Guild of Conjurors

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Motto: NVNC ILLE EST MAGICVSNow that's magic

The Guild's coat of arms depicts a naked woman on a blue field strategically covered by a bend sinister resembling a large saw blade.

Conjurors are described in The Truth as a group of sad, listless, and defeated men whose guild premises are directly below William de Worde's office. It may not always have been like this: conjurors have also been described as jolly men with leather patches on their elbows and a hearty laugh, who congregate together at parties, associate with thin sad-eyed women(generally called Doris) who affect spangly tights and leotards, and generally infuriate wizards by not realising how lowly they are. Part of this air of joviality is induced by the knowledge that they are always able to look down on thaumaturgists, the lowest form of life in the hierarchy of magic. According to The Discworld Companion, there is no such thing as a professional conjuror in Ankh-Morpork, and the Guild consists of hobbyists.

It would appear that, somewhere in the years separating Equal Rites and The Truth, (both in terms of the author's chronology and those of the Discworld Timeline), something may have happened to change the image of conjuring.


Annotation

For those for whom English is not their first language, nor English custom particularly customary, the motto means Now That's Magic!, which was the catchphrase of one Paul Daniels, a Roundworld magician and prestidigitator who was seldom off the TV in England during the eighties.

The routine being drummed into the heads of trainee Conjurors is straight out of the performance of Roundworld comedian/stage magician Tommy Cooper, who performed a virtually unchanged act (in its essentials) between the 1940's and his death in the middle 1980's. As part of the entertainment troupe Gulli, Gulli and Beti while undercover in Klatch,the Patrician performs a routine which is straight out of Tommy Cooper's stage repertoire. Only he does it with more enthusiasm and joie de vivre: Egg, melon, melon, egg!.... Round and round they go! Just like that! ... (Jingo, Corgi PB, p312)

(Pure unsupported speculation, but a logical inference) One might suppose that the establishment of a Guild where there was none before, and the formalising of training into something sounding as unutterably miserable as anything the Fools' Guild has come up with, has exerted a negative effect? Indeed, given the generally negative levels of jollity and joviality floating about, together with the undeniable fact that stage magic is a somewhat stilted, forced and unspontaneous form of entertainment, unchanged in its essentials for many years, which has now become something of a cliche - could it be that Conjury has been subsumed as a sub-speciality of Clowning and Fooling, and ultimately comes under the chilly wing of Dr. Whiteface?

It may also be worth noting that in Good Omens, Aziraphale, who fancies himself as an amateur conjuror, performs as a children's entertainer, against all Anthony Crowley's frantic advice not to. The problem is, Aziraphale may have learnt a routine from the greatest stage magician of the day, but the day in question was sometime in the 1880's. Perhaps it is the case that Terry's opinion of the bulk of stage magicians ranks somewhere near to the esteem he demonstrably has for clowns.

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