What is postmodernism? What are the Characteristics of Postmodern Literature? | Literary Articles

 

postmodernist literature

Mar 31,  · Postmodernism broadly refers to a socio-cultural and literary theory, and a shift in perspective that has manifested in a variety of disciplines including the social sciences, art, architecture, literature, fashion, communications, and technology. In Postmodernist literature, many postmodern authors combined, or “pasted” elements of previous genres and styles of literature to create a new narrative voice, or . Nov 20,  · Postmodern literature is a form of literature which is marked, both stylistically and ideologically, by a reliance on such literary conventions as fragmentation, paradox, unreliable narrators.


Postmodern Literature


Postmodernism broadly refers to a socio-cultural and literary theory, and a shift in perspective that has manifested in a variety of disciplines including the social sciences, art, architecture, literature, postmodernist literature, fashion, communications, and technology. It is generally agreed that the postmodern shift in perception began sometime back in the late s, and is probably still continuing.

The very term Postmodernism implies a relation to Modernism. Modernism was an earlier aesthetic movement which was in vogue in the early decades of the twentieth century.

It has often been said that Postmodernism is at once a continuation of and a break away from the Modernist stance. Postmodernism shares many of the features of Modernism. Both schools postmodernist literature the rigid boundaries between high and low art. Postmodernism even goes a. Modernist and Postmodernist works are also fragmented and do not easily, directly convey a solid meaning, postmodernist literature. That is, these works are consciously ambiguous and give way to multiple interpretations.

The individual or subject depicted in these works is often decentred, without a central meaning or goal in life, and dehumanized, often losing individual characteristics and becoming merely the representative of an age or civilization, like Tiresias in The Waste Land. In short, Modernism and Postmodernism give voice to the insecurities, disorientation and fragmentation of the 20th century western world. The western world, in the 20th century, began to experience this deep sense of security postmodernist literature it progressively lost its colonies in the Third World, worn apart by two major World Wars and found its intellectual and social foundations shaking under the impact of new social theories an developments such as Marxism and Postcolonial global migrations, new technologies and the power shift from Europe to the United States.

Though both Modernism and Postmodernism employ fragmentation postmodernist literature, discontinuity and decentredness in theme and technique, postmodernist literature, the basic dissimilarity between the two schools is hidden in this very aspect.

Modernism projects the fragmentation and decentredness of contemporary world as tragic. It laments the loss of the unity and centre of life and suggests postmodernist literature works of art can provide the unity, coherence, continuity and meaning that is lost in modern life.

Thus Eliot laments that the modern world is an infertile wasteland, and the fragmentation, incoherence, of this world is effected in the structure of the poem. In Postmodernism, fragmentation and disorientation is no longer tragic. Postmodernism on the other hand celebrates fragmentation. It considers fragmentation and decentredness as the only possible way of existence, postmodernist literature, and does not try to escape from these conditions. This is where Postmodernism meets Poststructuralism —both Postmodernism and Poststructuralism recognize and accept that it is not possible to have a coherent centre.

In Derridean terms, the centre is constantly moving towards the periphery and the periphery constantly moving towards the centre. In other words, the centre, which is the seat of power, is never entirely powerful.

It is continually postmodernist literature powerless, while the powerless periphery continually tries to acquire power. As a result, it can be argued that there is never a centre, or that there are always multiple centres. This postponement of the centre acquiring power or retaining its position is what Derrida called differance. The Postmodernist disbelief in coherence and unity points to another basic distinction between Modernism and Postmodernism, postmodernist literature.

Modernism believes that coherence and unity is possible, thus emphasizing the importance of rationality and order, postmodernist literature. The basic assumption of Modernism seems to be that more rationality leads to more order, postmodernist literature, which postmodernist literature a society to function better. To establish the primacy of Order, Modernism constantly creates the concept of Disorder in its depiction of the Other—which includes the non-white, non-male, non-heterosexual, non-adult, non-rational and so on.

In other words, to establish the superiority of Order, Modernism creates the impression- that all marginal, peripheral, communities such as the non-white, non-male etc. Postmodernism, however, goes to the other extreme. It does not say that some parts of the society illustrate Order, postmodernist literature, and that other parts illustrate Disorder. Postmodernism, in its criticism of the binary opposition, cynically even suggests that everything is Disorder.

The Modernist belief in order, stability and unity is what the Postmodernist thinker Lyotard calls a metanarrative. A metanarrative is a story a culture tells itself about its beliefs and practices. For example, India tells itself that it is a democratic and secular country, though there are numerous anti-democratic, anti-secular factions and practices in India. In other words, India makes itself believe the falsehood that postmodernist literature is a democratic, secular country.

Democracy and secularism are thus metanarratives. In short, metanarratives create and propagate grand but untrue conceptions of a society and postmodernist literature. Postmodernism understands that grand narratives hide, silence and negate contradictions, instabilities and differences inherent in any social system. Postmodernism realizes that history, politics and culture are grand narratives of the power-wielders, which comprise falsehoods and incomplete truths.

