Posts tagged Discworld
Posts tagged Discworld
A while ago, for fun, I started doing some reading on some of the stranger naming choices made by the Puritans between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. (Yes, for fun. I am a dork.) Here are a few of my favourites:
A Sussex jury roll from the 1600s includes the names Accepted Trevor, Redeemed Compton, Kill-Sin Pimple, Fly-Fornication Richardson, Search-The-Scriptures Moreton, The-Peace-Of-God Knight, Stand-Fast-On-High Stringer, The-Gift-of-God Stringer, and Fight-The-Good-Fight-Of-Faith White, Obediencia Cruttenden, Called Lower, Hope-For Bending, More-Fruit Flower and Meek Brewer. Some other wonderful Sussex names around this time include Safely-on-High Snat, Mortifie Hicks and the marvellously-named Humiliation Scratcher. And let’s not forget Be-Stedfast Elyarde, Faint-not Dighurst, Hew-Agag-in-pieces Robinson, Swear-not-at-all Ireton and Obadiah-bind-their-kings-in-chains-and-their-nobles-in-irons Needham.
Here’s another good naming method: There was a tradition among some Puritan villagers of opening the Bible and selecting the first name their eyes landed upon, which led to some interesting christenings. One poor child was landed with the name Ramoth-Gilead as a result of this method, reportedly leading a rather bemused parson to ask, “Boy or girl, eh?” There’s some evidence that certain parents, whose reading was perhaps not the best, would simply open the Bible and choose a word at random - hence the existence in Connecticut of Maybe Barnes and a girl by the rather unfortunate name of Notwithstanding Griswold. One child in England was christened Sirs, the parents insisting that it was a Scripture name and citing as proof the passage “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Another Puritan named his dog Moreover after the Gospel passage “Moreover the dog came and licked his sores.”
The Omnian Constable Visit-The-Unbeliever-With-Explanatory-Pamphlets of Ankh-Morpork owes his name to a real naming tradition, yes. :D :D
As well as Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer.
And probably the family with daughters named after virtues and sons after vices—Bestiality Carter being the one that’s always stuck with me.
let me upload a better pic later
Cohen the Barbarian
Well, it’s finally finished.
It was a genuinely satisfying project.
I present you Ankh Morpork in the guise of Google Maps.
brb, ugly happy screaming.
WOWWIE THIS IS GREAT
Now, for the next step, travel round the world and ‘build’ A-M with pictures from everywhere and actually put it in googlemaps
At first I thought “That is a bit squashed Budapest” and then I saw the great truth.
Rob Anybody makes me crack up. I could read Wee Free Men stories all day. I also like that Grebo was drawn in human form.
a BRILLIANT read, and even more incentive for me to make my own wizards trope-defying and excellent.
God it’s fascinating to look at the timestamp on this one and then realize that Pratchett went on to write his Witches Series and Granny Weatherwax, who’s strong and fierce and brilliant and austere and so achingly, bitterly, intensely good. I think Granny Weatherwax would give Gandalf a hard look and Gandalf would remember he had a very urgent appointment three shires away and stroll off really fast.
Holy fuck, everybody go read this right now.
Pratchett is one of the people whose work is not only hilarious, but legitimately brilliant. I learned so much from reading his books. Even this talk is peppered with the kind of thing that makes you snort out loud and get stared at by coworkers:
No wonder witches were always portrayed as toothless — it was living in a 90,000 calorie house that did it. You’d hear a noise in the night and it’d be the local kids, eating the doorknob.
And he fucking nails the witch/wizard dichotomy. Wizards = wise, powerful, organized, educated; witches = crones who give you warts. The Tiffany Aching series addresses this directly, as do the regular Discworld books focusing on the Lancre witches. Like Roach says, Granny Weatherwax is achingly, bitterly, intensely good, and that’s partly because she’s constantly aware of how easy it would be to be bad. How someone has to do the mucky jobs and help the obnoxious and stupid and never, ever take credit for anything you didn’t do; how the hardest thing is to stay balanced just on the edge between extremes, maintain that equilibrium, do what needs to be done no matter how awful or difficult it may be. Wizards never have to think about this. They just forge straight ahead, eating big dinners and squabbling amongst themselves and taking their power for granted.
Come to think of it, that’s one of the most significant divisions of power in Discworld: the men all gang up into this big elitist mob and loll around indolently, specifically not doing magic. Their magic is so powerful and dangerous that it’s a better use of their time to all keep each other down, all the wizard books basically revolve around ‘Oh no, someone’s doing magic, we’d better stomp them flat and then go home for second breakfast’. They keep the world from turning inside out but not much more than that, and they’re kind of a bunch of assholes about it too. Meanwhile the witches are just grimly slogging along, delivering babies and rousting out vampires and changing compresses, like, they stake out territories and then take care of everyone in it… while everyone still thinks that wizards are respectable and witches are shady.
Granny Weatherwax’s beehives were tucked away down one side of the cottage. Some were the old straw kind, most were patched-up wooden ones. They thundered with activity, even this late in the year.
Tiffany turned aside to look at them, and the bees poured out in a dark stream. They swarmed toward Tiffany, formed a column, and—
She laughed. They’d made a witch of bees in front of her, thousands of them all holding station in the air. She raised her right hand. With a rise in the level of buzzing, the bee-witch raised its right hand. She turned around. It turned around, the bees carefully copying down every swirl and flutter of her dress, the ones on the very edge buzzing desperately because they had farthest to fly.
She carefully put down the big sack and reached out toward the figure. With another roar of wings it went shapeless for a moment, then re-formed a little way away, but with a hand out-stretched toward her. The bee that was the tip of its forefinger hovered just in front of Tiffany’s fingernail.
“Shall we dance?” said Tiffany.
In the clearing full of spinning seeds, she circled the swarm. It kept up pretty well, moving fingertip to buzzing tip, turning when she turned, although there were always a few bees racing to keep up.
Then it raised both its arms and twirled in the opposite direction, the bees in the “skirt” spreading out again as it spun. It was learning.
Tiffany laughed and did the same thing. Swarm and girl whirled across the clearing.
She felt happy and wondered if she’d ever felt this happy before. The gold light, the falling seeds, the dancing bees…it was all one thing. This was the opposite of the dark desert. Here, light was everywhere and filled her up inside. She could feel herself here but see herself from above, twirling with a buzzing shadow that sparkled golden as the light struck the bees, moments like this paid for it all.
— A Hat Full of Sky
Fuck yeah, Discworld
When banks fail, it is seldom bankers who starve.
—Going Postal, Terry Pratchett
i believe with absolute sincerity that pterry is the greatest working class intellectual social historian of his age, slow clap it out
Animated Paul Kidby
Original illustration by Paul Kidby
“Death isn’t cruel – merely terribly, terribly good at his job.”