Vetinari

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Re: Vetinari

Postby Tonyblack » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:20 pm

Cool Middle Name wrote:
But if Vetinari left DW, then we would know Pratchett's writing career is over. In fact it might already be, what with Snuff on the shelves and him becoming more and more unable.

"Unable"? :?

That might be your opinion, but I certainly don't agree. I didn't like Making Money much, but I don't see it as a deterioration of Terry's creative abilities. And his other recent books have been excellent - in my opinion.

I know some people didn't like Snuff, but I thought it was excellent. Don't write Terry off so easily.
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Re: Vetinari

Postby Dotsie » Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:41 pm

Agreed. I have to say, every time a book has come out since Terry's diagnosis, I've read forum messages along the lines of "I didn't like this book, it's because Terry has Alzheimer's". Frankly, it's offensive.
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Re: Vetinari

Postby raisindot » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:55 pm

I don't think it's offensive at all to speculate on why one believes an author's skills are deteriorating. Most authors' skills decline as they age or if their mental abilities become impaired due to alcoholism of substance abuse (just read the later novels of William Faulkner for evidence of serious literary decline for both reasons). It's nearly impossible to keep up a high level of ability, particularly if you've written as many books as Pterry has.

In any case, Pterry has been very open about discussing how Alzheimer's has affected him and how it has affected his writing. He can no longer "type" stories and instead must dictate them, which is an entirely different way of creating a narrative and one that can often lead to narrative inconsistencies and excesses, since he can no longer physically 'edit' what he's written. Like many others, I believe that while Alzheimer's has not impaired his ability to write books, or to even create compelling stories, I do believe that what I and many others see as a drop in the level of quality in Unseen Academicals and Snuff at least may be attributed, in part, to his condition. I believe that his recent YA adult books (ISWM and Nation) were 'truer to form' because they probably were subjected to a strong YA editorial presence that may have toned down some of the excesses. I don't believe that anyone is truly editing his adult books with a firm hand, which would explain their many narrative problems.

Again, the fact that he can still produce books at all is something to be cheered and when a new book is published, it should still be a cause for celebration. But that doesn't mean even dedicated readers have to take a fanboy attitude toward everything and refrain from criticism and speculation on why they see this apparent deterioration occurring. If you disagree with it, fine. Is that what literary discussions are all about?

As a very public figure, Pterry is subject to any kind of speculation about the reasons why they feel his writing has suffered that readers can offer. If people believe he's writing BETTER because he has Alzheimer's, that's a perfectly legitimate point of view as well.
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Re: Vetinari

Postby cabbagehead » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:25 am

Cool Middle Name, Vimes is almost the same age as Vetinari, less healthy also I doubt he'd have the support of the guilds.
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Re: Vetinari

Postby LilMaibe » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:10 pm

On a note of the quality of the recent books and Sir Terry's Alzheimer's:
Seeing what makes the past 3-6 novels (depending if you count the YA books too) different from other works (exploration-depth of themes, how thinks fit together, subtlety of humour, kind of humour, general style etc) the possibility that those were rather a joke to flip of the publisher is there, too. As in, the publisher demanded a certain theme/moral and all that in a short amount of time.
Sir Terry is one of the few authors out there who would go and write the (from an analytic POV at least) worst possible thing out of spite.
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Re: Vetinari

Postby raisindot » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:49 pm

I can't possibly see how any publisher could tell an author who has sold millions of millions of books and has an entire commercial empire built around his concepts what to write or to impose a deadline. Quite likely the opposite is true--Pterry writes what he wants, however he wants it, with little or no editorial feedback, and with no other motivation (besides selling books) than to put out there what he thinks is quality work.
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Re: Vetinari

Postby LilMaibe » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:55 pm

well, the publisher is part of the Bertelsman-group. And they don't have that much of a good reputation...
And you know my thoughts on UA. Sir Terry would know not to write a textbook example of what you can do wrong when writing.
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Re: Vetinari

Postby Cool Middle Name » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:50 pm

Tonyblack wrote:
Cool Middle Name wrote:
But if Vetinari left DW, then we would know Pratchett's writing career is over. In fact it might already be, what with Snuff on the shelves and him becoming more and more unable.

