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Author Topic: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld  (Read 1399 times)

Sefiru

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The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« on: June 22, 2017, 07:08:26 pm »
Sir Terry Pratchett had a lot to say about life, religion, witches, and a whole host of other things. What are some memorable quotes and concepts that you encountered from his work?

Some of mine:

First sight and second thoughts.
"Things that try to look like things often look more like things than things. Well known fact."
Dwarf feminism.
"For you, at a word, the law be break" (I much prefer this formulation to the Spider-man version "with great power comes great responsibility".)

ehbowen

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2017, 08:16:21 pm »


Sir Terry Pratchett had a lot to say about life, religion, witches, and a whole host of other things. What are some memorable quotes and concepts that you encountered from his work?

To be quite honest I've never read Terry Pratchett, at least not that I can recall. If you were to recommend three of his books to a newbie, which would they be?

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Eastling

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2017, 12:51:42 am »
Sir Terry Pratchett had a lot to say about life, religion, witches, and a whole host of other things. What are some memorable quotes and concepts that you encountered from his work?

There's a bit in the second Science of Discworld book where he talks about how it should be impossible to get a metal structure all the way from the ground of the Earth to the Moon, yet "narrativium" did it: because human beings have always told stories about the Moon, one day we decided to put a spaceship there, and we did it.

That kind of sums up a lot of it: he taught me a lot about the power of stories.

The other Discworld quote that really stuck with me is a scene from Carpe Jugulum where Granny Weatherwax explains the nature of sin: "Sin is when you treat people as things. Including yourself." That's been an ethical cornerstone for me for a long time.
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
--JAMES ALAN GARDNER

Vixen

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2017, 02:04:11 am »
To be quite honest I've never read Terry Pratchett, at least not that I can recall. If you were to recommend three of his books to a newbie, which would they be?

All books can be read separately but there's an underlying storyline that you will miss if you read them out of order. I loved all of them but its been a while since I read them. If I need to name three that were my favorites:
Reaper Man. It's the first one I read and I absolutely love it. I fell in love with Death many many years ago and these books just cemented that.
Wintersmith. It ties in with a lot of myths legends and gods from the Celtic realm.
Wyrd Sisters. No list is complete without one of the witches novels. I love the witches. I love Granny, and I love Nanny

In the spirit of this forum I'll name a fourth: Small Gods. It's not the best novel, it's not the funniest novel (still a really good read, mind you!). But it's about religion and gods and how they live and possibly die.

But I really can't tell you to read just three. The universe is so diverse. I love Vetinari, the Wee free men, Death and Nut. I love carrot and Mort and You and Cohen the barbarian. Damn... I need to go back and read the books again. I miss them...


There's so many awesome quotes. I can't choose. There's one I used on my website though. I'll post that here as I love it.
“Most witches don’t believe in gods. They know that the gods exist, of course. They even deal with them occasionally. But they don’t believe in them. They know them too well. It would be like believing in the postman.” - Witches Abroad
 
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Faemon

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2017, 03:50:50 pm »
If you were to recommend three of his books to a newbie, which would they be?

1. The Carpet People (not Discworld, but so, so, so very Pratchett)
2. Hogfather (there's a very faithful movie version!)
3. Small Gods (but I'm leaning towards doubting that you'll grow deeply fond of that standalone in particular? Very secular humanist writer-who-just-considers-polytheism-more-interesting's interpretation of some peculiarly Abrahamic but not religious structures/tenets/stuff?) It's not my personal favorite only because it's not characters I've developed a liking for over a segment of the series, but it's a standalone and thematically solid, and so it's usually one of the top three I recommend. Otherwise—

3. The Wee Free Men. Has chapters. I also really love authors who write children's books without seeming regard for what a child is supposed to be (innocent, not particularly sharp, and certainly not overwhelmed by guilt and grief at 9 years old.) This one's, umm, perfectly written for the sort of child I was. :P
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ehbowen

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2017, 04:30:26 pm »
1. The Carpet People (not Discworld, but so, so, so very Pratchett)
2. Hogfather (there's a very faithful movie version!)
3. Small Gods (but I'm leaning towards doubting that you'll grow deeply fond of that standalone in particular? Very secular humanist writer-who-just-considers-polytheism-more-interesting's interpretation of some peculiarly Abrahamic but not religious structures/tenets/stuff?)

Ordered all three on eBay, plus the movie version of Hogfather. You never know; I might surprise you as regards Small Gods.
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Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

ehbowen

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2017, 04:32:52 pm »
All books can be read separately but there's an underlying storyline that you will miss if you read them out of order.

Sorry, Vixen, I missed your post until after I had already ordered the books Faemon recommended. Maybe later I can come back to your recommendations.
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Where's the KABOOM? There was supposed to have been an Earth-shattering KABOOM!

Vixen

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2017, 05:01:39 pm »
Sorry, Vixen, I missed your post until after I had already ordered the books Faemon recommended. Maybe later I can come back to your recommendations.

I feel really miffed now...  :'(
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Sefiru

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2017, 06:25:28 pm »

“Most witches don’t believe in gods. They know that the gods exist, of course. They even deal with them occasionally. But they don’t believe in them. They know them too well. It would be like believing in the postman.” - Witches Abroad

I seem to remember a similar quote, also from Granny Weatherwax: "Of course the gods exist; that's no cause to go around believing in them. It just gives them ideas."

