Eric Discussion **Spoilers**

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

Postby poohcarrot » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:15 am

Wiki wrote:The Faust of early books—as well as the ballads, dramas and puppet-plays which grew out of them—is irrevocably damned because he prefers human to divine knowledge; "he laid the Holy Scriptures behind the door and under the bench, refused to be called doctor of Theology, but preferred to be styled doctor of Medicine".

So a person who chooses science over religion. :shock:

Just like Mau in Nation. 8)

Just like Terry Pratchett himself. 8)

A coincidence? I think not! :D
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
User avatar
poohcarrot
Member
 
Posts: 10425
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:11 pm
Location: NOT The land of the risen Son!!

Postby swreader » Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:37 pm

This book should probably have been called "Rincewind's Return" and not Eric. It is neither about Faust (in any of the versions) nor about the not-quite-14-year-old would be demonologist, Eric Thursley. As Tony has noted, TP had a busy year and perhaps the work with Neil Gaiman on Good Omens had some minor influence. Certainly the sections in Hell seem to me to be the funniest. But the most significant feature, I think, of this very slim and only mildly funny novel is the use of the three wishes--an element which seems to be totally absent from all the Dr. Faustus versions.

The most significant characteristics of the three wishes folk legend, which Terry will use later in Hat Full of Sky , are that the wishes usually work quite literally, though not in the way expected, and that the third wish has to be used to undo the harm of the first two. And to some extent Eric's wishes follow the ususal pattern.

Traditionally in the folk tales, there is no concern for the "happiness" of anyone other than the individual with the witches. Terry, however, adds the idea that the three wishes are designed to make the greatest number of people happy. But it's not entirely clear what happened to Eric. Certainly his experiences about being a ruler and having a chest of gold, turn out to be illusory. His wish to live forever is not sufficiently detailed though. And of course, Helen is a middle-aged mother by the time he meets her.

I agree, the parrot is totally unnecessary as well as unfunny. There are some small elements of humor, especially when they finally arrive at Hell. But the rest of the book is not particularly funny. And it shows, in my opinion, the speed at which is must have been written. There are a fair number of "loose ends" and some outright contradictions.

For example, Rincewind (feeling that things could have been a lot worse), steps off the road of good intentions, through a wall which healed up behind him. As far as I can tell, Eric is left standing on "For the Sake of the Children," and one suspects that Eric may not be happy.

I have to say that I didn't hate the book--which I did the first time I read it. I did find parts of it mildly amusing, especially Pratchett's depiction of the new version of Hell. I haven't seen the illustrations, but as I dislike Kirby's work, I doubt this would improve my feeling about the book.

All of this puts me in the unusual position of joining Pooh and Quatermas in thinking this is a mighty thin book.
User avatar
swreader
Member
 
Posts: 804
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:39 pm
Location: Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

Postby poohcarrot » Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:36 pm

swreader wrote:All of this puts me in the unusual position of joining Pooh and Quatermas in thinking this is a mighty thin book.

:shock: I've just looked out the window and there are some pigs flying past a blue moon! :lol:

Helen of Troy is in one of the versions of Faust. :P

If the devil-type person (can't be bothered to look for his name) has the ability to travel in time, then when he goes to the end of the world and Rincewind isn't there, he could easily get to the start of the world and find Rincewind. There's no reason why he'd be late and just miss Rincewind. :roll:
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
User avatar
poohcarrot
Member
 
Posts: 10425
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:11 pm
Location: NOT The land of the risen Son!!

Postby LilMaibe » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:22 am

poohcarrot wrote:There's no reason why he'd be late and just miss Rincewind. :roll:


Narrative Causality?
LilMaibe
 

Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:23 am

I've never read Faust in any version, so I was interested to find if Sharlene had. Not only have she read the Goethe version, but she'd read it in German. She pointed out that Helen of Troy is in it - I had no idea.

But what amazed me was how many books, films, operas etc. Faust has inspired. Take a look at this list.

I would say that Eric is inspired by Faust rather than it being based on it. The whole selling one's soul to the Devil is a theme that seems to crop up time and again. One of my favourites being Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's Bedazzled. :D

There seem to be more stories based on a deal with the Devil than people living good lives and, in effect, making a deal with God. Maybe that says a lot about human nature - but the fact that the Faust story has been around for so long and is still an inspiration kind of says that people will do anything for power.

