Soul Music Discussion **Spoilers**

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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:06 pm

Not necessarily - Ridcully's too insensitive/strong-minded to think much about music, because he's simply not interested in any of it at all, aside from it making the senior wizards even more difficult to handle than they are already

Ponders into the mechanics of anything not the creative/emotional involvement so he's like Spock - he's fascinated by how it's happening not why so he's immune to the aesthetics
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
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Postby raisindot » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:35 pm

Jan Van Quirm wrote:Not necessarily - Ridcully's too insensitive/strong-minded to think much about music, because he's simply not interested in any of it at all, aside from it making the senior wizards even more difficult to handle than they are already

Ponders into the mechanics of anything not the creative/emotional involvement so he's like Spock - he's fascinated by how it's happening not why so he's immune to the aesthetics


Your description of Ridcully could be a description of my father's philistinism toward rock and roll. And nature couldn't have produced a more perfect square than him.

Your description of Ponder reminds me of every punchcard-punching, transistor-soldering, model-rocket-building geek and nerd I ever met in high school. Calling them "squares" would be like calling Foul Ole Ron "fragrant."

:D

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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:48 pm

One man's square is another's quadrilateral :D
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Postby Verns » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:20 pm

Actually, I agree with Jan and prefer Moving Pictures to Soul Music. Thanks, Jan, as you've hit the nail on the head for me about the relative attractions of aural and visual stimulation (ooh, Matron!). My musical tastes are classical rather than popular, so I missed a lot of the punes in Soul Music, whereas I understood the Hollywood allusions easily.

I came to Discworld in a very haphazard way, reading most of the books out of sequence until I caught up with Pterry and started buying them in hardback. I tend to re-read them in an equally haphazard way, merely thinking 'ooh, I haven't read Witches Abroad for ages', as I pluck it from the bookshelf. So I really don't have much of a sense for the time line. When did Gaspode start talking? Was Moving Pictures the first occurrence? I must admit I assumed the dog mentioned in Soul Music is Gaspode, but equally assumed that he had not yet found His Master's Voice. Still, that can't be the case if this comes after Men At Arms. Confused much.
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Postby Tonyblack » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:27 pm

Yes, Gaspode makes his first appearance in Moving Pictures.

I remember reading somewhere that Terry had actually killed Gaspode off at the end of the book and it was an editor who insisted that doing so was a BAD thing to do. :wink:
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Postby michelanCello » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:30 pm

Tonyblack wrote:Yes, Gaspode makes his first appearance in Moving Pictures.

I remember reading somewhere that Terry had actually killed Gaspode off at the end of the book and it was an editor who insisted that doing so was a BAD thing to do. :wink:


I knew it! :wink: Gaspode theatrically escaping wasn't really Pratchett-ish... (no offense meant, Jan). I'm glad, though, he survived, 'cause he's a nice character to read about... :D
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:40 pm

*sniffs in annoyance* :wink:

It was totally in context in MP! - Laddie had to rescue somebody in impossible circumstances! :lol: Anyway Death was probably being very even-handed, seeing as how he helps cats along a fair bit, so it was about time the canines got some in.

Actually, I think Gaspode is kind of like Rincewind in that he's pretty cynical, practical and knows when to run, so he also gets more than his fair share of near Death experiences - after all he was thrown in the Ankh at birth as well, so he was on borrowed time right from the start. This means he's a classic survivor story hero and must always escape! :wink:
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Postby swreader » Fri Jul 09, 2010 2:28 am

There are other indications that Terry was thinking of James Dean, whose most famous role was Rebel Without A Cause.

When Ridcully dresses down the senior faculty, especially the Dean, for whom he has had to pay a fine to get them out of jail because of their "juvenile" actions. The Dean talks about his need to recapture the teen age sense of rebellion. Right at the end of that section Pratchett has inserted the following allusion. The Dean concludes his peroration--

"...Ridcully was going to say , oh, you're a rebel, are you, what are you rebelling against, and he'd say . . . he 'd say something pretty damn memorable, that's what he do! He was--"

But the Archchancellor had stalked off.

"mumblemumblemumble," said the Dean defiantly, a rebel without a pause. " (groan)
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Jul 09, 2010 10:55 am

I'd forgotten about that dressing down bit - Terry really wanted that one and the Elvis works down the chip shop in there :lol:
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Postby Tonyblack » Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:03 am

The simple answer to why Ridcully isn't influenced by the music is that in this book he plays the role of 'dad' - who can't and won't try and understand what the younger generation see in this 'noise'.

