Tonyblack wrote:Remember that L-Space is written by fans and is sometimes just plain wrong.
Absolutely true! Just look at everything I've added to it for proof.
'It all works out,' said Granny Weatherwax, 'somewhere. Your young wizard knows that, he just puts daft words around it. He'd be quite bright, if only he'd look at what's in front of him.'
He wants to stay here for a while,' said Ridcully gloomily. he flicked another pebble into the depths.
'Seems fascinated by the stones. I can't say no, can I? The king is all for it. He says other kings have always had fools, so he'll try having a wise man around, just in case it works better.'
and there's young Diamanda going to be up and about any day now,' she said.
'What do you mean?'
'Oh, nothing. That's the thing about the future. It could turn out to be anything. And everything.'
Following the events of Lords and Ladies, Ponder excitedly asks Mustrum Ridcully for permission to stay on in Lancre, ostensibly to carry out field-study on the Dancers and their "iron-loving" properties. Ridcully, who has noticed a certain understanding growing up between Stibbons and Diamanda, and who in this respect is older and wiser, sighs and grants the request.
raisindot wrote:Generally, there seem to be two schools of thought on the extent and reach of Granny's 'headology,' particularly in L&L and Carpe Jugulum. The first school thinks that while she does some manipulation of people, that some of the situations she gets into where she appears to be powerless or shows self-doubt are genuine.
The second school believes that Granny knows exactly what she is doing at every step of the way, plans every kind of manipulation (including feigning her own weakness and vulnerability) knowing full well that she could beat each book's main nemesis in a full-frontal magical assault but doesn't do so because she knows that eventually she won't be around to take on these enemies and that part of her responsibility as the most powerful witch in the world is to use headology to empower the less powerful to work together to try to confront and defeat these same enemies. There's a lot of this "school vs. school" debate in the Carpe Jugulum discussion.
In Lords and Ladies, if you subscribe to the Second School, you'd believe that every one of Granny's actions, including feigning her 'capture' by the Elf Queen and her apparent weakness in being able to escape from them, was carefully planned for the sole purpose of motivating the Lancreans (including Magrat) to take matters into their own hands to defeat the Elves.
It's an interesting debate, and it's to Pterry's mastery of this material at this point in his career that both sides of the debate could find evidence to support their opinions.
raisindot wrote:I'd suggest the L&L is, arguably, Pterry's first DW book that makes extensive use of allegory (one might argue that Small Gods does the same).
The Elves represent the tendency of those in power (monarchies, aristocrats, religious institutions, feudal lords, oligarchies, dictatorships) to use their totally unfounded aura of 'superiority' of oppress the masses. Throughout history, the rich and powerful successfully portrayed themselves as being smarter, richer, better, stronger, and more important than those who weren't, whether it was through slavery, religious indoctrination, ghettoization, superstition, propaganda, social darwinism, or just plain old terrorization. And, throughout history, the masses were totally browbeaten into believing that the rich and powerful knew what was best for them.
While plenty of this kind of 'old school' oppression exists today, in the 20th century the power of the media and the commercialization of our culture have largely replaced it as the main 'oppressive' force today. Advertising, the cult of celebrity, the media and society's endless coddling of the rich and beautiful have replaced good old dogma and torture as a means of making 'ordinary' people feel ugly, stupid, powerless in comparison to the empty-headed and gorgeous supermodels, movie and TV stars, pop stars, 'reality TV vermin,' jet setters and euro-and-america-trash that constantly fill the pages of tabloids and infest the TV screen.
In Lords & Ladies, the elves symbolize society's emphasis on the superiority of the rich, famous and beautiful. Their whole purpose is to make 'regular people' (the citizens of Lancre) defer to their glamor, give in to their feelings of inferiority, and be trapped in jealousy for illusions that can't have. Like the millions of people who are addicted to reality TV, read the tabloids, and follow celebrity Tweets, the Lancreans are seduced by the empty 'glamor' of the superficially beautiful because the latter make them feel that have no self-worth, just as the media does today.
The theme of 'iron' and 'the land' that permeates the story represents the values that the people are slowly losing as they become seduced by the new. Verence's attempts to 'modernize' Lancre by looking to Ankh Morpork for books on science (and other things!) and his attempts to craft the perfect 'Lancre army knife.' The young witch aspirants' contempt for the 'traditional' witchcraft practiced by Nanny and Granny in favor of the showy and superficial. While the Lancreans still largely live in traditional ways, they are looking outward and are losing their connection to the 'iron' that keeps them grounded in tradition. It's this gradual forgetfulness of tradition--this loss of their iron connection--that makes them forget how bad it was the last time the elves invaded, and, instead, their collective memories only remember the beauty of the elves.
