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412WOSSNAME - FEBRUARY 2008 - PART 3 of 5

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  • Not A Granny
    Feb 26, 2008
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      WOSSNAME - FEBRUARY 2008 -- PART 3 OF 5 (continued)
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      ====Part 3 - BITS, BOBS AND THE RETURN OF WEIRD ALICE

      20) QUIRM AND GENUA: A READER'S THOUGHTS
      21) RUN RINCEWIND RUN
      22) IMAGE OF THE MONTH
      23) EAR TO THE SCREEN: ALT.BOOKS.PRATCHETT
      24) AROUND THE B.U. CAMPUS
      25) THE CLACKS LOG OF WEIRD ALICE LANCREVIC

      oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      20) QUIRM AND GENUA: A READER'S THOUGHTS

      The question was asked:
      Is there a connection between Quirm and Genua? - even though both
      places seem to use Morporkian as their lingua franca...?

      Andy of DC suggests:

      There are no exact Roundworld analogues/analogs for either of these
      Discworld cities, nor for Klatch. In thinking up these places,
      Terry Pratchett was more inventive and less consistent than the
      comments above [Ed. note: January 2008 issue] would suggest.

      Yes, Genua in "Witches Abroad" shows some notable similarities to
      New Orleans. But in the history of Earth, the actual New Orleans
      never had feudal nobles, much less a ruling duke, so go figure.

      Also the name "Genua" is obviously close to "Genoa," which in
      Roundworld terms was sometimes an independent city, but in ancient
      times was part of the Roman Empire {cf the ancient Ankh-Morporkian
      empire), and in some eras came under French influence. Also, Genua
      in Discworld parlance is located on the Circle Sea -- the
      Mediterranean, no? -- whereas in Roundworld parlance, New Orleans
      isn't. Finally, Genua in "Masquerade" is a big town for opera, which
      makes it sound more Italian in culture than New Orleans ever was.
      QED: Terry created Genua as a composite entity, not just a knock-off
      of New Orleans.

      Similarly with Quirm, although I don't think Quirm is central enough
      to any Discworld novel for anybody to tell for sure. However,
      Quirm's most famous son, Leonard of Quirm, clearly is patterned
      after the historic Leonardo de Vinci, who spent much of his career
      as a military engineer for the ruthless Duke Ludovic Sforza of
      Milan. So we can't just map Quirm onto the French town of
      Roquefort and have done with it; Quirm shows some Italian features
      as well.

      As for Klatch, in some books it does resemble Algeria, but we also
      learn in Soul Music and Jingo that the fearsome D'regs inhabit the
      border regions of the Klatchian Empire, and it seems to me that the
      D'regs resemble nothing so much, in British Imperial history, as the
      Pashtuns or Pathans of the border regions between Afghanistan and
      modern Pakistan.

      Historically, the Pushtus/Pathans were a persistent pain to British
      Empire; they also were renowned as brave warriors who raided
      caravans, and they had a reputation both for gallant generosity and
      ruthless cruelty. The various border tribes that the French may have
      encountered in Algeria don't match the Pathan/Pushtun reputation,
      which suggests the Pushtuns were the model for the D'regs. This
      makes Klatch partly Asian in character.

      Another clue that Terry's invention of Klatch was partly inspired by
      South Asia, and not ONLY by Muslim Africa, is provided by the nature
      of Klatchian food. Sold in take-away restaurants in Ankh-Morpork
      (see Mort, Soul Music and Jingo), the primary Klatchian dish
      apparently consists of curry -- a dish of the Indian subcontinent,
      not North Africa.

      Also, the erotic religious bas-reliefs of the Klatchian palace the
      "Rhoxie," as mentioned in Sourcery, are far more in keeping with
      the erotic religious art of the Indian subcontinent than anything
      found in Muslim North Africa. Similarly with the wine sold in the
      caravanserai in Jingo, which wouldn't be a legal drink in a Muslim
      society, although it might be in Hindu-dominated or British-
      dominated India.

