Monthly Archives: March 2009


Terry Pratchett The world Through His eyes – The use Of Parody In His Works

Part I

Terry Pratchett : The Man

“ In a distant and second-hand set of dimensions, in an astral plane that was never meant to fly, the curling star-mists waver and part… See… Great A’Tuin the turtle comes, swimming slowly through the interstellar gulf, hydrogen frost on his ponderous limbs, his huge and ancient shell pocked With meteor craters. Through sea-sized eyes that are crusted with rheum and asteroid dust He stares fixedly at the Destination. In a brain bigger than a city, with geological Slowness, He thinks only of the Weight. Most of the weight is of course accounted for by Berilia, Tubul, Great T’Phon and Jerakeen, the four giant elephants upon whose broad and star tanned shoulders the disc of the World rests, garlanded by the long waterfall at its vast circumference and domed by the baby-blue vault of Heaven.” [1]

The man who created this vast and complex fantasy world was born on Wednesday 28th April 1948 in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. His schooling years were spent mostly at the Beaconsfield Public Library – to which he ascribes his education. Even though he considers himself as having been a “Non descript student”, he did manage five O-levels and started A-levelcourses in Art, History and English while at High Wycombe Technical High School. [2]
While he was still young he had wanted to become an astronomer. He, however, had to give up his astral dreams because he found he was not “very good at math”. [3]
When about 13 he fell into the habit of visiting “The Little Bookshop.” This was a small shop selling reasonably good quality secondhand British and American science Fiction books. This perhaps was the reason he developed an affinity for the science Fiction genre. [4]
It was around this time that he published his first short story, “The Hades Business”. Later this same story was commercially published. At that time he was just 15. [5]
Pratchett spent his growing years in southern England, just about twelve kilometers away from the Stonehenge. Strange ancient carvings and the burial grounds of the long dead chieftains was a regular feature of this countryside. This leads us to gain some understanding of how much, the mythological traditions of England, must have appealed to him and inspired him. [6]
Pratchett started out as a journalist and it was while he was on an interviewing job that he got his first big break. While interviewing Peter Bander van Duren, co-director of Colin Smythe Ltd Publishers, he mentioned that he had written a book called The Carpet People. The book was published by Colin Smythe Ltd Publishers in 1971. This was just the first of his many books in a career spanning almost four decades.
He takes an aversion to being called a “children’s author” considering it an example of “sloppy journalism”, his being labeled as a children author. In truth his books are as much for adults as for children. [7]

In December of 2007 Pratchett was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy, a disease, in which areas at the back of the brain begin to shrink and shrivel. This post script to a statement that he released at that time is typical of his philosophically humorous take on life.

P.S. I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that this should be interpreted as ‘I am not dead’. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as will everybody else. For me, this may be further off than you think – it’s too soon to tell.
I know it’s a very human thing to say “Is there anything I can do”, but in this case I would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry. [8]

Over the years Pratchett has won many accolades for his work. Pratchett was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire “for services to literature” in 1998. [9]
At present he lives in Salisbury, Wiltshire, with his wife and daughter.
The reasons I picked up Terry Pratchett as the subject for this dissertation are two-fold. I have read a number of his books and am familiar with his style. And secondly Pratchett’s writings lend itself readily to an analysis as to how parody can be a unique representation of the real.

Pratchett himself subscribes to G. K. Chesterton’s view of fantasy – “to take that which is familiar and everyday and therefore no more seen, and pick it up and turn it around and show it to the reader from a new point of view, so that once again they see it for the first time”.[10]
In this, lies his greatest strength.
Terry Pratchett is now a real life Knight after being awarded the highest recognition in the Queen’s New Year Honours list for 2009.

Part II

An Introduction to Some of the Main Discworld Characters
Terry Pratchett has written over a number of books and though most of these are set in the Discworld there are many that are not. Across these books he has created a whole world of characters both major and minor. A study of three major players from his Discworld will give us an idea of how deftly he can sketch out character and how often he uses these characters as a parody of real life people.

