis for a convention. And I was - well you know how it is if you've been through the States in the last twenty years or so. I was at the front of the line with a - what I call a cube of ebony, six feet on the side. He said, "What's your purpose in coming to the United States?" and I said "I'm guest of honour at a science fiction convention in Memphis." He stops there and looks at me, and says "Stay right there!". And then he picks up his phone and says "Uh, Stan - I've got him!". How sphincter twisting is that? And then nothing happens much, except everyone in the queue behind me is wondering what the hell is gonna happen to this poor sod. And then quite a small guy comes running up. "Ooh Mr. Pratchett, Ooh! I'm on the wrong duty roster, so I can't come to the convention. I really like your books, can you sign them for me, my name's Stan." And instead of writing "don't let them beat me up, oh get me out of here - oh please help!" or something like that, I write in my very good writing 'Best wishes'. And then Stan, all smiles, hops away into the distance, and I see the evil eyes of the ebony cube on me and he says "Have you got any... ID?". And I said "Stan did" and just for one moment on the earth, one micromoment of the earth, the cube nearly cracked a smile.

Jo Carol(?): Well, I'd love to talk about your fans, but I think to begin with, Rob is going to read for us?

Pterry: Rob is going to read for you a little bit, just a tiny, wee taster -

Jo Carol(?): ...of your new - ?

Pterry: Of Snuff, yes.

*enter Rob*

Rob: Hello, good evening. Actually, before I read today, can I just say on behalf of all of Auckland - all of New Zealand actually - we've actually had a really good time. We've been on the road now for what seemed like a hundred years, and coming here has been like chicken soup for the soul, hasn't it?

Pterry: It has, actually yeah. I like what I saw. But anywhere we went here, people were very friendly. And if we were looking for something we got it. And we're now Hobbits.

Rob: Yeah, we're real Hobbits, we really are - we're standing on a box. It was really fantastic, thanks very much. And now I have a real quandary - do I read from the new iPad, or from paper?

*Rob waves a great big, shiny iPad 2 around*

Jo Carol: People will do just anything to show they've got an iPad.

Pterry: An iPad 2. I think Rob was worried that he'd been given an iPad one in an iPad 2 box.

Rob: I put a tweet up on Twitter saying 'does anybody know where they're stocked in Melbourne, or Sydney?' and it really let us down. And they wrote back and said 'yes, there's one in JB Hi-Fi, we have one waiting for you.' And we went down, and thought that can't happen, that doesn't happen. So, thank you Melbourne. Now, I'm gonna shut up, I'm going to start reading soon, okay? Now, Snuff ...

Part 2: Excerpt from Snuff

1 comment:

  1. :D:D:D:D:D im so glad you got this, ill be linking here from my lj once i finish my, er, squeeful review, i hope you dont mind?


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