Rincewind - Where is the love?

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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby connordiscworld » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:51 am

Hello I am new here.

In my opinion after reading The Colour Of Magic and The Light Fantastic and various other Rincewind books it occurred to me that all the Rincewind books have certain loopholes. I am planning on re reading these books after I finish reading all 39 Discworld novels chronologically (currently on Witches Abroad). All Rincewind books seem incomplete to me almost a draft. :|
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby Dotsie » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:45 am

Hi Connor! Welcome to the site :D

I think that most of the Rinso books being early ones, some things weren't straightened out yet. Trousers of time incidents were common in the first third of the series.
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby Tonyblack » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:05 pm

Welcome Connor! :D

Rincewind is very much a fantasy character in a fantasy world. He has an almost Tom and Jerry ability to survive what would be deadly to anyone else. Compared to some of the later, more 'real' characters, he is very different. Terry started off writing a parody of fantasy novels and Rincewind filled that role nicely. His survivability allows Terry to put him into all sorts of fantasy danger without having to write an enormous back story to get him there. He's pretty much a plot device that some of us have come to like a lot. ;)
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:38 pm

Hi Connor! Welcome to the forum, The Colour Of Magic and The Light Fantastic two of my favorite books, I do like Rincewind and his antics. :mrgreen:
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby LilMaibe » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:58 am

In your people's opinions:
When was the moment when he was closest to death? (and I mean as in -actually about to die most likely- not bumbping into Binky in Interesting Times)
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby =Tamar » Sun May 20, 2012 2:36 am

LilMaibe wrote:In your people's opinions:
When was the moment when he was closest to death? (and I mean as in -actually about to die most likely- not bumping into Binky in Interesting Times)


Rincewind as a character was very close to death twice. First, at the end of The Colour of Magic, when Sir Terry hadn't decided what, if anything, to do with him next. Second, at the end of Sourcery, when Sir Terry was trying to get rid of him and used the technique of sending him away for an unspecified length of time, with a hint that someday he might return but nothing specific, just the vague mention that a wizard will always return for his hat.

Within the context of the books, I feel that Rincewind was closest to dying in The Colour of Magic, when he was falling down the Wyrmberg. It was not yet established that wizards were always collected by Death in person, and there was still some uncertainty as to whether Rincewind was in fact a wizard at all. I think we didn't find out until later that he had the special retinal cells that let a wizard see what most people don't see.
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby Tonyblack » Sun May 20, 2012 3:35 am

Welcome to the site, =Tamar! :)
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby raptornx01 » Sun May 20, 2012 1:03 pm

=Tamar wrote:Within the context of the books, I feel that Rincewind was closest to dying in The Colour of Magic, when he was falling down the Wyrmberg. It was not yet established that wizards were always collected by Death in person, and there was still some uncertainty as to whether Rincewind was in fact a wizard at all. I think we didn't find out until later that he had the special retinal cells that let a wizard see what most people don't see.


I believe it was mentioned when he saw death before the drum blew up.
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby MrsWizzard » Mon May 21, 2012 2:54 am

I feel my stance on the whole Rincewind debate goes without saying here :roll:

But, seriously, CoM was, is, and always will be my favorite Discworld book. Maybe it's because it's the first one I read and it pretty much 300 pages of nostalgia for me everytime I pick it up. Who knows, perhaps if I'd started with Guards! Guards! my favorite would be Vimes or Carrot. I'm not sure if I wholly believe that, but the fact standing is that Rincewind holds the biggest part of my literary heart, and he's gonna need nothing short of a Luggage army to bust his way out of there again :P
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby =Tamar » Mon May 21, 2012 6:05 am

raptornx01 wrote:
=Tamar wrote:Within the context of the books, I feel that Rincewind was closest to dying in The Colour of Magic, when he was falling down the Wyrmberg. It was not yet established that wizards were always collected by Death in person, and there was still some uncertainty as to whether Rincewind was in fact a wizard at all. I think we didn't find out until later that he had the special retinal cells that let a wizard see what most people don't see.


I believe it was mentioned when he saw death before the drum blew up.