You could even look at the temptation of Jesus in the desert as somewhat Faustian. :)
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28645
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby Dotsie » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:57 am

swreader wrote:For example, Rincewind (feeling that things could have been a lot worse), steps off the road of good intentions, through a wall which healed up behind him. As far as I can tell, Eric is left standing on "For the Sake of the Children," and one suspects that Eric may not be happy.

Interesting, but that didn't occur to me. I don't think Eric would have been stuck in hell, after all, Vassenego had just given the order that they be let go, so why wouldn't he be? And as the section began with "Rincewind and Eric were happy", I don't think Eric describing the steps as 'wierd' is enough to suppose that he's not.
What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!
User avatar
Dotsie
Member
 
Posts: 9387
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:07 am

Postby Bouncy Castle » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:10 am

I read Eric yesterday (I also read a new Agatha Raisin, but that's another story - ha!!).

Anyhoo, one thing puzzled me.

When they found out that the fair lady was actually a rather plain lady with a squillion kids, Rinso's ancestor (forgot his name already!!) said something like "couldn't you have dropped us a note, or invited us to one of the christenings...?".

Christenings?

Surely Christ is one of the few gods NOT on Discworld?

Baptisms would have been a better word, no?
Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.

The rest of us are a bit crap.
User avatar
Bouncy Castle
Member
 
Posts: 11808
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:08 pm
Location: London

Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:26 am

Maybe Tsorteans are members of the Church of Chris. :lol:

Yes, I noticed that as well.
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28645
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:48 am

But what would you call that occasion? Small Gods is a way off being written so 'Omnianings' out and 'Offlering' sounds silly. :P Naming ceremony maybe? Lots of cultures have the equivalent of christenings without being religious necessarily - wetting the baby's head doesn't have quite the formality but would have done I suppose :lol:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10318
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby LilMaibe » Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:59 am

Go with the german/Überwaldean 'Taufe'?
LilMaibe
 

Postby Dotsie » Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:15 pm

I guess Terry just wanted to make a joke that would be understood. Neither christening or baptism would be appropriate terms on the disc, but we got the joke, right?

Anyway, for all we know, on the Disc a ceremony to enter a religion is commonly known as a christening. Works for me.
What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!
User avatar
Dotsie
Member
 
Posts: 9387
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:07 am

Postby LilMaibe » Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:22 pm

Well, there's another use of the word 'christening' in Soul Music. Maybe it's simply a case of lack of better terms. Can happen to everyone.
LilMaibe
 

Postby poohcarrot » Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:19 pm

Bouncy Castle wrote:I read Eric yesterday (I also read a new Agatha Raisin, but that's another story - ha!!).

Anyhoo, one thing puzzled me.

When they found out that the fair lady was actually a rather plain lady with a squillion kids, Rinso's ancestor (forgot his name already!!) said something like "couldn't you have dropped us a note, or invited us to one of the christenings...?".

Christenings?

Surely Christ is one of the few gods NOT on Discworld?

Baptisms would have been a better word, no?


My Gods Bouncy! I never noticed that! Damn good spot old sausage. :D

Anyhoos, weren't baptisms named after John the Baptist? :lol:
"Disliking Carrot would be like kicking a puppy."
"You kicked a puppy," Lobsang said accusingly.
User avatar
poohcarrot
Member
 
Posts: 10425
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 12:11 pm
Location: NOT The land of the risen Son!!

Postby ChristianBecker » Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:28 pm

In Mort Mort asks Death what he thought about christenings. I guess it's really the lack of a better term. You could of course use something like "naming ceremony", but that doesn't exactly roll of the tongue.

Anyway, the word baptism comes from the greek word βαπτίζω (baptizo) meaning "to submerge" (and later of course "to christen"). So baptism would be inadequate because we don't know if there's any water involved in naming ceremonies on the disc.

Come to think about it, are Muslims christened/ baptized? What about Hindus etc.?
On with their heads! I'm the clown prince of fools
if you don't get the joke it's your loss
Love and laughter you see are the new currency
'cause greed's coinage is not worth a toss

Exile yourself to the unforgiving continent of Wraeclast!
User avatar
ChristianBecker
Member
 
Posts: 4038
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:21 pm
Location: Bingen

Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:32 pm

Don't they refer to Magrat and Verence's baby having a naming ceremony? :?

But it really comes down to poetic licence. Just about everyone who read that passage knew what Terry meant. I don't think it really matters that it wasn't some sort of Christian ceremony.
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28645
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

PreviousNext

Return to Discworld novels

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests