Postmodernism Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 15:24:05
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Category: Postmodernism

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1. responses to modernism, especially refusals of some of its totalizing premises and effects, and of its implicit or explicit distinction between high culture and commonly lived life 2. responses to such things as a world lived under nuclear threat and threat to the geosphere, to a world of faster communication, mass mediated reality, greater diversity of cultures and mores and a consequent pluralism 3. acknowledgments of and in some senses struggles against a world in which, under a spreading technological capitalism, all things are are commodified and fetishized (made the object of desire), and in which genuine experience has been replaced by simulation and spectacle

4. reconceptualizations of society, history and the self as cultural constructs, hence as rhetorical constructs 5. American and British writers of the 1960s and 1970s metafiction (Kurt Vonnegut, John Barth, Thomas Pynchon, John Fowles, and Angela Carter), produced texts that simultaneously questioned and violated the conventions of traditional narrative. 6. The emergence and proliferation of feminist, multiethnic, multicultural, and postcolonial literature since the 1970s is the most dramatic and significant manifestation of the de-centering and de-marginalization defining both postmodernity and postmodernism 7. Postmodern literature arose after World War II as a series of reactions against the perceived norms of modernist literature. 8. Postmodern writers include: Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, David Foster Wallace

9. a time marked by the cold war and the excesses of consumption. 10. It differs from Modernism by blurring the conventional boundary between high and low culture, by a completely loosened structure in both time and space, and by multiple openings rather than a closure 11. It rejects to conform to popular taste and combines heterogeneous elements, making it cater to a more sophisticated readership. 12. Genocide that occurred during the Second World War, mass destruction caused by atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, insecurity of Cold War Era, post colonialism issue, as well as the supremacy of multinational corporations and post-industrialism with new technologies, violence, counter culture and consumer culture shaped the perception of postmodern authors

13. Postmodernist writers often point to early novels and story collections as inspiration for their experiments with narrative and structure 14. postmodernism peaked in the 60s and 70s with the publication of Catch-22 in 1961, Lost in the Funhouse in 1968, Slaughterhouse-Five in 1969, Gravitys Rainbow in 1973, and many others 15. the beginning of post modernism is marked by moments in critical theory: Jacques Derridas Structure, Sign, and Play lecture in 1966 or as late as Ihab Hassans usage in The Dismemberment of Orpheus in 1971.

* Self reflexivity: this involves the seemingly paradoxical combination of self-consciousness and some sort of historical grounding * Irony: Post modernism uses irony as a primary mode of expression, but it also abuses, installs, and subverts conventions and usually negotiates contradictions through irony * Boundaries: Post modernism challenges the boundaries between genres, art forms, theory and art, high art and the mass media * Constructs: Post modernism is actively involved in examining the constructs society creates * Paranoia: The sense of paranoia, the belief that theres an ordering system behind the chaos of the world is another recurring postmodern theme. For the postmodernist, no ordering system exists, so a search for order is fruitless and absurd. Realism/Naturalism

1. The Midwest, where so many realist works are set (especially those of the local color variety), is becoming increasingly tied to the rest of the nation in the late 1800s (by the booming new railroad system, most notably). Late-19th century Americans have a deep and abiding fascination with the American West, and realist fiction that accurately describes it to readers is warmly received. 2. The US Civil War between the industrial North and the agricultural, slave-owning South influenced the rise of realism literature.

3. The Realists tried to write truthfully and objectively about ordinary characters in ordinary situations. They reacted against Romanticism, rejecting heroic, adventurous, unusual, or unfamiliar subjects 4. The term realism, which was originally used by the thirteenth-century scholastics to describe a belief in the reality of ideas, in the 19th century became associated with a group of writers who claimed it as a slogan for the movement 5. Friedrich Schiller was the first who used it as a literary term 6. realism evolved into literary movements such as Naturalism and Stream of Consciousness 7. Realists mainly focused on middle-class characters in their everyday environments and highly downplayed the plot

8. The beginnings of the realist narrative style can be attributed to French novelist and playwright Honor de Balzac 9. In America, Samuel Clemens was the early pioneer of Realism 10. American expatriate Henry James represents the most skilled and accomplished practitioner of Realism in fiction. He was fascinated by encounters between representatives of the New World, America, with members of the Old World, or Europe * Nature is indifferent to man

* Character is more important than action and plot; complex ethical choices are often the subject. * Realists show us rather than tell * Events make the story plausible * Man vs nature

1. Known as The Lost Generation American writers of the 1920s Brought Modernism to the United States 2. Modernism is characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional styles of poetry and verse. 3. Modernists experimented with literary form and expression, adhering to the modernist maxim to Make it new. 4. Influential in the early days of Modernism were the theories of Sigmund Freud (18561939), and Ernst Mach (18381916). Mach argued, beginning in the 1880s with The Science of Mechanics (1883), that the mind had a fundamental structure, and that subjective experience was based on the interplay of parts of the mind

5. According to Freuds ideas, all subjective reality was based on the play of basic drives and instincts, through which the outside world was perceived. 6. Modernist literature addressed similar aesthetic problems as contemporary Modernist art, and Gertrude Steins abstract writings, for example, have been compared to the fragmentary and multi-perspective Cubist paintings of her friend Pablo Picasso. 7. James Joyce was a major modernist writer whose strategies in his novel Ulysses (1921) for depicting the events in the life of his protagonist, Leopold Bloom, have come to epitomize modernisms approach to fiction.

8. At the beginning some modernists fostered a utopian spirit, stimulated by innovations in anthropology, psychology, philosophy, political theory, physics and psychoanalysis. 9. the Modernist Period in English literature was first and foremost a visceral reaction against the Victorian culture and aesthetic, which had prevailed for most of the nineteenth century 10. The French Symbolists were admired for the sophistication of their imagery.

In comparison to much of what was produced in England and America, the French were ahead of their time * meaning is subjective, poem need not have a meaning * Emphasis on bold experimentation in style and form, reflecting the fragmentation of society * Rejection of the ideal of a hero as infallible in favor of a hero who is flawed and disillusioned but shows grace under pressure * Interest in the inner workings of the human mind, sometimes expressed through new narrative techniques such as the stream of consciousness * Rejection of traditional themes and subjects

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