• His Grace, The Duke of Ankh, Commander Sir Samuel Vimes

Samuel Vimes first appears in Guards! Guards!, the eighth Discworld book that Pratchett penned. As far as looks goes it’s anybody’s guess what Vimes looks like. The first book does not elaborate on his looks. Nor do the others that followed. They tend to concentrate more on his
mental state than his physical form. Some idea about his physical appearance, however, may be gleaned from an interview that Pratchett gave. The other source of information on this could be artist Paul Kidby’s interpretation. While Pratchett says that he had visualised Vimes as closely resembling the British actor, Pete Postlethwaite, Kidby’s sketches of Vimes seem to suggest some resemblance with Clint Eastwood.
Sam grew up in the most poverty stricken parts of Ankh Morpork, the City in which most Discworld novels are set. In fact Pratchett says that the area was so poor that there was hardly any crime for the simple reason that there was nothing worth robbing.
Sam assumed his first role as an authority figure early in life when he was made the “blackboard monitor”, at the school that he attended. Considering that later in life he was to become the commander of the City Night Watch his stint as a blackboard monitor may have been indicative of things to come.
Sam joined the night Watch at the tender age of sixteen. He credits much of his education to Sergeant-At-Arms John Keel. Keel seems to have been the single most important influence in the shaping of Sam’s character. Sam certainly inherited his cynical outlook towards life and an undying belief in the justice of things from Keel. An interesting fact about Sam and Keel is that in the Book Night Watch we learn that keel is none other than Sam himself, transported thirty years back in time. This of course lends new meaning to the phrase “a self taught man”.
Sam’s rise in the Night watch was concurrent with the shrinking of the Night Watch as a force to be reckoned with. This meant that by the time he became the Commander of the Watch,
The duke had a mind that ticked like a clock and, like a clock, it regularly went cuckoo.- Wyrd Sisters

The Watch was reduced to a mockery of what it was meant to be in the first place. For a long time Sam seems to have given up on life and surrendered to alcohol. This led his long time colleague, Fred Colon, to comment that Sam’s natural state was, “one drink below normal”. This meant that Vimes would have to drink to just reach a normal level of Sobriety. Of Course Sam invariably managed to overshoot the mark and became drunk.
Later in his career Sam kicks the drinking habit. Under him the Watch reorganises itself and starts functioning.
Vimes has an almost religious aversion to authority even though he himself represents authority to many people. He is unapologetically a self proclaimed “speciest” and hates the “undead”, as werewolves and vampires are called. But this does not interfere with him making the Night watch an equal rights employer. The watch employs a Troll, a werewolf, a dwarf and a vampire besides human beings.
At the end of his career a lot of unexpected things happen to Vimes. He gets promoted to the resurrected rank of Commander of the watch. Besides this he is also made a knight and a duke at the same time. He gets married to Lady Sybil Ramkin, the sole heiress to the Ramkin estate. Thus it is that he finds himself one of the richest men in Ankh Morpork.
A chief characteristic of Vimes is his amazing capacity to be angry. He is perpetually angry about something or other. He is someone who has an ideal and at the same time knows that real life is far from that ideal. This results in him sometimes being taken over by “the beast” , an alter ego of his that he does his best to keep leashed at all times.
From time to time Vimes get very frustrated by all the trappings of being a police officer. It is at such times that he gives voice to his angst.

“…and what good’s it all been? What good have I done? I’ve just worn out a lot of boots. There’s no place in Ankh-Morpork for policemen! Who cares what’s right or wrong? Assassins and thieves and trolls and dwarfs! Might as well have a bloody king and have done with it!”

To this Carrot, a Corporal in the Night watch, replies, “It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness, captain. That’s what they say.”
Perhaps the single phrase that describes Vimes best is “ Old Stoneface”, the nick name that he shares with his grandfather. [11]
Pratchett in his own words says that Vimes is someone who enjoys it best when “he stands to lose everything”. At his best when “fighting dirty and double-crossing and using all his old skills to survive”, Vimes, even the worst situations of his career, is, “In an odd way, a way he’s ashamed of when he thinks about it, he’s loving it.” [12]

