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March 22nd, 2009, 22:28
Originally Posted by Konjad View Post
Thoth, but you know The Witcher is actually a parody of fantasy (as were books) so it has to have some not so serious moments.
Sorry for not responding sooner.

I actually didn't know that it was suppose to be a parody… And yet it also seems to want to be serious at the same time. This can be done, but it is my humble opinion that The Witcher fails miserably at it. This argument is pretty old at this point though, so I think I'll just have to agree to disagree
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March 22nd, 2009, 22:41
Originally Posted by Konjad View Post
Thoth, but you know The Witcher is actually a parody of fantasy (as were books) so it has to have some not so serious moments.
What?

What?

How did the books were a wannabe parodies of fantasy?
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March 23rd, 2009, 08:23
I think what is meant by "parody of fantasy" is that in the book of short stories, for instance, Sapkowski takes familiar fairy tales, and gives them an adult "twist".

Beauty and the Beast, for instance, is a theme of one of the stories, but where Beauty is actually a beast. (But it's not simply turned into a new clichè, the actual "Beast" is not entirely a paragon of virtue, although not quite a beast either; it just puts the story in a totally different perspective.)

The Cinderella story is also given a very interesting twist in one of the stories. And so on. All of this is set within the Witcher universe of course. I greatly enjoy this aspect of Sapkowski's literature, but then I love it when cliche's are taken and viewed from a fresh angle, and with a fresh "twist" added.
A bit like Monty Python. But not all people like Monty Python, so I guess not all people will appreciate Sapkowski's particular dark sense of humor.

Actually, I think the game succeeds admirably at being both light-hearted and serious at the same time, sort of Milan Kundera style. Anybody here who read the book/watched the movie "The Incredible Lightness of Being?" It's like that.

EDIT: Are there any Polish people around this site who are with me here? My father had some Polish friends whom he helped to defect from behind the Iron Curtain back in the day, and they had that same kind of sarcastic, dark humor about their situation there. They would often joke about stuff that must obviously actually have been hurting them. I think you have to understand and appreciate the particular brand of sarcasm and strong sense of irony that is often used.
Last edited by RivianWitch; March 23rd, 2009 at 08:39.
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March 23rd, 2009, 19:27
Originally Posted by RivianWitch View Post
I think what is meant by "parody of fantasy" is that in the book of short stories, for instance, Sapkowski takes familiar fairy tales, and gives them an adult "twist".

Beauty and the Beast, for instance, is a theme of one of the stories, but where Beauty is actually a beast. (But it's not simply turned into a new clichè, the actual "Beast" is not entirely a paragon of virtue, although not quite a beast either; it just puts the story in a totally different perspective.)

The Cinderella story is also given a very interesting twist in one of the stories. And so on. All of this is set within the Witcher universe of course. I greatly enjoy this aspect of Sapkowski's literature, but then I love it when cliche's are taken and viewed from a fresh angle, and with a fresh "twist" added.
A bit like Monty Python. But not all people like Monty Python, so I guess not all people will appreciate Sapkowski's particular dark sense of humor.

Actually, I think the game succeeds admirably at being both light-hearted and serious at the same time, sort of Milan Kundera style. Anybody here who read the book/watched the movie "The Incredible Lightness of Being?" It's like that.

