Thursday, December 7, 2017

Just For Fun: Fictional Librarians Revisited, or Oook!


People who know me well, and therefore know that I'm unreasonably afraid of monkeys (it's an uncanny valley thing *shivers* erg), are probably going to be surprised when I tell you all that the Head Librarian of the Unseen University is my favorite fictional librarian. It's cool, though - he's an ape.


Anyways, for those of you who are unfamiliar with the Head Librarian, Unseen University, Ankh-Morpork, and the Discworld in general... here's quick description from the same page as where I found the picture above:
"Transformed into an orangutan by a wayward beam of magic, the Librarian is a member of the small, elite group who have the knowledge and ability to travel through L-space. His true identity is unknown and he speaks only through a series of “ooks” and “eeks,” but he’s still a pretty low-key guy when he’s not protecting the world’s knowledge. Just don’t call him a monkey. Trust us on that one."

The Discworld series, by the sorely missed and dearly departed Terry Pratchett, is one of the finest examples of parody we have available. All the fantasy novel tropes - ALL. OF. THEM. - are held up for examination and destruction. The Librarian, in my opinion, is a take down and reexamination of the "noble savage" trope, but he's not noble. He's out to protect his own hide, the grimoires and other magical tomes in his care, and his pile of bananas. However, he is more in tune with the forces of magic than pretty much anyone you'll encounter in the Discworld novels. Or, at the very least, he's more wise and wary of them.


He's not my favorite character in Discworld. That's probably Death, or maybe Granny Weatherwax. But when it comes to fictional librarians, this orangutan has got it all over the rest of them.

How about you? Do you have a favorite fictional librarian?

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