• Havelock Vetinari – The Patrician

Lord Vetinari’s name is a pun (‘veterinary’) on the name of the famous de Medici family, who were the exalted rulers of Renaissance Florence.
Lord Vetinari is simply the most powerful man in Ankh Morpork. He is the absolute ruler of this Discworld city and the one person to whom Vimes reports.
Vetinari was born into money and title. Add to these that he is educated at the assassins Guild and it is no surprise that he becomes the ruler of the city. He is described as a tall, pale, thoughtful man who dresses in dusty black, primarily due to having better things to think about than what to wear. In his youth he favoured grey or dark greens instead of the traditional black of the Assassins Guild because he claims they blend better with the shadows.
Vetinarie’s greatest achievement is his legalisation of the various guilds in the city including the “seamstress’s guild” (a euphemism for prostitutes – “women of negotiable affections” as Pratchett puts it!) and the “thieves guild”. He does not waste time in the eradication of the evils of society. He hits upon the ingenious ploy of licensing everything. This means that the common citizen of Ankh Morpork can walk the street fearless in the knowledge that he will not be mugged and robbed more than a few number of times a year and will always receive a receipt for the theft.

In Mort, the fourth discworld novel, pratchett says, “Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.”

Like any other ruler there have been attempts on Vetinaries life as well. In fact the assassins’ guild has a price on his head.

“ Everyone knows the Assassins have set his fee at a million dollars,’
said Lady Selachii. ‘That’s how much it would cost to have him killed.’
‘One can’t help feeling,’ said Lord Rust,’that it would cost a lot more than that to make sure he stayed dead.’ ”

[ Men At Arms ]
There is talk however that the Assassins decided to remove Vetinarie’s name from their registers. This can only be interpreted as a tribute to his success as a ruler. The assassins are credited with understanding the politics of Ankh Morpork. The fact that they refuse to assassinate him shows that they feel that killing him “would not only spoil the game but also smash the board.” ( Night Watch)

• Death – An Anthropomorphic Personification

Death is the one character that has appeared in almost every discworld book. Five of the discworld books have Death playing major roles but Death invariably crops up in almost every book.

Death first makes an appearance in The Colour of Magic. Due to a lack of vocal cords death has to resort to directly projecting his voice into the heads of his victims. In the Discworld books this strange quality of his voice is demarked by the use of SMALL CAPS for all his words.
Death is always addressed with the personal pronoun He, not unlike the reference made to a God.
Though death is not invisible most people do not acknowledge his presence until their time comes to meet Death. As far as physical appearances go Death is described as a black robed skeleton with a scythe.
Death is forever puzzled by the human race and has a sympathetic approach towards human beings and their follies. He is so facinated by human beings that he goes to the extent of adopting a daughter, Ysabell, and building a house for himself.

He has a real horse called Binky, as his steed. He is also kept company by the Death of Rats and Quoth the raven. While the Death of Rats is responsible for collecting the souls of rodents, the raven says himself, “I’m only in it for the eyeballs.”.
Quoth is a parody on the famous Edgar Allen Poe poem The raven.
An interesting fact about death is that he can only go were people believe in death. (Hogfather)
• Other Characters
The Terry Pratchett books are a treasure trove of characters. Though he has been accused of not sketching out some of his minor characters completely this accusation seems to be unfair keeping in mind the sheer number of characters he has created.
Some are listed below
• Tiffany Aching a thirteen year old girl. She was once a Milkmaid, now Apprentice Witch.
• Technically a dwarf, Carrot Ironfoundersson was adopted by dwarfs but is in fact human. He is a Captain in the Night Watch.
• Rincewind is a wizard with (almost) no magical ability and whose ambition in life is simply to continue having a life. He has been on many adventures, but almost entirely by accident.
• Granny Weatherwax is considered (not least by herself) to be the best witch on the Discworld.