EDIT: Are there any Polish people around this site who are with me here? My father had some Polish friends whom he helped to defect from behind the Iron Curtain back in the day, and they had that same kind of sarcastic, dark humor about their situation there. They would often joke about stuff that must obviously actually have been hurting them. I think you have to understand and appreciate the particular brand of sarcasm and strong sense of irony that is often used.
I thought he may have in mind short storie, but it doesnt change the fact that I do not see a any parody in them. Sapkowski indeed took cliches and turned them the other way around, but still no parody there.
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March 23rd, 2009, 20:08
Originally Posted by nessosin View Post
I thought he may have in mind short storie, but it doesnt change the fact that I do not see a any parody in them. Sapkowski indeed took cliches and turned them the other way around, but still no parody there.
Well, I suppose that will depend on how you define the word 'parody'.
here is a definition or two from Wikipedia:
A parody (pronounced [ˈpɛɹədiː] US, [ˈpaɹədiː] UK, also called send-up or spoof), in contemporary usage, is a work created to mock, comment on, or poke fun at an original work, its subject, or author, or some other target, by means of humorous, satiric or ironic imitation. As the literary theorist Linda Hutcheon (2000: 7) puts it, "parody … is imitation with a critical difference, not always at the expense of the parodied text." Another critic, Simon Dentith (2000: 9), defines parody as "any cultural practice which provides a relatively polemical allusive imitation of another cultural production or practice."
If you look at it in it's wider sense, (and not just in the sense of a mockery, lampooning, or burlesque) I suppose it's not too far-fetched to say that Sapkowski comments on original fairy tales, by way of: "imitation with a critical difference, not always at the expense of the parodied text", and that he indulges in "providing a relatively polemical allusive imitation of another cultural production or practice", when doing so. So I suppose it just depends on how you are applying the term.

However, I do not profess to be able to read other people's minds, so of course I cannot say for sure what Konjad meant there. I guess we'll just have to wait for an explanation from him.
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March 23rd, 2009, 20:41
Yes, in broader sense it makes sense what you (and maybe Konjad) imply. I just always connected parody with making people smile or laugh. And Sapkowskis short stories did neither. At least the conclusions were no laughing matters.
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March 23rd, 2009, 21:37
Of course. I also connect "parody" with something that means "to poke fun at", but if you think about it, what other term would you actually use to describe what Sapkowski does with fairy tales?
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March 24th, 2009, 18:46
Sorry that I'm answering so late. I don't visit this forum often.

RivianWitch got my point about that "parody" thing, but by parody I didn't mean only short stories but whole saga as well.

Geralt for example is a knight on the white horse which is supposed to save the world from evil/save the princess/be a romantic etc. And we have it in books but it's like "deformed" and has irony in it.
Geralt indeed has moral options, and wants to make the world a better place. But whatever he does he can only choose a lesser evil and ends in a deep shit anyway.
Saving the princess, known from many fairy tales, is in The Witcher saving Ciri by Geralt. But innocent girl that princess is supposed to be changes in books to a murder and bandit.
In fairy tales characters often have the loved ones, and indeed Geralt has one, wait, actually he has two and many more for a short while

We can see in The Witcher also many characters from other fairy tales, for example Lake's Lady (I'm not sure if it's called like that in English) from King Arthur. She's also mysterious in The Witcher like she was in King Arthur. It might be not a parody, but the way she is presented is rather funny and not exactly how original was supposed to be. She "is with" (I guess "in love" would be a wrong word) an old fisher that don't even speak to people except replying "hmmmm" and she's jealous of him (both characters are present in books and in game).

Sapkowski's just copying fairy tales, fantasy and makes it in a deformed way. That's what makes The Witcher a parody for me.
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March 25th, 2009, 08:21
Yes, exactly, -it's like he's saying:"Real life is not a fairy tale, and if fairy tales really happened, they would probably have happened like this."
In fairy tales the characters always "live happily ever after" at the end, and he attacks that concept with his dark irony.

He is saying that there is not a "happily ever after", and that life is not as simple and as black -and-white as fairy tales would make us believe.

The princess is not always all goodness, innocence and sweetness, the prince not always handsome, charming, honorable and brave, the beast not always just all evil.

If you play that extra adventure, titled "the price of neutrality", (which is an adaptation of the "Cinderella" short story), there are 4 different endings, some "better" than others, but not one of them is completely good where absolutely nobody gets hurt. I think it illustrates nicely what Konjad also said : "whatever he does he can only choose a lesser evil and ends in a deep shit anyway".
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