      On the other hand, the Oriental poetry that the Emperor Creosote
      tries to write in Sourcery, (which partly takes place in Klatch),
      is mostly taken from Edward Fitzgerald's translation of the Rubaiyat
      of Omar Khayyam, a medieval Persian poet. Some of Creosote's inept
      verses also resemble rather moving verses in the Song of Songs,
      the great Hebrew erotic poem that the King James Bible attributes
      to the Jewish King Solomon. And Creosote, simply by being "rich as
      Creosote," has a name redolent of the ancient King Croesus of Lydia,
      a vanished kingdom of Asia Minor.

      So Klatch as described in the Discworld books takes some of its
      features from Muslim North Africa, some from pre-Byzantine Anatolia,
      some from British India, some from Sassanid Persia, and some from
      ancient Israel and Judah. It is a place to be found only in Terry
      Pratchett's marvellous and marvellously eclectic imagination, not on
      any Roundworld map.

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      21) RUN RINCEWIND RUN

      Run Rincewind Run, the now legendary Rincewind film that was shown
      at the AusCon complete with Terry Pratchett performing Deformed
      Rabbit, can be seen at

      http://www.snowgumfilms.com/runrincewindrun/film.html

      It's...amusing...

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      22) IMAGE OF THE MONTH: SILLY BURGERS

      http://tinyurl.com/2mvs2z

      WOSSNAME reader John Brassil took a photo of an amusingly relevant
      burger stand in Austin, Texas. "I didn't get a chance to go in," he
      says, "but I will be back in March and I plan to see if they have
      Rat Onna Stick or Sausage-Inna-Bun!" We await reports, John!

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      23) FROM ALT.BOOKS.PRATCHETT

      a) RECURSION 'R' US

      TOPIC: How cool is this? WOSSNAME appearance!
      We only went and made this months WOSSNAME newsletter!

      "10) WHATEVER BECAME OF THE TROLL BRIDGE MOVIE?
      Some speculations from alt.books.pratchett: (etc.)"

      -- Ray

      [Ed. note: Get used to it, Ray. Big WOSSer is watching you! Heh.]

      ***

      b) AUDIO KILLED THE PROOFREADING STAR?

      So I was listening to Night Watch on audio, and the after scene
      where Vimes is talking to Madame Vetinari is revealed to be
      standing in the room. In the book he says that Keel would have seen
      him had he just been more aware (or something to that effect). But
      in the audio version V. says Vimes instead of Keel... Have anybody
      noticed this? And is it in every version of the audio.

      It kind of made me laugh. I mean Vetinari has always been uncanny in
      his way of knowing just one extra fact, but this was just great. I
      never knew he was that cool, to be able to see into the future. :)

      -- Rasmus

      Good question (I don't get the audio copies). I hope somebody has
      fixed it by now; with so much being done on computer, it shouldn't
      be too expensive to do (unlike a similar fix for print errors, which
      is apparently so expensive that only the most disastrous ones are
      changed - including that one).

      That error was in the American pre-release review copy (one of the
      few that I've seen). It was corrected in the official American
      first print edition.

      So that means the audio versions are made from the review copies
      in order to be can be released at the same time as the printed
      books. I wonder whether all the audio versions are from the
      review copies, and how many times changes have been made at
      that late point in the process.

      "Vetinari has always been uncanny in his way of knowing just one
      extra fact, but this was just great. I never knew he was that cool,
      to be able to see into the future." -- It might have been, but I
      think it would have screwed up the story for him to know that much
      in advance. He doesn't put it all together (if he ever really does)
      until the end of NW.

      -- Tamar

      He admits as much:
      [Vimes] "You knew? You bloody well knew, didn't you?"
      "Not until, oh, one second ago," said Vetinari.

      Of course, he may have been lying.

      That raises an interesting question - have we ever caught Vetinari in
      a lie? Half-truths and misdirection, perhaps, but I can't recall an
      occasion where he actually lies. I suppose it would make the game too
      simple.

      -- Doug

      It would certainly screw up the story. It's just really funny that
      an error changes the premises for the story. I'm just glad I've
      read the book enough times to spot it. And I think he puts it
      together. I just think he understands, like Lawn eventually does,
      that memory is a tricky thing and not always a good thing to comment
      upon.