Part III

The Use of Parody in Pratchett’s Works

Pratchett may deal in fantasy and that which is absurd, but there is a method to his madness. One does not find it difficult to find the roots of even his wildest ramblings. It is all grounded in basic human nature and the constituents of modern society. By exposing and extrapolating to a greatly heightened scale he manages to enchant the reader.
In his book Wyrd Sisters (1988) he parodies Shakespeare’s historical plays and Macbeth in particular. In his typically ironic and incisive style Pratchett tells the tale of three witches and a host of other characters that some how seem to bear an uncanny resemblance to stock characters from the Bard’s plays. There are frustrated rulers, disenchanted ghosts, disguised heirs and all manner of scheming goes on in the background. Pratchett’s strength, however, does not lie in replicating characters. He has a knack for satirizing the most profound and impressive narrative. For example when one of the witches asks the grand question, “When shall we three meet again?”, only Pratchett could have formulated the answer, “Well, I can do next Tuesday.” (Wyrd Sisters).
Pratchett says, “A lot of the humor (and possibly a lot of the power in the Discworld series) comes from thinking logically about those things which we don’t normally think logically about, that we just accept.” [13]

He goes on to elaborate that most readers are familiar with the concept of witches and werewolves. It is altogether another matter that very few take them at anything other than at face value. Pratchett says that he is fascinated by such creatures and how they go about their lives. To take an ancient concept like a werewolf and place it in modern society is something that really fascinates him. The fact that he ends up parodying the creatures and drawing material from creatures that abound in modern society is incidental.

And the Wyrd Sisters is not the only book where this happens. Pratchett has created hosts of characters that can be employed to great effect in bringing a parodic touch to his narratives. The three witches, the character of Death, the wizards of Unseen University are just a few of them.

Pratchett’s vision is so accurate and his brand of humour so caustic he often finds himself surprised at how closely he is able to parody real life situations. For instance one of his readers read a description of how wizards fight and waste time while solving problems and wrote a letter to Pratchett. Amongst other things the letter mentioned, “That the way the wizards solve problems is exactly the way mathematicians solve problems. You’ll find half a dozen mathematicians clustered around the blackboard, all arguing with one another, all fighting for the chalk. Some of them will be rubbing out part of the equation that another one of them has just written. And out of this kind of creative hubbub comes a solution. That is exactly how the wizards work, as well.”[14]

Pratchett believes that in order to create a character it is not necessary to base it on someone in particular. It is enough that the character be based on a particular type of person. He presents the logic that if a character is based on a single person there is a chance that readers might not be able to latch on to it in case they have never met someone like that person. But in the instance when the character is a model of what a particular type of character is like, the danger of the reader not connecting to the character is remote. Often it is seen that readers end up saying that they know someone exactly like this character or that. This tends to also lend a certain parodic tinge to Pratchett’s writing since at any given time Readers can see so many real life characters Waltzing through his books. [15]

A hallmark of Pratchett’s work is that Characters, place names and titles in books very often contain puns, allusions and culture references. Some characters are parodies of well-known personalities. Pratchett’s character Cohen the Barbarian ( first appearance in The Light Fantastic) is a parody of Conan the Barbarian and Genghis Khan clubbed together. His character Leonard of Quirm is a parody of Leonardo da Vinci. The parody is hieghtened when Pratchett writes about Leonard being famous for such paintings as Woman Holding Ferret and the Mona Ogg. (Leonardo’s Lady with Ermine and Mona Lisa.) Another similarity with Leonardo Da Vinci is his practice of writing things with is left hand and writing things backwards ( i.e. “ENNOGEHT”—”The Gonne”— as in Men At Arms).
Vimes pounded through the fog after the fleeing figure. It wasn’t quite so fast as him, despite the twinges in his legs and one or two warning stabs from his left knee, but whenever he came close to it some muffled pedestrian got in the way, or a cart pulled out of a cross street. This always happens in any police chase anywhere. A heavily laden lorry will always pull out of a side alley in front of the pursuit. If vehicles aren’t involved, then it’ll be a man with a rack of garments. Or two men with a large sheet of glass. There’s probably some kind of secret society behind this. – Feet of Clay
The use of broad allusions is a notable characteristic of Pratchett’s books. Allusions are
defined as “a literary device that stimulates ideas, associations, and extra information in the reader’s mind with only a word or two. Allusion means ‘reference’. It relies on the reader being able to understand the allusion and being familiar with all of the meaning hidden behind the words.” Since the success of allusions depends on the shared body of knowledge between the writer and the reader, Pratchett is careful of the type of allusions he makes. He relies on what he calls “white knowledge”. He says that in his choice of allusions he tries to, “pick ones that a generally well-read (well-viewed, well-listened) person has a sporting chance of picking up; I call this ‘white knowledge’, the sort of stuff that fills up your brain without you really knowing where it came from.”[16]

