The Elegy of Soul Music

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The Elegy of Soul Music

Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:37 pm

Our new member, pbartoszuk is doing a thesis on Soul Music and the Elegiac aspects of it and the characters within. I hope members here can be of some help. But I'll let Paul tell you what he's after. :)
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
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Re: The Elegy of Soul Music

Postby pbartoszuk » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:14 pm

Hello Pratchettmaniacs ;)
I'm writing my MA paper about Soul Music (mainly about Quoth) and I guess I need your help. I have to write something about elegiac (like in poetry; mournful, sad mourning for a person etc) elements in SM. Well, elegiac characters are Susan and Death. Susan is 'trapped' in the past, as she's reminiscing about her parents or the childhood at Death's house. Binky, Quoth and Death of Rats made her to think again about her grandfather, and she recalls the swing in the garden, black apples, etc.
Death has existential problems, asks philosophical questions and tries to find answers about his sense of living, etc. He's sad, the mood is gloomy, and that make him elegiac character (in general).
Do you see any other characters/situations being elegiac?
Thanks in advance for your responses,
Take care :)
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Re: The Elegy of Soul Music

Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:41 pm

It has been a while since I read the book, but it seems to me that Death was mourning for his loss in Reaper Man. He is trying to forget rather than face up to his loss and learn to live with it. He's had a dose of humanity that goes way back, but was particularly strong in Mort and those human feelings are rubbing off on him. His quest to try and forget sort of reflects Susan being taught to forget by her parents. But the memory is still there, buried deeply. This is what Death needs to learn - that you cannot completely forget, you have to deal with things.
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Re: The Elegy of Soul Music

Postby =Tamar » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:00 pm

pbartoszuk wrote:Hello Pratchettmaniacs ;)
I'm writing my MA paper about Soul Music (mainly about Quoth) [SNIP]
Do you see any other characters/situations being elegiac?


Buddy's prize-winning song, Sioni Bod Da, is an elegy to his childhood home. Hearing it played on the harp makes everyone in the audience return momentarily to memories of an earlier time (elegiac); hearing the same tune played as rock music was more like jazz, in which (as Sir Terry wrote somewhere, more or less) the sadness is waved like a banner of success at surviving. Someone recently wrote (somewhere in this group, I think) that the entire book is a meditation on grief, but didn't go into deep detail. I hadn't realized that though I knew the book was about "soul" on many levels. On another level, I think the book as a whole is an elegy for the birth and growth of rock music as it was lived by those who grew up with it.
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Re: The Elegy of Soul Music

Postby pbartoszuk » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:38 pm

That's what I'm lookin for! Thanks Tamar!
If someone wants to add something, feel free :>
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Re: The Elegy of Soul Music

Postby =Tamar » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:41 am

Spoilers...

There's a reincarnational element in Soul Music, also. The harp is broken and remade. Death crashes and pulls himself together again. Buddy and the Band almost fade away until Death "kills" the guitar and Buddy is needed to bring the music back, to restore the universe. Then the universe is changed and Buddy survives.

I assume since you are focusing on Quoth that you already are working with the allusion to Poe's elegiac poem, The Raven. Although there are perfectly good reasons for alluding to the various songs, they might also relate to the theme - Stairway to Heaven is fairly obvious, but there may be others.
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Re: The Elegy of Soul Music

Postby pbartoszuk » Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:27 pm

Reincarnation seems quite interesting, thanks :)
Yes, the first chapter in my thesis was devoted to "The Raven". Now I'm focusing on elegy in SM. :)

Edit: Thank you all for help, it was quite important for me. Actually it was the first Pratchett' book i've read, but not the last (for sure!) :)
Anyway, thanks again. Take care.
Paul
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