Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:39 pm

lidia25 wrote: I suppose goblins are gypsies as some one here had already supposed!


Goblins as gypsies? I'm interested in hearing more. I've read that gypsies (Romany) and Tinkers are different, but both groups normally travel and have a few other superficial similarities, and I don't recall much about the goblins traveling, not routinely, though obviously they can under certain circumstances.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Ziriath » Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:58 pm

lidia25 wrote:Hi everyone!
My first post - Iam really glad I've found this forum! Thanks for having created it and for adminstrating it ;)
I'm reading Snuff, agree that it's not the best Watch novel, but still...Me too, I suppose goblins are gypsies as some one here had already supposed!(...)


Yes, I think so. Unlike the British gypsies, Czech and Slovak gypsies do not travel. They had it forbidden by Marie Terezie, Nazis and Communist government. They do not seem to return to travelling. There are many problems with them especially in the north of our country and in the east of Slovakia- they steal a lot. In almost every bigger town there is one (or more) gypsy ghetto- single houses, one or more streets, or whole city departments-, which is considered to be a DO-NOT-GO-THERE-AFTER-DARK area.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Ziriath » Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:17 pm

So I've read it too.
How to say it. The moral aspect is a very important thing in Discworld novels. But whereas in the older books it was a decent nudge, in the case of newer ones, and Snuff especially, it's hitting a reader with a sledgehammer of morality.
Second thing, our old good Vimes has been transformed into Vimes The Great-Invincible.
It seems to me the world of Discworld became too much tied by its own rules (but it's something what happens to every fantasy series. Whereas earlier Discworld was a multilayered colourful world, now it's a dark Victorian society- but without Christianity (Which is quite not believable. Society with so many religions and gods cannot be so...19th century-ish.)
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Tonyblack » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:11 am

Welcome to the site lidia! :D
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby raptornx01 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:42 pm

Its still a multi-layered colorful world, its just that many of those layers don't need to be emphasized as much anymore.

I'm reminded of the same arguments being lodged at the harry potter films, the counter argument being, do we really need to have the moving staircases and talking pictures and stuff that make the world, fantasical, be given so much airtime in every film? we know they exist, no reason to keep making a big deal out of it.

Think the same thing applies here. All that stuff from earlier that made the disc "magical" and "wondrous" are still there, they just aren't being given center stage. there should be no need really, and doing so would eventually just feel like retreading too much.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby rockershovel » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:40 pm

Looking at all the blather about Mary Sue a few pages back, what does that have to do with anything? For me, the central problem in Snuff is that having introduced the Summoning Dark in Thud! , it seems to dominate Vimes' character to the extent that it isn't really possible for him to be a fallible, middle-aged man and he thereby loses his appeal as a fictional character in a humorous fantasy. Will likings is likewise, at one point, a murderer plain and simple -how does that square with the old "the law is everything" Vimes? No, sorry, it isn't that Vimes is a Marty Pugh or whatever, it's that he isn't any recognisable version of Sam Vimes
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby sandmansbag » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:09 pm

Why doesn't Vimes ask Jethro to name his second? It seems like a sensible question if you're arranging a fair fight. If you were working by Fantaillers rules (assuming that they are the same as Queensburys) you'd have to have one.
Last edited by sandmansbag on Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:07 am

rockershovel wrote:For me, the central problem in Snuff is that having introduced the Summoning Dark in Thud! , it seems to dominate Vimes' character to the extent that it isn't really possible for him to be a fallible, middle-aged man and he thereby loses his appeal as a fictional character in a humorous fantasy.


The Summoning Dark didn't dominate Vimes at the end of Thud!. Whether it truly dominates him in Snuff is another question. I prefer to take it that Vimes, being stuck with the thing, is choosing to use it when it is handy without letting it take him over. The topos of a hero reluctantly having to work with a shadow figure is a classic one which has appeared in many forms including Doctor Who on TV and in novels by Joseph Conrad and E.E. "Doc" Smith. Psychologically it indicates that a character is becoming more unified. Rejecting the shadow side would just give it more strength. It is a stronger mode to see it is there and control it. Vimes is using it without giving in to it, just as he has controlled his own inner Beast for many years.

rockershovel wrote: Will likings

Willikins. (Beware autocorrect.)

rockershovel wrote: is likewise, at one point, a murderer plain and simple -how does that square with the old "the law is everything" Vimes?


