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Lecture 16

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

2 pages41 viewsWinter 2016

Department
English
Course Code
ENGC23H3
Professor
Sonja Nikkila
Lecture
16

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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aclockoradisc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interestedinhowitworks
Looking at the Footnotes
● Worldbuildingisdonethroughthefootnotestheygiveinfooutsideoftheimmediatenarrative
○ Assuch,they’reasubstitutefortheunseenworldinthenarrative
○ Suggestsworldswithinworldsyouknowthatthere’saworldoutsideofAnkhMorpork,butyou
cannot“see”it(unlessyoureadotherPratchettbooks)
● Fantasyworldisnotcompletelyaccessible,butconstantlyreviewedandrevealed
● Footnotesopenlychallengethenarrative’sinfoandcharacter’sassumptions
○ AtonepointVimesmakesanobservationandthefootnotebluntlystatesthatheiswrong;gives
usthe“right”information)
● Givesadeeperimmersionandasenseofdepthbeyondthenarrativegiven
○ Addswonderandamazement
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