Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby raisindot » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:55 pm

LilMaibe wrote:No, you can have character and therefore change development without having the character go out of character.
Have you read what I wrote? A character is Out Of Character the moment he does something uncharacteristical without any explanation.
You are talking about characters without any personality, characters that are less than tool. That isn't how you write a good character.


I tend to agree with this in general. Take Sam Vimes, for example. If you first read "Guards! Guards!" and then read "Thud!" without reading any of the intervening books, you might say that the Vimes of the latter book was "out of character" since the calculating, street-smart, in-control, powerful Vimes of "Thud!" bears almost no resemblance to the drunken, stupid, powerless Vimes of Guards! But the evolution of Vimes occurred over the course of the series (I'll opine that the first "modern" street-smart, class-aware, copper's-copper Vimes emerged in 'Feet of Clay'). A great author like Pterry logically adds depth to a character who starts off as a stock character by using the plot and adding expositional elements that make the character's transformation believable and satisfactory to readers--in other words, a 'good' out of character experience.

But, in his last two books, Pterry has made characters whose personas were firmly solidified act in ways that are very out of character. Vetinari is the best example of this. In both Unseen Academicals and Snuff he acted and spoke in ways that were totally out of character for someone from whom control is everything. The Vetinari of earlier books spoke sparingly, acted without emotion, chose his words carefully, and revealed as little about himself and his motivations as possible. The Vetinari of UA and Snuff is sentimental, highly emotional, easily distracted by trivial matters (the crossword puzzle lady? Reall?), verbose, and often incoherent in his speech. This, for some of us, is a 'bad' out of character experience.

But of course this is completely subjective. If you like the 'new' Vetinari, then it's a good transition for you.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby Prolekult » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:31 pm

yea, I thought it worked ok for Vetinari in this one, it seemed fairly typical of him that if he got drunk, he would just get more talkative and take 8 seconds longer to finish the crossword :) I haven't read Snuff yet though so can't comment on that one (no spoilers here please!). I think it could be argued though that leaving himself vulnerable to the outcome of the football game was a rather un-Vetinari like decision.

We know what happens when a character is too perfect, you end up with Captain Carrot - nice but too predictable. I think Terry was just trying to ensure that this doesn't happen to Vetinari.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby LilMaibe » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:22 pm

The thing with Vetinari in UA (as mentioned before) is that if he would have acted as he did in, for example, Jingo, Nightwatch or Going Postal, there would have been no (framing) plot. He would have known people would still be as obsessed with football and would keep playing in alleys etc.
The Vetinari of old would have rather went and said that everything concerning the game is forbidden unless someone comes up with less brutal rules. Or something along those lines.
But apparently there was the craze with whoever wrote the story that it is forbidden for brutality,but the watch looks away, and there this urn yadda yadda.
It's never a good sign if an author goes and adjust the characters to go with a craze. Especially not if the author in question is Sir Terry, who understood it like only few authors nowadays to have characters with personality face stories with this personality instead of having them become sereotypes that constantley do plotconvenient things.
With Snuff it was similar (I gave up by now. Got too bored around page 150 ).
Vetinari and Vimes behave like they would in bad fanfiction, but not like the characters that became fanfavourites.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby Prolekult » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:17 pm

I have to disagree with you there. Vetinari is well aware that prohibition doesn't work, that's why he is a liberal. The same goes for Vimes, both of them are too savvy not to realise that pissing into the wind is not a good strategy.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby LilMaibe » Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:12 pm

But the Vetinari in UA DID forbid football. Which led to the wizards having to come groveling to him for permission.
One COULD argue that the prohibition was to gain more control over the wizards, but THAT only works if they stop behaving like in the books before.
Ridcully of old would have said that he's the law on the campus and if he wants to play football on university grounds he shall bloody well do so.
And the Vetinari of old would have been fully aware that Ridcully would think like that.
Not to mention this:
(might have said it before, I lost track)
The Vetinari of old was amazing for he knew exactly what he needed to know about someone to pull the right strings. He wasn't as hyper-informed as he comes across in UA and co. In UA he seemingly has been given premonition skills. How else could he have known those new rules would pop up just in time?
Not to mention UA contradicst information from older books on a scale that never happened before. AND this is after the timeline got fixed.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby high eight » Mon Apr 30, 2012 9:43 pm

How else could he have known those new rules would pop up just in time?

Because he arranged for them to 'pop up'. Possibly even wrote them himself - I thought that was pretty obviously implied in the book.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:58 pm

high eight wrote:How else could he have known those new rules would pop up just in time?

Because he arranged for them to 'pop up'. Possibly even wrote them himself - I thought that was pretty obviously implied in the book.

That's the way I read it.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby LilMaibe » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:10 pm

Yeah, sure....alongside an effing goddess that is more powerful than Fate and The Lady despite no one having worshipped, left alone KNOWN her for centuries.

h8, if it is SOOOOOOOO obvious, go ahead and show the lines in question. Same to you, Tony. And then you go and explain all the events caused by Pedestrina, all the things she did to people's behaviour, the floating at the field etc. Go ahead. Tell me how Vets did that.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby Prolekult » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:31 pm

LilMaibe wrote:But the Vetinari in UA DID forbid football.


