Postmodernism -

Postmodernism -

Postmodernism English 230B Defining Postmodernism Literally, anything after (post) the Modern period, which ended around 1945. 1945-present: post-Modern Extreme Modernism -ORRejection of Modernism Historical Context World War II Ends 1945

Holocaust 6 million Jews killed Capitalism Consumer culture and commodification Replication and reproduction Technology Mass media (t.v., commercials and advertisements) Digital age (computers) The Center Cannot Hold This approach concerns itself with the ways and places where systems,

frameworks, definitions, and certainties break down. Postmodernism maintains that frameworks and systems are merely fictitious constructs and that they cannot be trusted to develop meaning or to give order. In fact, the very act of seeking order or a singular Truth (with a capital T) is absurd because there exists no unified truth. --Adapted from The OWL at Purdue Truth? Reality? Whose truth is THE truth? Roshamon (1955): many people witness the same

rape/murder but their versions of the event differ Gone Girl, The Affair: same story told from different points of view Is there a real reality? Is one version of the truth the true truth? Postmodernism: We construct our own reality. There is no central, objective reality to seek out. Challenges Binaries Male vs. female (gender) Whereas Modernists challenge gender roles, Postmodernists challenge the whole concept of gender.

Gender as social construct Judith Butler performativity of gender Straight vs. gay (sexuality) Black vs. white (race) Breakdow n of High vs. Low Art Andy Warhol

T.V., film and digital media as art Intertextuality and Pastiche Challenges the concept that a work of literature has to be one thing Multiple genres in one text Nabokov's Lolita: detective fiction, memoir, romance, satire, fairy tale, realism, tragedy, and psychological case study. Vignettes Individual scenes that seem to have no real

connection to the other events in the story patchwork Pulp Fiction Metafiction and Parody Author may break the fourth wall and speak directly to the reader Use of footnotes or explanatory sections within a piece of fiction A book about a writer writing a book A book within a book The characters express awareness of what an

archetypal character is supposed to do The Scream moviescharacters in a horror movie discuss what is supposed to happen to characters in a horror movie Modernism vs. Postmodernism Modern 1. Non-linear structure 2. Usually concludes in a way that ties up

loose ends 3. Seek to find order amidst the chaos 4. Nostalgia for the past, the good old days Postmodern 1. Disregards the constraints of time

2. May conclude with more questions than answers 3. Realize there is no order and celebrate the chaos 4. Realize that the idealized past we long for NEVER ACTUALLY EXISTED Paranoia and Dystopian Fiction Capitalism + technology = fear that we are

being watched and we are not in control Utopia = a perfect world Dystopia = a terrible world, usually set in the future, usually dominated by a totalitarian govt. and largely controlled by technology 1984, A Brave New World, The Matrix, Minority Report, Hunger Games Overall Questions: How is language thrown into freeplay or questioned in the work? How does the work undermine or contradict generally accepted truths?

How does the author (or a character) omit, change, or reconstruct memory and identity? How does a work fulfill or move outside the established conventions of its genre? How does the work deal with the separation (or lack thereof) between writer, work, and reader?

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