Granny Weatherwax and Discworld [Index Post]

weatherwax wednesday

When I first started this blog, I was casting about for a few types of post I could repeat every week in order to get on a regular schedule.  The one that felt the most natural was a feature I named "Weatherwax Wednesdays" where I used a quote from Terry Pratchett's Discworld, usually involving the character Granny Weatherwax, as a jumping off point to talk about moral philosophy.Introducing Weatherwax Wednesday -- Who is Granny Weatherwax, and why do I love her so?"It’d be in me li … [Read more...]

“You can’t go around building a better world for people”

For an explanation of what Weatherwax Wednesdays are all about, read the introduction post. This week’s Discworld quote comes from Witches Abroad, which is, among many other thing, a retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale. In the story, Granny Weatherwax and her companions are pitted against a more conventional fairy godmother, who is intent on scripting a happy ending for the characters. ‘We’re the other kind [of godmother],’ said Granny. ‘We’re the kind that gives people what they kn … [Read more...]

“You have to start out learning to believe the little lies”

For an explanation of what Weatherwax Wednesdays are all about, read the introduction post. This week's quote builds on Monday's post about the impact of the Santa Claus story on children.  Unsurprisingly, in Discworld, Christmas is a little stranger.  In Hogfather, Death must take over the duties of the Santa-analogue, after an attempt is made on his life.  In the passage below, Death explains to his mostly-mortal daughter, Susan, why the Hogfather can't be allowed to perish.  (Note, in … [Read more...]

“It would be like believing in the postman”

For an explanation of what Weatherwax Wednesdays are all about, read the introduction post.This week's Weatherwax quote is from Witches Abroad (a book I heartily recommend to everyone, but especially to the literary theorists who unexpectedly took over last week's post on evolutionary psychology).  This week's quote occurs in Pratchett's voice as narrator. Most witches don't believe in gods. They know that the gods exist, of course. They even deal with them occasionally. But they don't b … [Read more...]

“Only animals can’t help what they are”

For an explanation of what Weatherwax Wednesdays are all about, read the introduction post.This week's Weatherwax quote is also from Carpe Jugulum. This exchange occurs between during the denoument as Granny Weatherwax confronts the leader of the vampire family that has invaded the kingdom of Lancre. “We are vampires. We cannot help what we are.”“Only animals can’t help what they are,” said Granny. The rallying cry of the transhumanist movement is "To be human is to be more than human. … [Read more...]

“People as things, that’s where it starts.”

For an explanation of what Weatherwax Wednesdays are all about, read the introduction post.This week's Weatherwax quote, like last week's is from Carpe Jugulum. The first speaker is the Omnian missionary, the second speaker is Granny Weatherwax. The two of them alternate speaking throughout the dialogue. “There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment about the nature of sin, for example.”“And what do they think? Against it, are they?"“It’s not as simple as that. It’s not … [Read more...]

“It’d be in me like a fever”

For an explanation of what Weatherwax Wednesdays are all about, read the introduction post.This week's quote is from Carpe Jugulum. In the passage below, Granny is speaking to an Omnian missionary named Oats. (For more about Om, check out the excellent Small Gods). Granny said, "It's no good you trying to make me believe in Om, though... People you can believe in, sometimes, but not gods. And I'll tell you this Mister Oats..."He sighed. "Yes?"She turned to face him, suddenly alive. … [Read more...]


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