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Subject:Terry Pratchett: Nightwatch
Time:04:15 pm
Current Mood:nostalgic
Nightwatch

It's been years since I read a Discworld book, and it was wonderful to read a new one again.
I mostly bought it as a distraction from all the heavy reading I have to do for school, but I got quite caught up in it.

In a way it's different from the older Discworld novels; the humor is not as subtle, and not as intertextual, and there's not as much of it. A lot of things which in previous books were only hinted at between the lines are baldly stated, and it's rather more overtly preachy than usual.

But the plot is gripping - Vimes and a serial killer are transported into the past by a magical storm, and he has to catch the villain and keep from changing time, so he can return to his own version of the present.

It's a thriller, a gritty hard boiled detective novel, and a nostalgic trip into the Discworld past for both Vimes and the reader. Someone not familiar with the series would probably not enjoy it or understand the many, many references to past books, and given this, it makes complete sense not to be subtle - after 20 years we all know what we're really talking about when we mention The Guild of Seamstresses, after all.

Overall, Nightwatch is not as good a book as the ones in the middle of the series, but it's a nice change, and feels a fresher than some of his more recent ones.
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Subject:Patricia Waugh: Metafiction
Time:07:53 pm
Current Mood:satisfied
Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction

Talking about language is notoriously difficult, and so is writing about writing, I guess; especially if you have to be extremely specific. So I can understand why Patricia Waugh uses such big words all the time.

I love novels, I love experimental writing, such as metafiction, and I love reading about novels like that, but even so, damn, this is some heavy, contorted stuff.

I'm currently reading the introductory chapter "What is metafiction?", so I still have high hopes that the more meaty chapters ahead will be more fun. So far the book is only telling me what I already know, albeit it in great detail, but if I didn't already know what she's trying to explain, I don't know if I would understand it.

She does have a lot of quotes from authors and scholars, and that helps liven the text up, and makes it easier to understand.

I'm reading the book for a university class, and we're also going to read several examples of postmodern (meta)fiction, as the professor calls it ^_^
I have the books already, and now I'm wondering whether it would be better to read the novels first, to enjoy them without prejudice, or whether I'll understand the layers in the books better if I read Metafiction first.

So far, definite recommendation solely based on the topic, with the caveat that it is perhaps a bit outdated (it was first published in 1984, and apparently hasn't been updated in any of the subsequent reprints)

I will update with the final verdict after reading more of the book.
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