Talk:Book:Small Gods

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  • Forgot to log in, was me. --Jogibaer 22:10, 9 Aug 2005 (CEST)

Hi, the claim in the Annotations section that Small Gods 'presumably takes place centuries before moving pictures' is not referenced or backed up. In fact there's very good reason to think it untrue:

  • Firstly, as the note itself says, the Century of the Fruitbat is referred to as the current period, placing it within 100 years of the main sequence of novels.
  • Secondly, the Death of Rats appears. He was only created in Reaper Man, ergo this comes after it unless we are to believe he time travelled too.
  • Thirdly, the Ephebean philosophers are the same as the ones in Pyramids, which is also well placed in the main sequence.
  • Fourthly, in Carpe Jugulum, some people still don't know that Omnia has been reformed. This seems unlikely if it's reformation was many years previous.

I've seen the quote on the Book of Tobrun from Thief of Time taken as proof of Brutha's reign being 10 years previously. I don't think this interpretation is correct. The exact quote is:

"The Book of Tobrun has not been considered official church dogma for a hundred years. The prophet Brutha revealed that the whole chapter was a metaphor for a power struggle within the early church."

Some have taken this to mean that the Book of Tobrun was dropped from the church dogma because Brutha showed it was a metaphor. However, there's no evidence for that. If the two sentences were linked with a semi-colon I might be more convinced. Instead, it can be equally well interpreted as two separate statements: the Book has not been official Dogma for a century and, recently, the prophet has explained its metaphorical nature.

All that's a long way of saying, if the page is going to claim Small Gods doesn't fit in the main timeline, it should really justify it. LordJuss 13:43, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

No one even remembers Brutha in person, and he was Cenobiarch for one hundred years, so whatever the century was called, it couldn't have been the current one.
Death ignores time; perhaps the Death of Rats too.
Are they the same philosophers, or just the same stereotypes or academic roles?
People in Lancre won't have heard from Omnia one way or the other lately.
I guess you could interpret the Tobrun quote that way; like the schisms of the Omnian Church, the question may never be settled. I think Sir Pterence does it on purpose. --Old Dickens 23:24, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for responding (I'm glad someone did)

Taking the points in order...

  • Where's the reference for no one remembering Brutha in person. If there is a quote I'm happy to address it, but a statement isn't enough.
  • On the same point, true he was Cenobiarch for 100 years but why assume that those 100 years end before the current books. If Brutha is Cenobiarch *now* and dies in 100 year's time, that still fits.
  • I'll give you Death's domain is out of time but in every appearance he visits people in chronological order.
  • Maybe on the philosophers - difficult to say.
  • Lancre may not hear much from Omnia but to not hear anything for at least a century. I'm not convinced - but this one's a judgement call.

Agreed, Sir Pterry has given us little information to go on. Maybe it amuses him. Still, fundamentally, if people are going to claim Small Gods is in the past I'd like a quote that backs that up. LordJuss 15:14, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Then let's say there's no record of Brutha in contemporary times, unless you have one, and where he's mentioned it seems to be as a historical figure. If you want to posit that events which are described as as having happened will not actually happen for a hundred years (though that could be the solution) there's no point in trying to establish any timeline; there is no time as we know it. I think all these points have been discussed long since in the DW Timeline with no general agreement, but I find the length of Brutha's career and the lack of reference to him as a contemporary in any other book the most significant argument.
(Are you a single-Patrician supporter as well?) --Old Dickens 22:06, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't the argument about no record in contemporary times apply to Pteppic as well? The only reason it isn't is cos Dr Cruces ties Pyramids to the rest of the series. Absence of evidence isn't the same as evidence of absence.
As you say, it's probably not possible to prove one way or the other. And saying that events shown in the books happen later than others doesn't undermine the possibility of a timeline. They still happen as described, it's just a matter of deciding where the other books fit next to those events - it's still consistent either way. I'll carry on my re-read and let you know.
As for the patrician... quite the reverse. There's almost no way that the patrician in CoM -> Mort is Vetinari. It's possible, but only if Snapcase ruled for a very short time indeed. Anyway, that's a discussion for another place. LordJuss 07:49, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Actual Book Discussion

It occurs to me (at the risk of the over-analysis I often deplore) that there may be a reason why this book has a bumper crop of discrepancies and controversies. Is it an intentional parody of Roundworld Holy Books with their notorious ambiguities and internal contradictions? --Old Dickens 22:50, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Couple of annotations

I'm just reading Small Gods now, and I noticed a couple of religious things (since I am a practicing Catholic) that weren't added to the APF that might be worthy of addition. I might have more later. I don't know if this is worthy of inclusion in the APF, but I did want to stick it somewhere. Pages refer to the Harper mass market paperback version.

  • The Septateuch is already noted to be a reference to the Penteteuch, but it's probably also a reference to the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (septuagint means seventy in Latin, and there were 72 translators).
  • p. 49: Then he scratched the dust with a claw. "I...remember a day...summer were...thirteen..."
    • Oh, now this is quite clever. From context, it's clear that Om is referring to some sin of Brutha's, but the sin, at least here, is not specified. In the Gospel of John, there is an account of a woman who is about to be stoned as an adulterer. Local religious authorities take her to Jesus, who begins writing with his finger on the ground, saying, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." This causes the accusers to leave. The writing bit is fairly nonsensical without the explanation of tradition, which states that Jesus was writing their sins. So similarly, we have Om writing on the ground with his claw while talking to Brutha about one of his sins without actually explaining in the text that he's confronting Brutha about his sins. superlusertc 2010 October 23, 07:16 (UTC) 09:16, 23 October 2010 (CEST)

The rest of the annotations:

  • 8 Brother Nhumrod, who had a nervous habit of squinting at the speaker's lips and repeating the last few words they said practically as they said them.
    • One of the frequently-cited symptoms of schizophrenia is echolalia: repeating the words of another person. The best-known is auditory hallucinations. Brother Nhumrod has both.
  • 133 "But not a barbarian one"
    • Ephebe seems to be modeled on Greece. Greece defined barbarian as coming from any country other than Greece. superlusertc 2010 October 26, 08:19 (UTC)
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