Mort Discussion *Spoilers*

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Postby rockershovel » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:00 pm

from various descriptions of Albert Malich, I would assume that Death could not actually kill Mort within Death's Domain, but he COULD break Mort's lifetimer and render him unable to leave without dying

Albert is a bit of a non-sequitur. He is frequently described as having various short periods remaining, but Death is seen on several occasions to manipulate this ( as with Miss Flitwick, or the game with Granny Weatherwax involving the dying baby and the cow ). Why can't he invert Albert's lifetimer?


you are right about the wizards. Mr Teatime has a wizard along to open the door at the Castle of Bones, and this wizard could well be in independent practice, or just unemployed. However UU does rather give the impression that there is unlimited scope for otherwise unemployed wizards to remain on the faculty in some shape or form more-or-less indefinitely, and some reason to believe that the Patrician prefers it that way as the means by which Ridcully exerts a degree of control over them.

The whole Ridcully/Ponder Stibbons scenario is a considerable departure from the much more "traditional" situation in earlier books, more Porterhouse Blue than Tolkein.
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:09 pm

There's also C.V. Cheesewaller the wizard who lives in Quirm. We don't actually meet him, but we do meet his raven, Quoth in Soul Music. Cheesewaller seems to have his own practice as well. It makes sense that people might go to a wizard for certain magical help. In the country they'd be more likely to go to a witch. Which again fits with the medical practitioner comparison I mentioned earlier.

As to Albert - well there's an important topic for discussion based on him that I'll bring up later unless anyone else does. :wink:
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Postby Poohcarrots » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:16 pm

I thought the wizards at UU are wizard professors who teach (or not) students how to become wizards. Once a wizard graduates, he doesn't automatically work for UU, but goes out into the big wide disc to ply his wares and earn a living. :D
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Postby DaveC » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:00 pm

Poohcarrots wrote:I thought the wizards at UU are wizard professors who teach (or not) students how to become wizards. Once a wizard graduates, he doesn't automatically work for UU, but goes out into the big wide disc to ply his wares and earn a living. :D
My thoughts too. :) Another point that I i forgot to mention in the CoM thread but might fit here too: when is the bit in CoM/LF where Rincewind encounters Mort and the other 3 horsemen set? Or is it meant to be am alternete dimension?
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:02 pm

It's in Light Fantastic - with out giving too much away, Rinso goes to Death's Domain to rescue Twoflower and meets Ysabell there.
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Postby DaveC » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:08 pm

Tonyblack wrote:It's in Light Fantastic - with out giving too much away, Rinso goes to Death's Domain to rescue Twoflower and meets Ysabell there.
I thought it was, but Mort's stay in Death's domain seems far too short, in that Death seems to almost bugger off as soon as Mort gets there.
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Postby rockershovel » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:08 pm

Death also appears to be referred to as "Mort" as a familiar name or nickname in that appearance, and they seem to be playing cards - implying that they socialise regularly to some extent - but when he meets the other horsemen subsequently this appears to have been dropped.
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Postby rockershovel » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:17 pm

Poohcarrots wrote:I thought the wizards at UU are wizard professors who teach (or not) students how to become wizards. Once a wizard graduates, he doesn't automatically work for UU, but goes out into the big wide disc to ply his wares and earn a living. :D


this could be so, but UU also appears to function as a Guild for the wizards. It's hard to imagine them NOT having some sort of professional body, everyone else does, and this could imply that ( like the Assassins, say ) that they contract work through UU's professional services function. Vetinari appears to turn to Ridcully when he wants something magical doing.

The magicians appear to live and function largely without money ( although UU doesn't, as per Unseen Academicals ) and the fact that Rincewind is specifically told his professorship does not provide a salary implies that most of the others do.

The various references to the indeterminate and possibly unlimited size of the campus, internally of not externally, the indeterminate duties of many of the faculty and its at times incomprehensible topography could well mean that any wizard who saw fit could base himself there and recieve bed and board at least for as long as he wanted.
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Mar 08, 2011 3:25 pm

rockershovel wrote:Death also appears to be referred to as "Mort" as a familiar name or nickname in that appearance, and they seem to be playing cards - implying that they socialise regularly to some extent - but when he meets the other horsemen subsequently this appears to have been dropped.
Again, we haven't discussed Light Fantastic yet, so I don't want to post too much about it - but the Horsemen were there because they were going to be riding out for the possible end of the world.
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Postby Tonyblack » Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:25 am

Albert is an interesting character in this one. In some ways he's the opposite of Ysabell.

Ysabell was at the start of her life and had it put on hold and Albert is at the end of his life and managed to get it put on hold.

Ysabell is prepared to give up immortality for a normal lifespan, yet Albert guards his last remaining days like a miser.

As I said in my introduction: the book looks at people's attitude to death (small d).

The question is - is Albert's existence as Death's manservant worth the dullness rather than dying? What is he really afraid of? :?
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Postby rockershovel » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:12 pm

what is he afraid of? Death, I expect. Most people are. Ysabell can afford to want a normal lifespan, whereas Albert has everything to lose and nothing identifiable to gain. If he decides that the game isn't worth the candle, the remedy is in his hands
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Postby pip » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:16 pm

Its not death he's afraid of but what follows . He was a man who made a lot of enemies in life and didn't want to meet up with them all again.
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Postby Tonyblack » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:39 pm

rockershovel wrote:what is he afraid of? Death, I expect. Most people are. Ysabell can afford to want a normal lifespan, whereas Albert has everything to lose and nothing identifiable to gain. If he decides that the game isn't worth the candle, the remedy is in his hands
He's hardly 'living' now though, is he?
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Postby Poohcarrots » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:13 pm

Tonyblack wrote:He's hardly 'living' now though, is he?


...and just how many people in the UK does that apply to? How many people are hardly "living" now?

Does eveyone have a super exciting life, or is it just birth, school, work, death for most people? Are you saying people with boring lives should just top themselves? Wouldn't that be taking assisted suicide a tad too far? :?

How many people on their death bed will say, "I wish I had done this or that."

You're alive for a very short time. You're dead for a very long time. So just do it - nothing is impossible! (my apologies to Nike and Adidas for stealing their slogans :D ) 8)
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Postby Poohcarrots » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:24 pm

Tonyblack wrote:He's hardly 'living' now though, is he?


In retrospect Tony, your comment sounds like something Glenn Beck would say. :shock:

Albert has a roof over his head, an easy job for life, as much food as he wants, as much tobacco as he wants and no money worries. He has everything Rincewind aspires to.

How many people in the world would give their right arm for all that?
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