Attempts to discover exactly how Terry Pratchett manages to get away with violating the rules of the fantasy tradition laid out in Tolkien’s “On Fairy-stories.” Pratchett consistently revels in the absurdity of Discworld as a concept, breaks the fourth wall, and disrupts Tolkien’s proviso against satirizing magic itself; and yet the Discworld sails on, imperturbable. Pratchett’s concept of narrative imperative is discussed as one of the keys to the success of his invented world.

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