UPDATES TO NEW
TALES FOR OLD
In the few years since the publication of New Tales for Old there has been a steady stream of reworkings of the tales we discussed in that book. This chapter is an attempt to update that volume. Of course we realize that by the time you are holding this volume in your hands, another update could be forthcoming.
1992. Pratchett, Terry. Witches Abroad. London: Corgi.
An attempt to describe any book by Terry Pratchett is likely to lead to a surfeit of adjectives and a string of quotations. Pratchett is a best-selling writer in Great Britain because his work is funny in so many different ways—clever, hilarious, witty, slapstick, intertextual—and at the same time full of intelligent insight into what it is to be human and to tell stories:
Stories exist independently of their players. If you know that, the
knowledge is power.
Stories, great flapping ribbons of shaped space-time, have been
blowing and uncoiling around the universe since the beginning
of time. And they have evolved. The weakest have died and the
strongest have survived, and they have grown fat on the retelling …,
twisting and blowing through the darkness. (8)
In this complicated version of the Cinderella story, fairy godmothers come in twos. The good ones are kind, and the bad ones are powerful. Cinderella's good godmother dies, but she leaves her responsibility for the girl to Pratchett's trio of witches: hapless Magrat Garlick, earthy Nanny Ogg, and cantankerous Granny