Surprise! In an emergency substitution, Liz and Ben get a glimpse of everyday life in Ankh-Morpork as they dive into three very small bits of Discworld ephemera collected in A Blink of the Screen.
The Ankh-Morpork National Anthem captures the experience of those forced to sing patriotic songs everywhere – but even the single complete verse tells us quite a lot about the character of the city. Meanwhile the Ankh-Morpork Guild of Barber-Surgeons have put together a few Medical Notes to keep the population informed about a few diseases peculiar to the city. And, on the occasion of Ankh-Morpork being “twinned” with a small city on Roundworld, we read A Few Words from Lord Havelock Vetinari to mark the occasion…
We picked these three “Discworld Shorter Writings” as they are both about Ankh-Morpork, whose history is explored in Night Watch (our next book), and written around the same time as that book – the anthem is from 1999 (though it its based on jokes from Moving Pictures, published in 1990) while the others are from 2002, the year Night Watch was published.
How do you feel about your national anthem? Does anyone know the second verse? What weird “diseases” are particular to the place where you live? Would you like to live in a town twinned with Ankh-Morpork – or somewhere else from the vast universe of fiction? And does anyone want a “sausoboros” T-shirt? We’d love to hear your answers! Join the conversation using the hashtag #Pratchat53.
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As usual, you can find notes and errata for this episode on our website.
Next month we’re back on track to talk about 2002’s Night Watch with guest Nadia Bailey! It’s a fan favourite and we already have an absolute tonne of questions, but if you have one you’re burning to have us answer, you can send it via the hashtag #Pratchat54, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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You mentioned Brentford as a ficitional place that features in Robert Rankin’s books. His version of the place is fictional, but it is based on an actual part of London with the same name, which is part of the London Borough of Hounslow: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brentford