He's probably got a tin ear too! :lol:

Ponder is the nerd who just doesn't 'get' it. We are talking stereotypes here. I can still remember my dad yelling up the stairs to me: "Turn that bloody racket down or off!!!" :roll:

I got him back one day when I played Dark Side of the Moon really quietly in the same room as him. He nodded off and I turned the volume up at the bit where all the alarm clocks go off. :P
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Postby bikkit » Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:29 pm

My favourite pun is when the dean says this after making trouses out of denim "When these become popular they won't be called Archchancellors"

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Postby BatrickPatrick » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:02 pm

It's puntastic *wince*

Tonyblack wrote:The simple answer to why Ridcully isn't influenced by the music is that in this book he plays the role of 'dad' - who can't and won't try and understand what the younger generation see in this 'noise'.

He's probably got a tin ear too! :lol:

Ponder is the nerd who just doesn't 'get' it. We are talking stereotypes here. I can still remember my dad yelling up the stairs to me: "Turn that bloody racket down or off!!!" :roll:

I got him back one day when I played Dark Side of the Moon really quietly in the same room as him. He nodded off and I turned the volume up at the bit where all the alarm clocks go off. :P


My parents say, "Is that Queen? Turn it up!"
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Postby swreader » Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:51 am

Pratchett says in “The History” that Soul Music is primarily about DEATH and Susan, and only incidentally about “sex, drugs and Music With Rocks In.” And it is with these two characters that Pratchett begins to develop his more mature style of satiric comedy.

DEATH and Susan, begin (essentially) their ongoing complex relationship in this book. Susan, at the beginning has only begun to us her “invisibility” power, but she doesn't’ yet know or remember anything much about her family. She considers herself just a normal human girl until the Death of Rats, Quoth and Binky reawaken her blocked memories. But she takes up the role of DEATH, somewhat uncertainly. What startled me on this reading was realizing that her quest to rescue Imp (Buddy) was not for romantic reasons. Her actions are just as much teen-age rebellion as is his quest to take his harp and become the world’s greatest musician. She. like all teenagers, shouts at the Universe that It isn’t fair!

What she doesn’t realize at the beginning is the role which DEATH (whether as her grandfather or herself) actually play in Discworld. They do not cause death of individuals. They simply come to release their souls. Susan wants a “moralistic” universe in which she as Death can cause the good live to old age and only the bad to die young. Part of her growing up is recognizing that Discworld (like ours) doesn't work that way.

Music's entrance into a world where it doesn't belong dominates the bulk of the novel. It is here that most of the allusive comic jokes occur, as the influence of Music through Buddy's playing of the magic guitar makes most people act like teenagers--including most of the wizards and the Librarian. It takes the combined efforts of three supernatural figures (DEATH, Susan and Music) to straighten out the convoluted mess that the magic guitar of Music has caused.

And Pratchett’s biggest joke is that (foreshadowing Thief of Time) at the end of the book, nothing which has taken place during the reign of Music in Discworld has ever happened. But the beat goes on elsewhere.
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Postby raisindot » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:45 am

swreader wrote:
And Pratchett’s biggest joke is that (foreshadowing Thief of Time) at the end of the book, nothing which has taken place during the reign of Music in Discworld has ever happened. But the beat goes on elsewhere.


Is this literally so? In "The Truth," Vetinari, ruminating about the "newness" of the newspaper business, compares its disruptive potential to "that music with rocks" business.

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Postby swreader » Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:08 am

Terry is clearly feeling his way in this book (and possibly forgot what he said here) but he'd given the following lines to DEATH:

HISTORY TENDS TO SWING BACK INTO LINE. THEY ARE ALWAYS PATCHING IT UP. THERE ARE ALWAYS SOME MINOR LOOSE ENDS . . . I DARESAY SOME PEOPLE WILL HAVE SOME CONFUSED MEMORIES ABOUT A CONCERT OF SOME SORT IN THE PARK. BUT WHAT OF IT? THEY WILL REMEMBER THINGS THAT DID NOT HAPPEN.

So, as we will learn in the Thief of Time, the monks are always having to adjust things. Vetinari (in Truth) would appear to be covered by this comment.
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