Willikins is not Vimes. Willikins is not a "the law is everything" type. He has a veneer of civilization, that's all. Note that Vimes does not know about everything Willikins does. If Vimes knew, he would feel that he had to do something appropriate, but Willikins will make sure that Vimes will not find out. There is a milder but still parallel situation in Hogfather when Death as Hogfather tells off King Wenceslaus, and Albert has to take the servant aside and warn him to prevent the King from making the mistake of trying a revenge visit. It was necessary, given the nature of kings of that type, but Albert doesn't tell Death that he has done it.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby Alanz » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:38 am

I thought it was a good book,i enjoyed reading it as i have enjoy them all ,I must admit that i've not read many but i'm getting there, admittedly some are better/ funnier that others. but all are in my opinion very well written :D
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby raisindot » Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:29 pm

=Tamar wrote:
The Summoning Dark didn't dominate Vimes at the end of Thud!. Whether it truly dominates him in Snuff is another question. I prefer to take it that Vimes, being stuck with the thing, is choosing to use it when it is handy without letting it take him over. The topos of a hero reluctantly having to work with a shadow figure is a classic one which has appeared in many forms including Doctor Who on TV and in novels by Joseph Conrad and E.E. "Doc" Smith. Psychologically it indicates that a character is becoming more unified. Rejecting the shadow side would just give it more strength. It is a stronger mode to see it is there and control it. Vimes is using it without giving in to it, just as he has controlled his own inner Beast for many years.


I still think Vimes' use of the Summoning Dark is one of the worst parts of a very flawed book. The whole point of Vimes conquering the SD at the end of Thud was to prove that he has, by necessity, been able to create his own inner Watchman to keep that Lawless parts of himself from going beyond a point of no return--something that the dwarves in the same book failed to do.

There is really no need at all for Vimes to collaborate with the Summoning Dark from that point forward, and the only role it serves in Thud is a narrative shortcut to give Vimes access to information he wouldn't have been able to discover on his own (or that would have required better writing from Pterry). In Thud the SD served this narrative role--without it taking over him Vimes wouldn't have stumbled onto the Koom Valley dwarves on his own. Howver, in Thud this made sense because the unconscious battle between Vimes and the SD was a central part of the story and was thoroughly connected into all of the other events. In Snuff it's just a side note, a bit player. The SD is not the shadowy figure in the book; Willikens plays that role. The SD is just a gimmick and a very bad one at that.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:58 am

raisindot wrote:
=Tamar wrote:I prefer to take it that Vimes, being stuck with the thing, is choosing to use it when it is handy without letting it take him over. The topos of a hero reluctantly having to work with a shadow figure is a classic one [...] becoming unified[...]

The whole point of Vimes conquering the SD at the end of Thud was to prove that he has, by necessity, been able to create his own inner Watchman to keep that Lawless parts of himself from going beyond a point of no return [...]
There is really no need at all for Vimes to collaborate with the Summoning Dark from that point forward, and the only role it serves in Thud is a narrative shortcut to give Vimes access to information he wouldn't have been able to discover on his own (or that would have required better writing from Pterry). [...] The SD is not the shadowy figure in the book; Willikens plays that role.


Perhaps a different method could have been found. I would probably have been just as happy if one had been.
However, from outside the story, if Vimes had only defeated the Summoning Dark and it never reappeared yet still left the mark on him, it would have been the equivalent of merely shoving it deeper into the shadows. It would still be there. Being aware of it and even being able to use some of its talents without giving in to its tendencies is a stronger indication of Vimes's level of control.

Also from outside the story, I believe it is necessary to have both the SD and Willikins; the SD can't get rid of Stanton without involving Vimes directly, and Willikins is too separate from Vimes to work as a symbol of Vimes controlling his own darkness. It is a common technique to divide a particular story element so that two or more representative characters can do different things, e.g., one underling thief can be the amusing one who gets away and another underling thief can be the less-amusing one who receives his comeuppance.

Along similar lines, it is necessary to have both Stanton and the upperclass villain behind him; Stanton receives his comeuppance directly on the page, while the upperclass society villain receives a society-level punishment, to be cast out of his social support group. Even if he got back to his old haunts, he has been ruined socially and can't draw on his old friends or family background for support. Since he also has no money and no skills, it seems clear (at least to me) that he will not survive long, even if the delicately hinted-at assassin is not sent. The villain behind the villain is the social structure, and it takes time to reshape such an amorphous opponent, but its individual representatives can be affected by social weapons.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby raisindot » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:35 pm

I agree that having both Stanton and the young Rust as 'villains' whose outcomes are handled differently is very appropriate and very indicative of how 'justice' tends to be meted out (or not) in societies routed in class distinctions.