The only people (other than Granny) who aren't affected by the elves' glamor are those who still maintain their strong connections to tradition and the land. Hodges Arrghhh has no capacity to think beyond his little world of raptors. The beekeeper only thinks about his hives. These are people whose are so grounded in the old ways that nothing else--changes in kings, invading forces--truly affects them in any way.
In the end, it is only when Granny is able to remove the seductiveness and repressiveness of glamor from Magrat--and help her regain her own connection to her inner strength--that the elves can be defeated.
Pterry's allegorical lesson here is quite clear: If you let yourself get seduced by the false aura superiority that the rich, beautiful, famous and powerful--and their allies in government, business and the media--cast upon you, you will surrender your own self-worth and any chances of personal fulfillment.
raptornx01 wrote:But people choose those things. they aren't forced to buy or watch. there is no magic aura sweeping the land that brainwashes people into being vein and shallow and stupid. they do it to themselves. and they (the ordinary people) have no problem turning around and doing it to others, prefering beauty to quality, wanting soulmates but only looking for a pretty shell. and then when the pretty ones turn out to be the elves, devouring what is good in the world, the victims cry for sanity, realizing all along as they lay broken and bleeding on the floor that they should have sought the real humanity underneath, for 5 seconds, then they turn around and look for the elves again.
raptornx01 wrote:but here's the thing, and where this falls apart. they maintain strong connections to the land, NOW. But they didn't always. The contempt the young witches feel has nothing to do with some kind of loss of tradition, they may be looking outward but they looking into the world with the eyes of the outsider, seeing the flaws and knowing they can fix them. everyone around them is old and set in their ways and are like the frog in the pot of slowly heating water going down the path to eventually boiling to death without noticing. they, infact, are looking at the world with the eyes of youth, the same eyes everyone has at some point.
raptornx01 wrote:also we see what she could have been. the theme of what might have been is here too, as we saw Grandmother Weatherwax, here is where we see how granny turned away from the queen, but in Diamanda we see what would have happened if she didn't.
raptornx01 wrote:to me this is Pterry looking at his own life. and what might have been.
raisindot wrote:Yes, people do make those choices, and people are to blame if they make choices that favor style over substance. But in the Roundworld, the influence of the media or dogma or authority is the equivalent of the elves' magic--it is seductive, and often subconsciously absorbed. Part of the reason the Lacreans fall victim to the elves' magic is because they all know the stories of the elves in the past and are susceptible to the manipulation of these beautiful superbeings in a way they aren't by figures of authority (such as Verence).
I think your statement proves my original point. Verence and the young witches (and many of the Lancreans whose children have moved to Ankh Morpork or regularly bring back worthless trinkets and junk from that big city) see the Ramtops traditions--including old school witching--as being old, outdated, and irrelevant. By consciously breaking rebelling against these traditions--grounded in iron and the power of the land--they become more susceptible to the seduction of the new and superficial, making them easy prey for the elves' manipulation.
Precisely. Had young Granny been seduced by the Queen's offer, the elves probably would have taken over the Ramtops, with Granny as their vessel. But she didn't, precisely because she had strong 'iron' ties to the land and to the witching traditions, which required young witches to gain power through 'learning,' rather than having powers magically bestowed upon them. Diamanda is like the pre-teen girls of today, who dress up like tarts at age 9 and try to act like adults, even though their bodies are brains are not ready for it, in good part because they are heavily influenced by the images of pop stars and other 'idols' who sex their way across TV screens.
That's an interesting statement. I'm trying to wonder what other kind of 'quanta' would have offered Pterry a life that would have been better off than the one he was living at the time he wrote L&L when he was already a successful, highly popular writer, happily married man and father, and (presumably) quite wealthy.
he was one of the world's most successfuly fantasy wrtiers
raptornx01 wrote:[raisindot wrote:That's an interesting statement. I'm trying to wonder what other kind of 'quanta' would have offered Pterry a life that would have been better off than the one he was living at the time he wrote L&L when he was already a successful, highly popular writer, happily married man and father, and (presumably) quite wealthy.
he was one of the world's most successfuly fantasy wrtiers
Who said better? anyway wealth isn't the end all be all (and has problems of its own). and writing may not have been the only thing he was interested in. and the one you marry isn't always the one you wanted.
"I'm 'me' here and now - none of the other 'mes' matter because that's not the me I am."
raptornx01 wrote:But, the media exists as an extension of the people. its the media that is influenced, not the other way around. The media simply flows with the prevailing winds.
raptornx01 wrote:the Lancrastians on the otherhand didn't "give" anything. it was taken. the Elves glamour FORCES people to see themselves as inferior, unworthy, and submissive.
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