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The Poetics of Postmodernism in "The Colour of Magic" by Terry Pratchett

Student: Daria Zakharchenko

Supervisor: Alexandra Bazhenova-Sorokina

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities

Educational Programme: Philology (Bachelor)

Final Grade: 8

Year of Graduation: 2019

This final paper is devoted to Terry Pratchett’s «The Colour of Magic», the first book from the Discworld series, that was published in 1983. For the past years researchers that have studied the development of Pratchett’s poetics have turned to this novel for it being the base of the entire universe. However, the studies mostly consider it as the starting point, not focusing enough on the poetics of the book itself. There is a popular opinion that was build on some reviews and critical works that «The Colour of Magic» is one of the least successful novels in the Discworld series. The main disadvantages are considered to be а plotless episodic narrative, excessive use of allusion and not well-enough build world. I hypothesize that all of the aspects mentioned above are not disadvantages, but an author’s intention. With the help of different studies on the theories of postmodernism, it is demonstrated how Pratchett uses the postmodern tools to build and shape the Discworld. Therefore, it is shown that «The Colour of Magic» is a solid base for the future series, and that despite its fantastic appearance, a novel that is not meant for only children.

Full text (added June 7, 2019)

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