I don't agree that the SD was in any way necessary. It showed up once in the story, and never again. There is no 'darkness' in Vimes at all in Snuff. The outrage that often led the Beast to show its ugly face is completely gone. He is completely in control at every step. He gleefully uses his power as both Watchman and aristocrat to manipulate people and event the way he wants to. This is a far cry from the "Vetinari's Terrier," "Blackboard Monitor" or the "Not the Sharpest Blade" Vimes of earlier books, when Vimes is manipulated by others to arrive at a conclusion he would not have arrived at as quickly on his own. Having the SD here as little more than a informant not only trivializes its importance, but also demonstrates that by this point Vimes is completely invincible--like Superman without any kryptonite around. Over the course of the books, Vimes' major appeal was that there was always something in him that made him feel fearful and inadequate. In Snuff, his supreme self confidence, to the point that he can even consort with ancient transdimensional entities on a first name basis, is the major flaw of the book.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:13 am

raisindot wrote:I don't agree that the SD was in any way necessary. It showed up once in the story, and never again. There is no 'darkness' in Vimes at all in Snuff. The outrage that often led the Beast to show its ugly face is completely gone. He is completely in control at every step. He gleefully uses his power as both Watchman and aristocrat to manipulate people and event the way he wants to.

I wouldn't say he was gleeful about it. He agonizes over it (pg.252 US h/c, just before Stoner brings the Cease and Desist order). However, he has matured in the unseen five years, and in this book we see Vimes in a position very much like what I think Vetinari was in when he first took over. Vimes is in a place that has not, so far, acknowledged any real submission to Ankh-Morpork. It is a county run by a bunch of rich people, two days by coach away from the city, and with one hereditary village constable. (It's pretty close to the Wild West, complete with riverboats.) Vimes is dragooned into going by a combination of Vetinari and Sybil, and it's shown in a conversation (pg.10-11 US h/c) with Drumknott that Vetinari knows there is a situation there and he has sent Vimes and Sybil because he knows Vimes will find it, much as he sent Vimes into Uberwald where Sybil's unique social talents were also of great help. Like Vetinari, Vimes has stepped into a position of power that has a history of bad management and everyone there expects him to follow suit. It's even specified that Vimes uses methods he has learned from Vetinari. Like the city in Guards! Guards!, the village has one cop who cares and who can't do much about it. Carrot arrived and supported Vimes's old beliefs, and Vetinari began to support the Watch. Feeney in the village has the support of his old mum, and has Vimes's reported training to inspire him; when Vimes supports and improves Feeney's attempts at real policing, the parallel is very close. In an odd way, we are watching Vetinari's rise to real power mirrored by Vimes. Even Vetinari's careful checks and balances and deals behind the scenes are paralleled by Vimes's interactions with the barkeeper and other local powers.

raisindot wrote:This is a far cry from the "Vetinari's Terrier," "Blackboard Monitor" or the "Not the Sharpest Blade" Vimes of earlier books, when Vimes is manipulated by others to arrive at a conclusion he would not have arrived at as quickly on his own.

I see Vimes still being manipulated to some extent, but only by Vetinari, Sybil, and, somewhat, by Willikins acting as Drumknott in some ways. I feel that this book would be lessened if it were just another Vimes-gets-manipulated story. It is the story of Vimes coming into his own, learning to deal with the power he has as an aristocrat as well as a police commander. He even has his own bowler-hatted gameskeepers.

raisindot wrote:Having the SD here as little more than an informant not only trivializes its importance, but also demonstrates that by this point Vimes is completely invincible--like Superman without any kryptonite around. Over the course of the books, Vimes' major appeal was that there was always something in him that made him feel fearful and inadequate. In Snuff, his supreme self confidence, to the point that he can even consort with ancient transdimensional entities on a first name basis, is the major flaw of the book.

Vimes is still uncomfortable in "polite society" (where, again, Sybil deliberately uses his plain speaking to help a friend who made the mistake of bringing up most of her daughters as conformists). He is not at all confident on horseback. He is astonished and defeated by the auriential martial arts of both Feeney and his old mother. There's plenty of uncertainty and a good deal of fear on the river. I feel that the SD had to be acknowledged and shown to be fully under Vimes's control, but that it wasn't the point of the book. The SD is not trivial; the fact that Vimes can, with care and suspicion, use it indicates Vimes's strength, not the SD's weakness. It was vital for the river-flood scene. Without it, the riverboat captain would have had to be a superhuman hero to guide the boat in darkness. There is no way Vimes could have guided the boat himself even had it been daylight. Their survival required the combination of Vimes's SD-given night-sight and the captain's experience and perfect memory.
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby tmoh » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:02 am

Also from outside the story, I believe it is necessary to have both the SD and Willikins; the SD can't get rid of Stanton without involving Vimes directly, and Willikins is too separate from Vimes to work as a symbol of Vimes controlling his own darkness.


Er, slight hijack--I take it you're talking about Stratford here?
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Re: Snuff *Warning Spoilers*

Postby =Tamar » Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:37 am

tmoh wrote:
Also from outside the story, I believe it is necessary to have both the SD and Willikins; the SD can't get rid of Stanton without involving Vimes directly, and Willikins is too separate from Vimes to work as a symbol of Vimes controlling his own darkness.


Er, slight hijack--I take it you're talking about Stratford here?

Um, yes, thank you for the correction. I don't know where I got "Stanton" from.
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