I currently have a non-Discworld book by Prachett, Nation, on my to-read pile. I'm curious about what will be in it ...

drekfletch

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2017, 10:29:42 pm »
I need to go back and read the books again. I miss them...

May I suggest some companion reading?  I highly recommend the blog of "Mark Reads" (also Mark Watches, Mark Does Stuff)  He reads popular series' and blogs along his first read through.  He's currently working through Discworld (and Diana Duane's Young Wizards, to stave off burnout.)

Under no circumstances should you spoil him.  If you do, you will face the wrath and anger and bad energy from his many readers.
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Faemon

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2017, 12:08:57 am »
I feel really miffed now...  :'(
Aw! Let's keep nerding out.
Wyrd Sisters. No list is complete without one of the witches novels. I love the witches. I love Granny, and I love Nanny
I totally follow the headcanon where that is the first witch book, and Equal Rites an odd fever dream from another dimension where Granny Esme Ridcully wondered what would've happened had she stuck with being a witch. I still like the story (proto- Tiffany Aching right there!) pity Esk didn't herald any change the wizard demographic like Monstrous Regiment level.

Quote
In the spirit of this forum I'll name a fourth: Small Gods. It's not the best novel, it's not the funniest novel (still a really good read, mind you!). But it's about religion and gods and how they live and possibly die.
I concur! I think Sursumursa on YouTube did a review of it recently that highlighted the holy cinnamon roll status that I hadn't picked up on in my own reading of it, which was nice!

Quote
But I really can't tell you to read just three. The universe is so diverse.

I try to tailor recommendations to what the person I'm recommending would like or be interested in...but sometimes the nerd-me takes possession and recommends all. Loudly.

I currently have a non-Discworld book by Prachett, Nation, on my to-read pile. I'm curious about what will be in it ...
I did pick up on that Pratchett seemed anti-racist on a very lofty, intellectual level most of all: It didn't make sense than anyone place should be "discovered" by a white guy when there were already people living there, and that jab came up very often, still purely (I felt) because it. Just. Doesn't. Make. Any. Logical. Sense.

Which I totally understand and even appreciate. But with Nation, I felt as though he were really getting into someone else's shoes and someone else's skin, and I felt the style was smoother or allowed for more emotiveness or something—I don't know how much of that very beneficial stylistic shift wad also Lynn Pratchett's influence?

In my opinion, still a very good book but not what I would put up as characteristically Pratchettian in style or philosophy, though certainly very humane. (Though a friend of mine objected to the valorization of Western rational sciences over coded indigenous knowledge, like "the world turned upside-down" is practically only valuable on some level if it coincidentally matches Scientific Truth...which...ermm...haha
...ahahaha—I personally agree with. That aside, that much at least is...is Pratchett, right? Come on!)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 12:11:39 am by Faemon »
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Vixen

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2017, 06:26:49 am »
Aw! Let's keep nerding out.
Thank you luv  :-*

Quote
(proto- Tiffany Aching right there!)
Am I a bad person when I say I don't like Tiffany much?  :-[


May I suggest some companion reading?  I highly recommend the blog of "Mark Reads" (also Mark Watches, Mark Does Stuff) 
Omg... thats bloody awesome  :o
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Faemon

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2017, 07:43:06 am »
Am I a bad person when I say I don't like Tiffany much?  :-[
Nah, I can like her enough for the both of us. :P I don't entirely understand the appeal of Vimes, but, well! Pratchett was certainly very inspired to write stories about him!
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Sefiru

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2017, 06:39:52 pm »

Am I a bad person when I say I don't like Tiffany much?  :-[


I don't think she's supposed to be a likeable person, per se. Which is one reason I like her as a character.

Sefiru

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Re: The Lancre Headology: things we learned from Discworld
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2017, 06:44:34 pm »

I concur! I think Sursumursa on YouTube did a review of it recently that highlighted the holy cinnamon roll status that I hadn't picked up on in my own reading of it, which was nice!

I (heart) Sursum Ursa! Not least because she does positive opinion videos, which the Internet could use more of.

Quote
I did pick up on that Pratchett seemed anti-racist on a very lofty, intellectual level most of all: It didn't make sense than anyone place should be "discovered" by a white guy when there were already people living there, and that jab came up very often, still purely (I felt) because it. Just. Doesn't. Make. Any. Logical. Sense.

Which I totally understand and even appreciate. But with Nation, I felt as though he were really getting into someone else's shoes and someone else's skin, and I felt the style was smoother or allowed for more emotiveness or something—I don't know how much of that very beneficial stylistic shift wad also Lynn Pratchett's influence?

In my opinion, still a very good book but not what I would put up as characteristically Pratchettian in style or philosophy, though certainly very humane. (Though a friend of mine objected to the valorization of Western rational sciences over coded indigenous knowledge, like "the world turned upside-down" is practically only valuable on some level if it coincidentally matches Scientific Truth...which...ermm...haha
...ahahaha—I personally agree with. That aside, that much at least is...is Pratchett, right? Come on!)

Interesting. Maybe I'll come back and post a book report once I've read it.

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