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Lecture 16

ENGC23 Lecture 16: 8.2 Fantastic Cities & Fantasy Worlds: How Pratchett Builds Discworld

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Sonja Nikkila

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8.2 Fantastic Cities & Fantasy Worlds: How Pratchett Builds His World Map of the Streets of Ankh‐Morpork ● original city map of Ankh Morpork from Pratchett’s official artwork  ● It’s more detailed, and thus leaves less to the imagination ­ you know exactly where you are in the  entire city  ● But the map can be deceiving ­ the nature of the Disc is to shift  ○ Meaning a Guild will blow itself up and come down somewhere else  ○ There’s also the idea of the moving magic shops that teleport in different locations  ● The Old Tower at the center ­ cities tend to migrate towards the center  ● The world appears to be a static, stable entity  ○ But like cloc or adis the city is constantly shifting and shaping into something new and  different  ○ Like fantasy, it never stays still ­ it’s constantly distorting and warping itself  Map of the Discworld ● Effectively builds the Discworld by emphasizing scientific points on the map  ○ Topographical features  ○ Direction of rotation  ○ Poles of orientation  ○ Flora and fauna  ● Statement of authority from author as well as authority from an unnamed cartographer  Descriptions of the Disc ● The novel is a story about magic ­ there’s the question of where magic comes from and why, but the  novel doesn’t attempt to pretend to answer any of our questions (they are all mysterious answers due to  the immersive effect of the world)  ○ “Magic generated by the turning of the world itself” ­ doesn’t answer anything  ● Emphasis on the examination of the world through science suggests the inhabitants are not only  amazed by their world, but are interest
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