Sorry, I can't find any mention of this in the book, I may be missing something but the first mention I can find is Ponder saying Vetinari doesn't like it, but the Watch turn a blind eye if it's kept to back streets & outside the city centre (p44 paperback). Next, when Vetinari meets Ridcully (p74) he says, "People do not onderstand the limits of tyranny...they think because I can do what I like I can do what I like", and then "I am intending to give my blessing to the game of football, in the hope that its excesses can be more carefully controlled" - a typical anti-prohibitonist's argument.

edit...maybe you're referring to football being banned in the city centre, in which case we're arguing about different things.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:38 pm

LilMaibe wrote:Yeah, sure....alongside an effing goddess that is more powerful than Fate and The Lady despite no one having worshipped, left alone KNOWN her for centuries.

h8, if it is SOOOOOOOO obvious, go ahead and show the lines in question. Same to you, Tony. And then you go and explain all the events caused by Pedestrina, all the things she did to people's behaviour, the floating at the field etc. Go ahead. Tell me how Vets did that.

Three things:
1. Terry rarely writes things that are 'that' clear. As I stated, "That's the way I read it." That's the feeling I got from reading the whole book. I'm not saying I'm right, but that how I read it.

2. I'm not reading UA at the moment and don't have the time or inclination to trawl through it looking for passages to satisfy you. I have my interpretation of the book, you have yours.

3. From past experience, I know that even if I did find passages or even quotes to prove my feelings on this matter, it would be pointless as you tend to ignore anything that doesn't agree with your view. I'm not being nasty here - I've just been down this road so many times before with you and can't be bothered to do it again.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby LilMaibe » Mon Apr 30, 2012 11:47 pm

I am not saying you're wrong. It WOULD fit Vetinari to know about a possible discovery of the rules months before the story and then had people hush it up till the right moment.
And yes, Sir Terry doesn't say things straight out, but he tends to give clearer hints to what is meant.
If you read it like that, I'm fine with that.
I am just saying there are many things that don't fit. Starting from the curious discovery of the urn somewhere in the back of the museum, the goddess appearing there, the whole idea about Pedestrina, how she/football mess with people's minds and behaviour (beyond the general craziness of football fans) and so on.
To me it just doesn't fit with 'Vetinari wrote those rules'
Not to mention, again, that that would only lead to more questions about the story in general.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby high eight » Tue May 01, 2012 12:01 pm

As Tony said, this doesn't fit in with your world-view so you'll probably ignore it, but I'll fall in anyway.........

"According to the accompanying story, someone at the Royal Art Museum had found the urn in a storeroom and it contained scrolls which, it said here, had the original rules of foot-the-ball laid down in the early years of the century of the Summer Weevil, a thousand years ago, when the game was played in honour of the Goddess Pedestriana"

The 'it says here' is a clear implication that the story is made up - and that is the best you're going to get from Terry. It is called subtlety. The urn wasn't "discovered in the back of the museum". Vetinari had it put there.

As for Pedestrina - well, it has long been established that Discworld Gods (even made-up Gods. It's the belief that counts) are as powerful as the belief in them and narratvium was bound to make sure that she would put in an appearance at some point.

She mainly exists to be a joke about the old Jules Rimet Trophy anyway: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a5/Jules_rimet.jpg/220px-Jules_rimet.jpg- .
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby LilMaibe » Tue May 01, 2012 12:18 pm

Yeah, that's why the entire starting scene was about the discovery of the urn and that guy seeing that goddess.
Not to mention Pedestrina messes with people's heads before the article.
And not to mention that if people would have suddenly believed in her, they would have connected her with the brutal kind of football.

H8, give me one reason why you think I'm a retard.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby high eight » Tue May 01, 2012 12:29 pm

LilMaibe wrote:Yeah, that's why the entire starting scene was about the discovery of the urn and that guy seeing that goddess.
Not to mention Pedestrina messes with people's heads before the article.
And not to mention that if people would have suddenly believed in her, they would have connected her with the brutal kind of football.

H8, give me one reason why you think I'm a retard.


the entire starting scene was about the discovery of the urn

Doesn't mean that Vetinari didn't have it put there

Pedestrina messes with people's heads before the article.

But only in a small way - she is a small god.

if people would have suddenly believed in her, they would have connected her with the brutal kind of football.

No - because her main manifestation was at the new-style match.

H8, give me one reason why you think I'm a retard.

Just one? OK - your childish insistence on calling Mr Nutt 'the orc'.
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Re: Unseen Academicals ***SPOILERS***

Postby LilMaibe » Tue May 01, 2012 12:32 pm

So, let me get this straight:
To you I am an utter retard because I don't like what happened to a series of novels I adore and which mainly influenced my writing and what I know about how to write a good story, and because I refuse to see things through pink-tinted glasses?
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