      -- Rasmus

      I'm not sure about the earliest books, but the schedule of the newer
      books (going on half-remembered comments from Stephen about as-yet-
      unreleased books, and backed up by a guess about the relative
      release times) definitely seems to deal with the recording more or
      less alongside the final run-up to actual shop-release, which would
      slightly pre-date any such "oopsies" that they get caught only
      through the efforts of the reading community.

      -- Len

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      24) AROUND THE BU CAMPUS

      After our recent feature on the marvellously revivified Bugarup
      University Roundworld -- http://groups.yahoo.com/group -- several
      new members joined ("I read about it in WOSSNAME"), and the cheerful
      madness continues. Newbie New Bruce, who wasn't a Bruce at all but
      took a new name to avoid confusion, was moved to make the following
      comment in a discussion thread:

      "The number of messages in January was 666. That's what happens when
      you have a discussion on the casting of Good Omens :)"

      If you love Pterry's works and fancy having fun with vampire
      werepenguins, loony Technomancers, Weather Goddesses and the
      occasional werewolf librarian, come on down! There's always a place
      for new students in Room 3b...

      %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

      25) THE CLACKS LOG OF WEIRD ALICE LANCREVIC

      Post 9. TALES OF THE VERY UNEXPECTED

      First Clog: "In another other country"

      So, I got married. And I'm a grandmother.

      Trust me, I'm as shocked as you are. But I've had years to get used
      to it. Years and years and years. And even though I have a chance to
      live my life over again now, I'm not the same person I might have
      been. The future is going to be interesting this time... again...

      It's a long story. Fifty years long, in fact. When Cert said I'd
      been "trapped in an alternate Quirm for weeks", it had already been
      several years for me!

      It started when I woke up just before dawn in the middle of the
      famous Floral Clock of Quirm. The last I knew I'd been looking for
      Cert when we got separated after getting lost on the road from Sum
      Dim and ending up in progressively weirder gnarly ground left over
      from the ancient Mage Wars. One moment strange creepy trees and
      sudden dark mist, the next lying on a bed of Scarlet Cockcrow that
      tickled because the flowers were trying to open under me. The area
      was deserted, so I crawled out of the clock -- with the sort of
      headache you get after a night of scumble -- and took stock of my
      surroundings. I was sure that it was Quirm, because I've seen
      iconographs of it and the buildings had that quaint but boring look
      that you'd expect in what's famous for being a quaint but boring
      city-state (also, the floral clock was something of a giveaway), but
      I had no idea *why* it was Quirm. Agatea to Quirm is a lot of miles
      and I'm pretty sure B.S. Johnson never visited Sum Dim. Still, there
      wasn't much I could do about it, so I had a wander around to check
      out the town before people started waking up. Mostly, I was looking
      for a cafe; Quirm is famous for its open-air cafes, and it had been
      a long time and a lot of geography since I'd last eaten. A number of
      premises had something odd on their signs: RPI LICENCED or RPI
      APPROVED (in Quirmish, but I can speak that). I wondered what it
      meant, but thought no more of it because I had other things on my
      mind...

      When the first cafe opened, I ordered breakfast -- and got my first
      surprise. I had to pay in advance! After all I'd heard about Quirm's
      boring politeness and toleration of tourism, this was unexpected. I
      still had a half-rhinu on me though, so that was no problem...except
      that it was. I got very suspicious looks from the landlord, *very*
      suspicious looks, and ended up having to spin a tale about it being
      an old family heirloom I'd taken for luck on my travels. He wasn't
      happy about the word "travels", either, but he took my money and
      gave me fairly generous change based on it being made of "or". The
      food was uninspired, not that I cared at this point, and afterwards
      I decided to go around the inns when they opened, looking for a gig,
      and to look for a Clacks office so I could send word to
      Bhangbhangduc in case Cert had made it there. This was where I got
      my second surprise. Set of surprises. The Clacks office was the
      first to open -- and they asked me for identification! You can
      imagine my surprise. The only place I've ever known that goes in for
      personal identification papers is the Agatean Empire, and these days
      there's not even much of that. I made another excuse about having
      left it at my hotel, got more suspicious looks, and left in a hurry
      to regroup.

      Things got stranger after that.

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      End of Part 3, continued on Part 4 of 5.
      If you did not get all five parts, write: interact@...
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      Copyright (c) 2008 by Klatchian Foreign Legion