We're both wrong. It's mentioned even earlier, when the Patrician accuses Rincewind of using false coinage (real gold instead of debased A-M coins): "It is said that when a wizard is about to die Death himself turns up... even failed wizards have..the tiny octagons that enable them to see into the far octarine...". But I still think Rincewind was closest to death when he was falling down the Wyrmberg, even though he imagined he saw a dark flicker earlier in the Patrician's office and saw Death at other times. When he sees Death, it usually means he isn't going to die, because a major factor in his existence is that he routinely cheats Death. When he was falling, he didn't see Death, and he began to say the Spell. Since he didn't have the other seven spells, saying it would probably have killed him. He was within one word of being magically destroyed.
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby Avon7 » Tue May 22, 2012 11:59 pm

Hello everyone - first time poster drawn to the board after seeing there was a Rincewind topic! :D

I started reading the Discworld series in 1994 at the young edge of 8, I'm 26 now. I was drawn to the bizarre Josh Kirby covers that were animated with action and the exotic book titles (for a boy used to reading Redwall and Lone Wolf) and back cover blurbs. My first two books were (probably) Interesting Times and the Light Fantastic. Now for a 8 year old the idea of Cohen kicking butt was very cool, and the "travelogue" aspect of Rincewind adventures really appealed to me as I had just finished reading LOTR. To me the fact Rincewind ran away didnt make him a bad person - it just made sense when (if he didnt have a spell in his brain that could destroy the Disc if spoken at the wrong time) he had no magical abilities at all and hence no means of fighting back. It actually ramped up the stakes in terms of the antagonists and sense of menace and danger.

The point of this opening statement is - I loved the early Discworld/Rincewind books not as a fantasy-parody but as genuine fantasy books. A story with heroines (Bethan and Butterfly), villains (Trymon and Lord Hong) and magic (the whole meaning of Stibbons' gang/experiments bypassed me).

So now I'm in my 20s, and I'm aware that the majority of Discworld fandom has taken very much against Terry's early books from the Eighties, saying that he has "matured as a writer" and is "tackling more relevant social issues". Maybe that's true for them. But I never read Discworld for important issues and messages to begin with. And I think Terry's writing was concise, imaginative, funny and most importantly accessible for multiple ages before he entered his "elder statesman" phase (which I agree with others on the forum began with Thief of Time).

For me the period where he started to make the messages the focus of his work rather than the characters (for example Monstrous Regiment, Thud and the Tiffany Aching books) is where he began to lose me. Its one thing to subvert cliches in a genre not known for much literary experimentation or modernism. To pound political points one after another into the text is just tiring to read and actually crosses the border into cliche itself (as in, humanist stories (with traditional authority figures continually proven wrong and brought down-to-size) end up being just about the real world to the exclusion of any innovation or juxtaposition and we cease to connect with the fictional world as an independant entity).

Not that there weren't messages valid and well-written in the first two dozen or so Disc books. But the charm of Rincewind is that he's normal. The paradox is that Terry always says he likes to write about ordinary people and not fantasy "supermen" but Rincewind is normal, not having a spell to his name. If you or I was dropped into what's he's been through of course we'd run away! This is a guy who survived in the Dungeon Dimensions for at least 15 years. :shock:

If anything I think the idea that an ordinary man (well apart from the potato fetish) can save the Discworld 3 or 4 times (and our world too) using pretty much just his wits is pretty inspirational, and it's a shame Rincewind is out of favour with both the "serious literature fans" and the author alike.
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby Who's Wee Dug » Wed May 23, 2012 12:14 am

Hi Avon 7 welcome to the forum, Rincewind is cetainly not out of favour with me, he is one of my favorite characters along with the Feegles and a couple of others. :mrgreen:

Why don't you pop along to the introduce yourself thread in the Broken Drum.
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby Tonyblack » Wed May 23, 2012 4:13 am

Pleased to meet you, Avon! :D
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby =Tamar » Thu May 24, 2012 2:56 am

Hi, Avon7.

Avon7 wrote: The point of this opening statement is - I loved the early Discworld/Rincewind books not as a fantasy-parody but as genuine fantasy books. A story with heroines (Bethan and Butterfly), villains (Trymon and Lord Hong) and magic (the whole meaning of Stibbons' gang/experiments bypassed me).


I like them as stories too. I read them all several times, the first time just as a story. The second time I read to see what I missed the first time. Then I start analyzing, just because that's the way I am, but without a storyline they wouldn't be of much interest. (Um... Lord Hong is in Interesting Times which is actually rather a late book.)

Avon7 wrote:So now I'm in my 20s, and I'm aware that the majority of Discworld fandom has taken very much against Terry's early books from the Eighties, saying that he has "matured as a writer" and is "tackling more relevant social issues". Maybe that's true for them. But I never read Discworld for important issues and messages to begin with.


