The Wee Free Men Discussion **Spoilers**

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Postby meerkat » Sun Sep 11, 2011 6:59 pm

McGonnagle would have anyone waffle, Kin.

But, in his defence, at least he was brave enough to stick to his guns and leave us a lot of how not to write poetry!
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Postby Kin Arad » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:02 pm

:lol: 'You should never care what anyone else thinks' as my mother says
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Postby Who's Wee Dug » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:23 pm

[quote="Tonyblack"]:oops: I just remembered this discussion. I posted it last week and forgot all about it. :oops: Seems like lots of you did too. :lol:

Who's your favourite Feegle.
I got to say the one named after my Father: Not as Big as Medium sized Jock but bigger than Wee Jock Jock.

And I like Daft Wullie. :lol:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Sep 11, 2011 7:46 pm

:lol: McGonnagle would've done well on the Vogon spaceship wouldn't he?

I keep meaning to come into these discussion threads but I've been doing some writing of my own on the cheerful subject of genocide (in Africa) so haven't had time to get in until now. :roll:

The Feegles have grown on me - I hated them in Carpe Jugulum and I found them rather irritating in this book when I finally got around to it last year (the whole series except ISWM were my convention shopping treat). Having re-read the lot about twice now they've grown on me and I like Rob best I think, although Daft Wullie's makes me laugh in a corny way. With Rob it's the flawed logic and honour code that I like - also his attempts to keep his Jeannie happy with the reading too :lol:

By contrast I find Tiffany's becoming more irritating in this book on re-reading and it's because she's so sure of herself to the point of being obnoxious in a frustratingly sensible way. However - I can forgive her that because I think here with us seeing her at the beginning of her road and still very young, the forthright way she deals with things is in context - when you're that age things are more black and white I think, and it's only as we get older and more perceptive and sensitive to other people and how they act and what they need, that things start to blur and go to shades of grey. So the Tiffany of the later books as she goes into her teens is more intuitive and her approach gets less 'strident' I suppose as she grows up and life becomes less clear cut for her in some respects.

What illustrates that most I think is her refusal to cry for Granny Aching and again that's what feeds most into her ambition to be a witch and in effect sets her on a path that extends her period of mourning, as she strives to take her grandmas place on the Chalk. By not crying and thinking so much about how Granny Aching 'worked' makes the difference between 'crumbling' and behaving like a little girl still and wanting to worthy of her grandma. It helps her grow up to be responsible as swreader says, but it also makes her seem a little too 'perfect' in some respects and also cold, as in her attitude to her little brother although again that's not too surprising as spoiled little brothers (or sisters) are a pain of course. Her no-nonsense attitude is a little too calm and analytical for my taste, whilst being an ideal trait for the powerful witch she'll become.

I think, having finally read ISWM, that's something Terry's picked up on in retrospect in the series when she compares herself with the 2 new witches she discovers. With Tiffany her transition into full witchhood is almost too textbook and superlative, whereas with Esk and the other young witches we've read about through the whole of the series, there's more instinct involved. In a way I think Tiffany is Granny Weatherwax Jr from the outset, only not quite so spiky and it's the emotional tone that still keeps Granny on top as the thinking witch's witch because she's disciplined without necessarily being too 'grown-up' all the time (think of her sometimes childish behaviour and point-scoring with Magrat and Nanny). I think that's what I find odious about the younger Tiffany - she's too self-possessed and it's only in the later books that she 'humans' up enough? :roll: :D
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Postby Tonyblack » Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:50 am

Some good points there, Jan. This book is Tiffany in the raw, so to speak. She is very self-assured, maybe too much so. That of course is what the other books are about. The fact that she learns about life and what being a witch is really about. She has an inkling of this in this book, but the other books put those ideas into focus for her and make her into the powerful witch that she eventually becomes.

I can sort of see where Tiffany is coming from as I was in a similar position to her. She was the youngest for a relatively short time and then something totally new came along - a much wanted first son. With me it was a much wanted daughter after four sons. In a situation like that, you can become sort of invisible. Tiffany seems to have become accustomed to being able to find a quiet place to be with her thoughts and it seems that she was able to spend a lot more time with her granny because of that. Two isolated people who were on the same wavelength.

There's some beautifully observed pictures of childhood in this book. The more I think of it the more I can identify with Tiffany's childhood. :D
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Postby raisindot » Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:24 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:
By contrast I find Tiffany's becoming more irritating in this book on re-reading and it's because she's so sure of herself to the point of being obnoxious in a frustratingly sensible way. However - I can forgive her that because I think here with us seeing her at the beginning of her road and still very young, the forthright way she deals with things is in context - when you're that age things are more black and white I think, and it's only as we get older and more perceptive and sensitive to other people and how they act and what they need, that things start to blur and go to shades of grey. So the Tiffany of the later books as she goes into her teens is more intuitive and her approach gets less 'strident' I suppose as she grows up and life becomes less clear cut for her in some respects.