Pratchett has connected his novels to the reader through the threads of cultural fabric, making them more identifiable and more interesting, whether as parody, satire, pun, or generalised allusion. Pratchett alludes widely to a range of topics such as Shakespeare, fantasy literature, films, rock music, mythology, Arthurian Legend, modern authors, literary genres and computers.
There is a school of thought that suggests that Pratchett alienates part of his readership by being extremely allusive in his books. This however can be countered by the fact that the range of his allusions gives all readers significantly identifiable reference points. Obviously, readers will not understand all of Pratchett’s allusions, but the more literate readers will take great pleasure from them.
Ankh-Morpork had dallied with many forms of government and had ended up with that form of democracy known as One Man, One Vote. The Patrician was the Man; he had the Vote.- Mort
In fact Pratchett himself states that nearly all his readers understand, “80% – 90% of the references in the book. But I hope that the things that they don’t get they don’t notice that they’re not getting.” [17]
He is happy that his writing does not require a specialized knowledge on the part of the reader .Even the least “culturally aware” reader still gets the feeling that the author has planted these ideas, and often searches them out actively.
Pratchett has not only paid many a a humorous homage to classic fantasy (Tolkien, McCaffrey, Leiber, Lewis Carrol) and myth, he has also worked with modern popular culture (Star Trek, for example), and this formula successfully captured the science fiction audience’s attention. Together with Douglas Adams he helped to spectacularly shatter the myth that Science fiction needed to be serious.
Prattchett often uses popular Folk tales to lure readers into the story and then give it a humourous twist. In the very beginning of his book, Witches Abroad, he writes, “Bad spelling can be lethal. For example, the greedy Seriph of Al-Ybi was once cursed by a badly educated deity and for some days everything he touched turned to Glod, which happened to be the name of a small dwarf from a mountain community hundreds of miles away who found himself magically dragged to the kingdom and relentlessly duplicated. Some two thousand Glods later the spell wore off. These days, the people of Al-Ybi are renowned for being unusually short and bad-tempered.” (Witches Abroad . Page 12)
Here he has made an allusion to King Midas of Greek mythology. However the allusion is lent colour by Pratchett exploring the downsides of possessing power when it is coupled with ignorance.
In another instance of referencing a popular folk tale or work of literature Pratchett draws upon the story of Beowulf.
In a conversation between wandering heroes in Pratchett’s novel Guards! Guards!, one of them mentions how the business of being a Hero has changed with the passing of time. He goes on to state that , “Monsters are getting more uppity, too. I heard where this guy, he killed this monster in this lake, no problem, stick its arm up over the door. [. . .A]nd you know what? Its mum come and complained. Its actual mum come right down to the hall next day and complained. Actually complained. That’s the respect you get” ( Guards! Guards! Page 104).

This comment clearly refers to the story of the Beowulf who killed the monster Grendel but had to deal with its mother.
These are just two instances where Pratchett adds humour to ancient folk tales and presents it in a new form. His books are full of such references and allusions that an astute reader can ferret out and take pleasure in.

Parody in Pratchetts Books

Simon Dentith defines parody as, “Any cultural practice which provides a relatively polemical allusive imitation of another cultural production or practice.” [18].

Much of the Pratchett’s works consists of taking the world of fantasy and fairytales, which is ordinarily characterised by its distance from the real world, and bringing it into contact with our world.

Not only does Pratchett parody myths, epics and folk tales, he also uses language itself as fodder for parodic interpretation. He often adds a dollop of humour in the way he merges and mixes language. For example Granny Weatherwax makes it a point to speak in a manner to mock the usual language to be found in so called serious fantasy. In Witches Abroad (1991) Pratchett writes , “Then she stood back … and spake thusly: “Open up, you little sods!”.” The use of such devices on the part of Pratchett is not only humorous but also mildly mocking of the use of language in conventional fantasy fiction.
Pratchett also espouses the use of stereotypes in his books through a deep understanding of narrative conventions as exhibited by most of the characters in his books.

