In the tenth part ofÂ Pyramids, chaos reigns. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to readÂ Discworld.
I donâ€™tÂ quite understand this, but I comprehend it enough to now that EVERYTHING IS TRULY MESSED UP AND Iâ€™M BARELY HALFWAY THROUGH THIS NOVEL. How?Â How???
Itâ€™s no surprise, given what I finally learned about the true nature of pyramids, that this monstrosity is affecting time and space as it is. But the violence we see here is just so much more overwhelming than I anticipated. That grinding soundâ€¦ lord, itâ€™s so unsettling to me. Knowing what I know from the end of this section, it sounds like Djelibeybi itself was being ripped from its foundations, right? What else could have caused that grinding and creaking?
So while the Ptaclusp twins futilely try to cap the Great Pyramid, Teppic is off panicking in his own way. His escape on a camel (the worldâ€™s greatest mathematician, mind you) is thwarted by the appearance of royal guards and Dios, and ITâ€™S SUCH A FRUSTRATING SCENE. As Dios sentences Teppic to death-by-crocodile by order of the king, Teppic points out that heÂ is the king, and THIS IS TOO MUCH:
â€œThis is not funny,â€ said Teppic. â€œI order you to tell them who I am.â€
â€œAs you wish. ThisÂ assassin,â€ said Dios, and the voice had the cut and sear of a thermic lance, â€œhas killed the king.â€
â€œIÂ am the king, damn it,â€ said Teppic. â€œHow could I kill myself?â€
â€œWe are not stupid,â€ said Dios. â€œThese men know the king does not skulk the palace at night, or consort with condemned criminals. All that remains for us to find out is how you disposed of the body.â€
I honestly donâ€™t think this is denial on Diosâ€™s part at all. I think he is willingly using this cultureâ€™s absurd reliance on tradition against Teppic. It doesnâ€™t matter that this man is clearly Teppic; what matters is appearance and the roles theyâ€™re cast to play. Thatâ€™s how Dios is able to command these guards to go after Teppic in this way; they donâ€™t even question this.Â Order is supreme. Which is terrifying! Yes, what happens here is an extreme example of that, but thatâ€™s sort of the point. This whole system is so rigid that no one questions it andÂ no one even has the skills to begin to question it. I think thatâ€™s an important part of this, one weâ€™ve seen in these recent sections. It would be a lot easier to begin to dismantle Diosâ€™s system of â€œtraditionâ€ if people were even remotely equipped to criticize it inÂ private. But look how relieved Teppic was in the last part when Ptraci said that she though Dios was not a good person. HAS ANYONEÂ EVER SAID THIS OUT LOUD? Probably not. Dios knows this; he is not blissfully oppressing people. HE KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING.
What The Fuck
I donâ€™t even know how to properly describe or analyze what happens here, so let me allow Pratchett to do it:
The stables stretched and shrank like a picture in a distorting mirror. Heâ€™d gone to see some once in Ankh, the three of them hazarding a half-coin each to visit the transient marvels of Dr. Moonerâ€™s Traveling Take Your Breath Away Emporium. But you knew then that it was only twisted glass that was giving you a head like a sausage and legs like footballs. Teppic wished he could be so certain that what was happening around him would allow of such harmless explanation. Youâ€™d probablyÂ need a wobbly glass mirror to make it look normal.
I think that because Ptraci figures out that if you close your eyes, navigation is perfectly fine, this means that whatever is happening with the Great Pyramid affects perception rather than the physical composition of the world. Still, itâ€™s horribly messed up, a complete mind-fuck of an event, one that is best comprehended byâ€¦ camels. Specifically, You Bastard, the worldâ€™s greatest mathematician. Yâ€™all, Pratchett seeded this joke AGES AGO, and now itâ€™s come to fruition, and I CANâ€™T. So, while Teppic and Ptraci try to escape town and the horrifying pull of the Great Pyramid, You Bastard is busy completing advanced mathematics, all to compute the best route, the proper speed, and, in my favorite moment in this section, the perfect arc of a glob of cud so that it splats gloriously on Diosâ€™s face.
But where does the Great PyramidÂ go? Teppic observes it fading in and out of realityÂ andÂ changing shapeÂ and the world is constantly bending and twisting, and when they all stop sensing this horrific mutation of time and space, THE ENTIRE VALLEY HAS DISAPPEARED. So, it slipped toÂ another time and place? Perhaps?
Except that doesnâ€™t explain the section that follows it. Dil and Gern look on in horror as the beliefs that they have held their entire lives become real. It is a remarkably unsettling moment. Dil and Gern have believed that the stars in the sky are â€œon the body of the goddess of Nept.â€ Itâ€™s a cultural myth. Itâ€™s a religious belief. But how does belief work when suddenly, the skyÂ is the body of Nept??
Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, isnâ€™t believing. Itâ€™s where belief stops, because it isnâ€™t needed anymore.
So what does thisÂ mean? Werenâ€™t Dil and Gern in the valley that disappeared? Where are they now? What the hell is Dios going to do now that Teppic has escaped his grasp? How doesÂ his belief in tradition factor into this recent development? HOW IS THIS HAPPENING WITH SO MUCH OF THE BOOK LEFT?
The original text contains use of the words â€œmad,â€ â€œlunatic,â€ and â€œstupid.â€
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