As the parent of teenagers, one of whom was and still is a male version of Tiffany in terms of the 'forthright way he deals with things,' I found the Tiffany of this book quite realistic and far more appealing than the hormone-charged teenager of "Wintersmith." I think the strident attitude reflects not only her upbringing as a child of the farm, but the genes she's inherited from Granny Aching.


Jan Van Quirm wrote:In a way I think Tiffany is Granny Weatherwax Jr from the outset, only not quite so spiky and it's the emotional tone that still keeps Granny on top as the thinking witch's witch...


Totally agree here. The 'stridency' of Tiffany doesn't bother me because you can see that she's moving in the Granny direction. Her second and third sight, her stubborness, her righteous selfishness and her physical and spiritual connection with the land are textbook Grannyisms. Granny may still be the thinking witch's witch, but she immediately recognizes Tiffany's potential as a runner-up and future challenger (when Tiffany tells an imperiously inquisitive Granny that "I don't ask you your business," Granny's resulting deference is a recognition of a kindred spirit (Nanny Ogg would never have dared such a flippant response).
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:23 pm

It just a personal taste thing - I'm not saying Tiffany's eight year old character isn't believable, because she's totally believable in context so it all works, but I just don't find her character too 'sympathetic' perhaps?

Hard to explain but I get very annoyed with characters who are too great at everything and hardly put a foot wrong, always brave, always decisive, always bloody right. That kind of thing. I didn't really like Miss Tick that much for the same reasons, but I liked her for not being too impressed with Tiffany in some respects and was a little annoyed with Granny for being so 'nice' to her. Strong characters are great but they need their little quirks and negatives to make them more balanced I think.

And Nanny does cheek Granny all the time, just not in that way - they have an appreciative relationship with neither subordinate to the other, as they have different strengths that support the other's weaknesses. Look at the way Granny has to go all around the houses to get the latest gossip while Nanny just goes up and asks people to buy her drink or whatever. And Nanny's too undisciplined to go Borrowing too well etc etc :lol:
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Postby Kin Arad » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:54 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:Hard to explain but I get very annoyed with characters who are too great at everything and hardly put a foot wrong, always brave, always decisive, always bloody right.

I feel the same, but i always feel really bad because i feel like i should like them :?
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:48 pm

Well it's one of those things - the more badly behaved you are the more 'interesting' you become :wink:
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Postby deldaisy » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:59 pm

You are doing writings on African genocide Jan? I would be interested to read that. Have always been astounded that the Rwanda massacres were so readily flipped off the radar after taking soooooooooo long to be recognised on the world stage in the first place.

I feel the famine in Somalia is in its own way an act of genocide too.

Always had an interest in the history of Africa. My father was from South Africa.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:09 pm

The genocide parts are about Rwanda more or less - fictionalised but using stuff that happened there or in Biafra and Somalia, with a nod to colonial and 'missionary' attitudes. The central storyline's based on that and the remit of aid workers, but the surrounding plots is kind of following a safari party with a nod to the Canterbury Tales :lol:

Just put the 2 latest instalments up on Dreams - the hardest-hitting ones are in the adult forum though and you have to register to read those :wink:
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Postby deldaisy » Tue Sep 13, 2011 5:13 pm

Sounds great. Will get registered and reading on the weekend.
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:05 pm

What did you think about the china shepherdess figure?

Tiffany seemed embarrassed that she'd given it to her granny. Granny seemed puzzled by it. :?
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sat Sep 17, 2011 2:21 pm

I think that bit was a little like Granny with the play in Wyrd Sisters? Granny Aching similarly dealt with realities rather than illusion and so the 'fantasy' of a Little Bo-Peep (Marie Antoinette) style romantic shepherdess had no meaning whatsoever for her so it was a bit like culture shock in the cargo cult sense where you couldn't expect a Stone Age Man to understand Grand Opera but he might like Animal's drumming from the Muppets. :wink:

Where the reality is fantastic anyway, like on Discworld, the ones who 'guard the edges' don't have time or inclination to prettify what they do and so they don't necessarily understand the romanticised view of something that to them is their day job kind of thing so in some respects they don't need much imagination either when they have First Sight and Second Thoughts to rely on? :lol:
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Postby supersully » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:39 am

In regards to the sheperdess statue, it was impossible to win something, Tiffany won the 'best' prize and gave it to Granny. I saw it more as Tiffany starting to display her talents as a witch, and Granny's response as coming to terms with Tiffany's talents?
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