For example it is an established convention that whenever an unarmed hero finds himself fighting a group of armed men the result is a foregone conclusion. Invariably the men who
menace the unarmed hero find themselves vanquished. Pratchett uses this narrative convention extensively in Guards! Guards!. When the palace guards are asked to arrest the unarmed Vimes they exhibit great reluctance because they seem to be aware of narrative conventions and know “what their fate should be were they to try something like that.” ( Guards! Guards! Page 248 ).
Again this innate knowledge of narrative conventions comes to the fore in the arch adversaries comment to Lord Vetinari, when he says “”Oh, you think you’re so clever, so in-control, so suave, just because I have a sword and you haven’t”. (Guards! Guards! Page 297). Camilla Ulleland Hoel of The University of Edinburgh dwells on these narrative conventions in Pratchett’s books. In her essay, ‘The Ludic Parody of Terry Pratchett’, she states that though Pratchett himself might not conform to the narrative conventions, he manages to “denaturalise” such conventions by drawing our attention to them. [19]
Hoel also mentions Bakhtin’s definition of Parody and how he sees it in its modern form. In the book, Mikhail Bakhtin : Creation of a Prosaics, by Gary Saul Morson and Caryl Emerson, Bakhtin is quoted as having said, “In modern times the functions of parody are narrow and unproductive”. He goes on to say, “ Parody has grown sickly, its place in modern literature is insignificant”. Bakhtin argues that true and healthy parody of earlier times was “free of nihilistic denial”. Today, parody has been reduced to, “laughing at people and things”. “Ridicule of serious word”, seems to have taken over in every sphere and the ancient complexity of parody and its strength is lost, he says.[20]
Hoel puts forward the view that Discworld and its inter-textual threads allows a “juggling of juxtapositions”, drawing on the well read text and putting it in motion, thereby producing something entirely new. While following one target text, it still manages to retain the characteristic multi-directionality of the Discworld, drawing on our knowledge of the other books in this series, and the rhizomatic story telling that Pratchett favours. The nature of the parody is such that it manages to keep free of the trappings that Bakhtin mentions. [21]

In an interview Pratchett said that it was not from the beginning that his writing took the shape of parody that it has taken now . He said, “The first couple [of books] were just gag books and I wasn’t really certain too much of what I was doing. I was doing it for the fun to seriously parody a lot of bad fantasy, and, indeed some good fantasy, which nevertheless is worth parodying. Since that time, I’ve discovered the joy of plot and the books have tended, over the years, to become a little deeper and sometimes, especially in the last few years a little darker.” [22]
The aim of parody is to lend a unique colour to a narrative so as to bring out its ironic difference from the real world. In the case of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, there are two points that must be appreciated about his parodic writing.
The first of these is that Pratchett’s writings approach fantasy fiction from a novel perception. In doing this he manages to expose the inherent flaws and the absence of common sense in much of fantasy fiction as written before him.
Secondly Pratchett successfully parodies our own lives. In fact there are some who would be of the opinion that he so brilliantly mirrors the world that it would be a great thing if the world could change itself by mirroring his writing.

By allowing different stereotypes, patterns and worlds to interact with each other, Pratchett has effectively questioned their reality and validity. In destroying the myths of narratives he restructures them and produces new meaning. His parody can be viewed as a reaction to the works of fantasy fiction that came before him. Pratchett transcends limitations of genre, story patterns, stereotypes, and clichés and the blind adherence to all of these and yet manages to create an engaging narrative.

Over time Pratchett has come a long way from using “white knowledge” just for laughs. As he matured as a writer he chose to lend depth to his writing by immersing his writing in fantasy and parody. He has come to rely on the reader’s knowledge of fantasy and about the world in general. Far from stalling in his creation of puns he has continued to strive in his endeavours to creating quality humor.
In his own words he says that with the passing of time, “he has become not a better writer, merely a ‘more experienced one.”[23]


