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WOSSNAME -- AUGUST 2002 -- PART 2 OF 3 (continued)

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  • JSCHAUM111@aol.com
    WOSSNAME -- AUGUST 2002 -- PART 2 OF 3 (continued) ... oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 4) PRATCHETT ON TOLKIEN For those who have not yet come
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 30 7:24 AM
      WOSSNAME -- AUGUST 2002 -- PART 2 OF 3 (continued)



      For those who have not yet come across it, Terry has an
      article called 'Cult Classic' in MEDITATIONS ON
      MIDDLE-EARTH, edited by Karen Haber, New York:
      St Martin's Press, 2001, hardcover (ISBN 0-312-27536-6).
      It will be published in the US in paperback in October
      2002. It is already available for download to Adobe and
      Microsoft readers.

      The US edition is still available in hardcover from Barnes
      & Noble for $24.95 and from Amazon.com for $17.47.
      It is illustrated with 21 monochrome interior illustrations by
      the well-known Tolkien illustrator John Howe.

      It was published in Britain as a paperback by Earthlight
      (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in May 2002
      (ISBN 0-7432-3100-7).



      Clarecraft has announced the imminent launch
      of two new figurines, Igor and Granny Weatherwax,
      and are now taking advance orders for them,
      For details, see the Clarecraft site at:

      Also, Trish Baker has just released her Collectors'
      Guide to Discworld Figurines from Clarecraft. This is
      available from their online shop at:



      'In the embrace of his gutter, half a mile away, Captain Vimes of
      the Night Watch opened his mouth and started to sing.'

      Thus was I introduced to Vimes, way back in 'Guards!Guards!'. For me,
      it was a pivotal moment; I was already a Discworld appreciator, having read
      'The Colour of Magic' and 'The Light Fantastic', but the of
      Vimes made me a diehard fan.

      I've heard it said that Vimes, and the Watch, are among Terry Pratchett's
      favourite characters. I *haven't* heard it said, but I somehow suspect,that
      Vimes embodies quite a lot of the author's personal philosophy. By that I
      don't mean to impute that Pterry is speciesist (who knows?) - rather that
      the Vimes disregard for bureaucrats and class systems and silly little rules
      written by silly little people who don't have to live with those rules on a
      day to day basis, is very much a Pratchett sympathy.

      It's been fascinating,for me, to watch the ethos of Vimes growing and
      evolving - fleshing out - and to watch how Vimes-the-character has
      progressed through a series of changes of circumstance,ever upward in
      Ankh-Morpork society, without losing his basic principles or losing the
      ability to do his job to the max.

      When Samuel Vimes of the Night Watch was first introduced, he was to all
      appearances a typical Fictional Iconoclast Copper, hard-bitten, alcoholic,
      as dirty as any Harry you care to name, but vaguely honourable (as dirty
      Harry's are meant to be). He's still hard-bitten,iconoclastic and a
      recovering alcoholic, but time and experience and lurve and promotions
      have forced him to think in larger terms. Slowly and painfully - and I think
      if Vimes could speak for himself, he'd deny this with vehemence - he's
      coming closer to the Vetinari view, otherwise known as the Really Big
      Yes, he came from absolute poverty, from the lowest 'decent' stratum of A-M
      society, whereas Vetinari was the product of an old and genteel family, but I
      that both men love the city and feel duty-bound and honour-bound to do the
      best by her...even if honour binds them to actions that are in and of
      themselves dishonourable.

      One thing I like about Vimes is the way he snookers himself with his own
      prejudices. Look at the way the Watch has grown, and the way it's become
      a field leader in interspecies relations : I can't imagine that would have
      happened under any other Watch leader. The man is a true egalitarian - he
      dislikes everyone with the same fervour (except for vampires, but give him
      time and who knows? I think perhaps his meetings with Lady Margolotta may
      eventually apply a wedge to that oyster). He has a quality I very much
      admire, also, namely that he keeps his prejudices mostly private. Witness
      first meeting with the newly-arrived Cheery Littlebottom. Talk about iron

      Sam Vimes drives his Watchmen hard,but he drives himself far harder. I'd
      say too hard, but then, he seems to do some of his best coppering when he's
      nearly at breaking point (and isn't Lord Vetinari a genius at keeping him
      there!). He's possibly the only high-ranking person in Ankh-Morpork who is
      willing to entertain a good idea no matter where it comes from; in fact,he'd
      credit Nobby's suggestions well ahead of Ronnie Rust's, which is on balance
      sensible - though Nobbs v. Rust is a bit neck-and-neck - but a rare
      attribute in Morporkian society. Best of all, he has always put the
      spirit of the law above the letter of the law, and never tried to dodge
      responsibility for his own decisions. What a man, what a mighty good man...

      I loved the ending of 'Guards!Guards!' and was delighted that Pterry decided
      to continue Sam and Sybil's relationship. It's been great to watch Vimes
      going through the slow process of dismantling his inner defences and
      discovering that it's possible to be emotionally attached to *anything* that
      isn't police work. At the same time,he's also been slowly learning that his
      wife can provide insights into his 'office work', and sometimes even
      heat-of-the-moment backup in the time-honoured Buddy Cop manner!

      I could go on and on, and who knows, I might. For now, I'll just say - if you
      haven't read all the books covering the Vimes Saga,do it now. Or I'll set
      Detritus on you,complete with supercooling helmet *and* Piecemaker.

      -- Drusilla D'Afanguin



      To the Editor:

      (In which I manage to be on-topic *and* use a forbidden
      word, all in the one post...)

      It'd been years since I last read Equal Rites. I remember
      thinking, after the Witches Trilogy (which I always thought
      of as Wyrd Sisters/Witches Abroad/Lords and Ladies,
      despite the inclusion of Equal Rites in the omnibus
      edition), that Pterry had done Granny 1.0 entirely wrong, so
      much so that he should have started with a new Granny-type
      character for the Lancre NonCoven.

      But yesterday I re-read Equal Rites. The essential Grannyness of Granny
      shines through from her second appearance, even though there are a few
      out-of-character bits here and there ( for example, her Nanny-like cooing
      at the newborn Esk ). But there are some physical discrepancies that bother
      me : there are references to her having warty hands and a hooked nose, and
      that *can't* be right, plus she seems awfully easy to corrupt vis a vis the
      soft-living ways of Ankh-Morpork witchdom.

      Anyone think we should lend the Tim Mashin to Pterry
      so he can go back and deal with continuity breaches?

      -- Noisy Cow



      On Mon 12 Aug, Steven D'Aprano wrote:

      > On a more serious note, if you had one question to ask PTerry, what
      > would it be?

      My friend asked him which his favourite book was, and he said (this was
      around Hogfather time) the ones about the Watch, probably Men at Arms
      or Guards, Guards.

      -- Fuzzy (aka Fiona Wynn)

      If you did not get all 3 parts, write: jschaum111@...
      End of Part 2, says my computer -- continued on Part 3 of 3
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