I would say rather that a certain voluble group of fandom has fallen so in love with the complexity of the later books that they fail to appreciate the earlier books on their own terms. I tend to see the seeds of the later work already present in embryonic form in the earlier books, even the social consciousness. The book that is the most different is the first one, of course; The Colour of Magic story is nearly pure farce, yet with a heavy underlayment of philosophical worldviews clashing, as the gods dice with the lives of men and a visitor with a Zen attitude calmly wanders through virtually untouched.

Avon7 wrote: I think Terry's writing was concise, imaginative, funny and most importantly accessible for multiple ages before he entered his "elder statesman" phase (which I agree with others on the forum began with Thief of Time).


I agree. He is still working to make it accessible, most obviously by involving several different types of humor, which is usually seen in a critical way, with some people objecting to what they see as excessive wordplay, others objecting to simple physical humor, still others complaining about situation comedy or written-out sight gags, etc. I see it as something for almost everyone's taste. The major hurdle for many people is the magnificent vocabulary he uses, even in the children's books.

Avon7 wrote:It's one thing to subvert cliches in a genre not known for much literary experimentation or modernism.


Wait, what? Science fiction and fantasy not known for literary experimentation? Where did that come from? It's not all cardboard Tolkien clones, y'know, that was just a phase.

Avon7 wrote:To pound political points one after another into the text is just tiring to read and actually crosses the border into cliche itself (as in, humanist stories (with traditional authority figures continually proven wrong and brought down-to-size)

Um, who? Which traditional authority figures? The Patrician, being proven wrong and brought down to size? Or Vimes, the normal man who has an insanely difficult job being a policeman in a magical world, being brought down to size? Or Granny Weatherwax? {edited to remove mistaken close-quote-mark}

Avon7 wrote:... end up being just about the real world to the exclusion of any innovation or juxtaposition and we cease to connect with the fictional world as an independant entity).


The real world in which gods routinely send down lightning bolts? The real world in which golems hunt down fugitives?
The real world in which gold reappears because somebody added water to a metaphorical pump? (Oh, hey, does that resonate with Pump 19? I just thought of that and it may not make sense...) I think we're still firmly on Discworld, no matter how obvious the satirical links are.

Avon7 wrote: Not that there weren't messages valid and well-written in the first two dozen or so Disc books. But the charm of Rincewind is that he's normal. The paradox is that Terry always says he likes to write about ordinary people and not fantasy "supermen" but Rincewind is normal, not having a spell to his name.


I fail to see any paradox in that combination: Terry likes to write about normal people, and he writes about Rincewind who is normal.

Actually, Terry has said that it is hard to write Rincewind because he thinks of Rincewind as basically a one-dimensional character, but if I hang around here long enough it will become plain that I can find depths in a spilled drop of water on a countertop, and I see some depths in Rincewind even if Terry doesn't.

Avon7 wrote: If anything I think the idea that an ordinary man (well apart from the potato fetish) can save the Discworld 3 or 4 times (and our world too) using pretty much just his wits is pretty inspirational, and it's a shame Rincewind is out of favour with both the "serious literature fans" and the author alike.


I agree totally, and I'm not so sure Terry doesn't; he did have Rincewind putting his sock back on in the background after an argument is averted in Unseen Academicals. Clearly Rincewind was ready to save the world again, if necessary.
By the way, I am also a serious literature fan, I just happen to like Discworld on several levels.
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Re: Rincewind - Where is the love?

Postby parricc » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:24 am

I was introduced to the Discworld series through the 1995 DOS adventure game, which featured Eric Idol as Rincewind's voice actor. While the two graphical DOS adventure games did not completely follow the events of the novels, I do believe they fully followed the spirit of the series. Rincewind will always remain my favorite character of Discworld, regardless of how much I also love the other characters. I find it equally touching and comical that Rincewind fails at doing even elementary magic. I was actually not unhappy with David Jason's portrayal of him in the SkyOne adaptation of the first two books. I never imagined Rincewind as being elderly. However, at the same time, it really gave an over-the-top portrayal of his failure at wizardry. You could see an intense frustration in his eyes coupled along with weakness from his old age. I found it very moving. I wonder how Terry Pratchett felt about it. What honestly upset me the most about the adaption were the major differences from the books with regard to the story. In addition, some of my favorite parts were omitted entirely.
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