Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Midsummer in Midwinter

Terry Pratchett's Lords and Ladies is another novel featuring Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg, and Magrat Garlick, the three witches from Pratchett's Wyrd Sisters. Just as Wyrd Sisters is a funnier version of MacBeth, Lords and Ladies is a darker and simultaneously sillier version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (my favorite of Shakepeare's plays). What can I say other than I absolutely loved it? I'll just include below the passage that amused me most:

"Good morning, Hodgesaargh," she [Magrat] said.

The castle falconer appeared around the corner, dabbing at his face with a handkerchief. On his other arm, claws gripping like a torture insturment, was a bird. Evil red eyes glared at Magrat over a razor-sharp beak.
"I've got a new hawk," said Hodgesaargh proudly. "It's a Lancre crowhawk. They've never been tamed before. I'm taming it. I've already stopped it peck myoooow--"

He flailed the hawk madly agaisnt the wall until it let go of his nose.

Strictly speaking, Hodgesaargh wasn't his real name. On the other hand, on the basis that someone's real name is the name they introduce themselves to you by, he was definitely Hodgesaargh.

This was because the hawks and falcons in the castle mews were all Lancre birds and therefore naturally possessed of a certain "sod you" independence of mind. After much patient breeding and training Hodgesaargh had managed to get them to let go of someone's wrist, and now he was working on stopping them viciously attacking the person who had just been holding them, i.e., invariably Hodgesaargh. He was nevertheless a remarkably optimistic and good-natured man who lived for the day when his hawks would be the finest in the world. The hawks lived for the day when they could eat his other ear.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Ooh, I love TP. Now I HAVE to read these.