"Unable"? :?

That might be your opinion, but I certainly don't agree. I didn't like Making Money much, but I don't see it as a deterioration of Terry's creative abilities. And his other recent books have been excellent - in my opinion.

I know some people didn't like Snuff, but I thought it was excellent. Don't write Terry off so easily.

Sorry, I mean CLOSER to unable to write/talk. It won't be too long before he can no longer communicate sufficiently with his typist. He expressed his concerns about that in 'Choosing to Die'.

I am not implying that his books are getting worse - that's a different debate.
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Re: Vetinari

Postby Cool Middle Name » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:55 pm

cabbagehead wrote:Cool Middle Name, Vimes is almost the same age as Vetinari, less healthy also I doubt he'd have the support of the guilds.

I know all that, but maybe... early retirement? Not impossible.

And as we know Vetinari has a history of disappointing the guilds...

but yeah, we would know that if Vetinari left that would be the last book.

Based on the Vimes books I've read it makes me think that he is preparing Vimes to lead something big. Maybe not the city, but something else - other than the Watch.
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Re: Vetinari

Postby cabbagehead » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:29 am

I think we saw the last of Vimes - he is a super-watchman and a happy family man. The work of his life (well, since his awakening in Guards! Guards!) is stable - the Watch is at a point it can continue without him (though someone would need to replace him in his ambassadorial function if he were to leave). The only sub-series that is yet incomplete is Moist's story, really. If Pratchett writes anything that is set in Ankh Morpork Vimes may have a cameo, but I don't think we'll see him as a main character again.
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Re: Vetinari

Postby Sister Jennifer » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:51 pm

You're right about one thing alice, it wouldn't be very good if we could guess where TP is going with his characters. I do know one sure thing, nothing anyone ever speculates on is ever right. I've never considered for a moment that TP would replace Vetinari, especially if the only reason is he's getting on a bit. The phrase 'Sharp as a tack' springs to mind.
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Re: Vetinari

Postby prajuvikas » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:05 pm

After reading the replies here, it occurs to me that Vetinari's succession would make an excellent polt for a book in itself!
:D
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Re: Vetinari

Postby TimBou » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:10 am

The History Monks would have to intervene at such an important juncture in Discworld history, surely.

Death could do the job if anthropomorphic personifications were allowed. Susan Sto Helit probably could too.

As people have mentioned, Vimes would certainly be in the running but would decline (as would Carrot), and Nobby Nobbs would have a strong party of backers.

If Ankh Morpork did become a democracy the potential for satire of American style presidential campaigns is immense... Perhaps with the introduction of the AM version of TV transmitted via the clacks?
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Re: Vetinari

Postby alicenanjing » Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:46 am

prajuvikas wrote:After reading the replies here, it occurs to me that Vetinari's succession would make an excellent polt for a book in itself!
:D

Yes, yes, my point exactly!! That's what I had been saying all along, the question of the succession ( and the preparations) would have to begin a long, long time before Vetinari actually steps down, if it's to be done properly! And we'd get to see the interactions between him and the prospective candidates, and all sorts of subtle tests he would devise to test their mettle, and him playing each one against the rest... some sort of elaborate chess with living, breathing pieces, which, possibly - and this would be the best bit - do not even know they're being considered as possible successors!
Anyway, I don't think Vimes would enter the equation - he hasn''t got a diplomatic bone in his body, he would go and make some terrible international blunder before his first week is out, and Vetinari knows that, and he only sends Vimes abroad on some diplomatic mission when he wants the boat rocked anyway.
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Re: Vetinari

Postby Penfold » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:58 am

If such a thing were to happen like Vetinari standing down/retiring/being assassinated (and I personally think it never will, I'm just playing Devils Advocate here), then the logical person to take over would be Lady Margolotta. This has plot value in itself like;

    why would she leave Uberwald?
    How would she manipulate the guilds and nobles into accepting her?
    How would Vimes react to having a vampire for his boss?
    Was she involved in 'deposing' (for want of a better word) Vetinari?
:D
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