In conclusion it can be said that Pratchett has given story telling a whole new meaning. He has been writing what is essentially Fantasy fiction and yet has been able to connect to the reader who has his feet planted firmly on the ground. His use of allusions and parody have proved effective and have been able to redefine reality as we see it.
Keeping Bakhtin in mind he has not let his parody become a a mere mockery of that which is serious. He has is own phillosophy about his need to use parody and about the Human beings affinity to parody.
In his paper ‘Let There Be Dragons’, Pratchett reveals his attitude towards his satirical targets: “As a species, we are forever sticking our fingers into the electric socket of the universe to see what will happen next. It is a trait that will either save us or kill us, but it is what makes us human beings. I would rather be in the company of people who look at Mars than people who contemplate humanity’s navel–other worlds are better than fluff.” [24]
What is remarkable about Pratchett’s work is that his characters are fantastic yet so real. It is easy to see them walking through Pratchetts books one moment and the next we can see them reflected in the people around us.
Pratchett himself puts forward the view, “Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.”[25]
Foot Notes
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[11]. (Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms, Page 219)

[12] (
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[13] (
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[14] (
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[15] (
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[16] (Words from the Master, )
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[17 ]( )
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[18]. Dentith, Simon. Parody (The New Critical Idiom). Routledge. ISBN 0-415-18221-2
[19 ](
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[20] Morson, Gary Saul, and Caryl Emerson. Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics. Stanford University Press, 1990, Page 434
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[22] ( )
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[23] (quoted in Ingham, Times Interview par. 10
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[24] (Pratchett, Let There Be Dragons, p.62)
[25] Hogfather Page 422


1. The Colour of Magic (1983)
2. The Light Fantastic (1986)
3. Equal Rites (1987)
4. Mort (1987)
5. Sourcery (1988)
6. Wyrd Sisters (1988)
7. Pyramids (1989)
8. Guards! Guards! (1989)
9. Eric (1990)
10. Moving Pictures (1990)
11. Reaper Man (1991)
12. Witches Abroad (1991)
13. Small Gods (1992)
14. Lords and Ladies (1992)
15. Men at Arms (1993)
16. Soul Music (1994)
17. Interesting Times (1994)
18. Maskerade (1995)
19. Feet of Clay (1996)
20. Hogfather (1996)
21. Jingo (1997)
22. The Last Continent (1998)
23. Carpe Jugulum (1998)
24. The Fifth Elephant (1999)
25. The Truth (2000)
26. Thief of Time (2001)
27. Night Watch (2002)
28. Monstrous Regiment (2003)
29. Going Postal (2004)
30. Thud! (2005)
31. Making Money (2007)
32. The Unseen Academicals (2009)

1. Truckers (1988)
2. Diggers (1990)
3. Wings (1990)
Johnny Maxwell
1. Only You Can Save Mankind (1992)
2. Johnny and the Dead (1993)
3. Johnny and the Bomb (1996)
The Art of Discworld (2004) (with Paul Kidby)
Discworld (Children’s)
1. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (2001)
2. The Wee Free Men (2003)
3. A Hat Full of Sky (2004)
4. Wintersmith (2006)
Where’s My Cow? (2005)
The Carpet People (1971)
The Dark Side of the Sun (1976)
Strata (1981)
Good Omens (1990) (with Neil Gaiman)
• The Ludic Parody of Terry Pratchett. – A research paper by Camilla Ulleland Hoel of
The University of Edinburgh
May be accessed at

• Which witch is which?
By Lorraine Andersson (University of Halmstad)
A feminist analysis of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld witches. Thesis for a Masters of Arts in English, June 2006.
May be accessed at

• The Literary Evolution of Terry Pratchett- A paper for Advanced Placement David Bapst
Frontier Central High School, of Hamburg, New York.
May be accessed at

• Bewitching Writing
An Analysis of Intertextual Resonance in the Witch-sequence of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld
Written by Dorthe Andersen
May be accessed at
• Postmodern Parody In The Discworld Novels of Terry Pratchett
By Christopher Bryant – Faculty Of Arts And Education
University Of Plymouth
May be accessed at
• Mikhail Bakhtin: Creation of a Prosaics.
By Morson, Gary Saul, and Caryl Emerson. Stanford University Press, 1990.
• Let There Be Dragons, Pratchett



– “Yes, point taken, but do you have any particular skills?”

— Death consults a job broker
(Terry Pratchett, Mort)