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"Let me Deal so Candidly with the Reader": A Study of the Unnatural Spaces and Narrators of Gulliver’s Travels and the Discworld


  • Atli Sigurdsson

Summary, in English

Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels set in Ankh-Morpork are similar enough that both can be treated as belonging to the subgenre of comic fantasy. The narratives foreground the fantastic, written to entertain and amuse its readers but also contain societal criticism in the form of satire or parody. This paper compares the
unnatural aspects of Gulliver’s Travels and select City Watch instalments of Discworld. By using a combination of the fairly recent sub-discipline within narratology, unnatural narrative theory, and Genette’s question of “who speaks?”, this study analyses the narrators and the different kinds of unnatural spaces in which they speak. The analysis is divided into four chapters as follows: how to read the unnatural in a narrative, what constitutes an unnatural space, the respective narrator’s voice, and finally, reliability of the narrators within their unnatural space. It becomes apparent that the narrators are unreliable, not only in terms of controlling the information the reader is allowed access to within the narrative but also because of spatiotemporal ambiguity within the narratives.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Discworld
  • Gulliver's Travels
  • Terry Pratchett
  • Jonathan Swift
  • Fantasy
  • Narratology
  • Unnatural Narrative Theory
  • City Watch


  • Birgitta Berglund (FD)