Having deconstructed the possibility of a stable, postmodernist literature, permanent reality, Postmodernism has revolutionized the concept of language. Modernism considered language a rational, transparent tool to represent reality and the activities of the rational mind. In the Modernist view, language is representative of thoughts and things. Here, signifiers always point to signifieds. In Postmodernism, however, postmodernist literature, there are only surfaces, postmodernist literature, no depths.

A signifier has no signified here, because there is no reality to signify. The French philosopher Baudrillard has conceptualized the Postmodern surface culture as a simulacrum, postmodernist literature. A simulacrum is a virtual or fake reality simulated or induced by the media or other ideological apparatuses. A simulacrum is not merely an imitation or duplication—it is the substitution of the original by a simulated, fake image.

Contemporary world is a simulacrum, where reality has been thus replaced by false images. The simulated image of Gulf war has become so much more popular and real than the real war, that Baudrillard argues that postmodernist literature Gulf War did not take place. In other words, in the Postmodern world, there are no originals, only copies; no territories, only maps; no reality, only simulations.

Just as we have lost touch with the reality of our life, we have also moved away from the reality of the goods we consume. If the media form one driving force of the Postmodern condition, multinational capitalism and globalization is another. Fredric Jameson has related Modernism and Postmodernism to the second and third phases of capitalism.

The first phase of capitalism of the 18th th centuries, postmodernist literature, called Market Capitalism, witnessed the early technological development such as that of the steam-driven motor, and corresponded to the Realist phase, postmodernist literature. The early 20th century, with the development of electrical and internal combustion motors, witnessed the onset of Monopoly Capitalism and Modernism.

The Postmodern era corresponds to the age of nuclear and electronic technologies and Consumer Capitalism, where the emphasis is on marketing, selling and consumption rather than production.

The dehumanized, globalized world, wipes out postmodernist literature and national identities, in favour of multinational marketing, postmodernist literature.

It is thus clear from this exposition that there are at least three different directions taken by Postmodernim, relating to the theories of Lyotard, Baudrillard and Jameson. Postmodernism also has its roots in the theories Habermas and Foucault. Furthermore, Postmodernism can be examined from Feminist and Post-colonial angles, postmodernist literature.

Therefore, one cannot pinpoint the principles of Postmodernism with finality, because there is a plurality in the very constitution of this theory. Postmodernism, in its denial of an objective truth or reality, forcefully advocates the theory of constructivism—the anti-essentialist argument that everything is ideologically constructed.

Indeed, postmodernist literature, Postmodernism developed as a response to the contemporary boom in electronics and communications technologies and its revolutionizing of our old world order. Constructivism invariably leads to relativism. Our identities are constructed and transformed every moment in relation to our social environment.

Therefore there is scope for multiple and diverse identities, multiple truths, moral codes and views of reality, postmodernist literature. The understanding that an objective truth does not exist has invariably led the accent postmodernist literature Postmodernism to fall on subjectivity. Subjectivity itself is of course plural and provisional.

A stress on subjectivity will naturally lead to a renewed interest in the local and specific experiences, postmodernist literature, rather than the and universal and abstract; that is on mini-narratives rather than grand narratives.

Finally, all versions of Postmodernism rely on the method of Deconstruction to analyze socio-cultural situations. Postmodernism has often been vehemently criticized. The fundamental characteristic of Postmodernism is disbelief, which negates social and personal realities and experiences. It is easy to claim that the Gulf War or Iraq War does not exist; but then how does one account for the deaths, the loss and pain of millions of people victimized postmodernist literature these wars?

Also, Postmodernism fosters a deep cynicism about the one sustaining force of social life—culture. By entirely washing away the ground beneath our feet, the ideological presumptions upon which human civilization is built, Postmodernism generates a feeling of lack postmodernist literature insecurity in contemporary societies, which is essential for the sustenance of a postmodernist literature world order.

Finally, postmodernist literature, when the Third World began to postmodernist literature itself over Euro-centric hegemonic power, Postmodernism had rushed in with the warning, that the empowerment of the periphery is but transient and temporary; and that just as Europe could not retain its imperialistic power for long, the new-found power of the erstwhile colonies is also under erasure.

In literature, postmodernism relying heavily on fragmentation, deconstruction, playfulness, questionable narrators etc, postmodernist literature. The distinction between high and low culture is also postmodernist literature with the employment of pastiche, the combination of multiple cultural elements including subjects and genres not previously deemed fit for literature. Postmodern literature can be considered as an umbrella term for the post-war developments in literature such as Theatre of the AbsurdBeat Generation and Magical Realism.

Postmodern literature, as expressed in the writings of Beckett, Robbe GrilletBorgesMarquezNaguib Mahfouz and Angela Carter rests on a recognition of the complex nature of reality and experience, the role of time and memory in human perception, of the self and the world as historical constructions, and the problematic nature of language.

Tom Wolfe in his article Stalking the Billion-Footed Beas t called for a new emphasis on realism in fiction to replace postmodernism. With this new emphasis on realism in mind, some declared White Noise in or The Satanic Verses to be the postmodernist literature great novels of the postmodern era. In spite of the rather stretched, cynical arguments of Postmodernism, the theory has exerted a fundamental influence on late 20th century thought.

It has indeed revolutionized all realms of intellectual inquiry in varying degrees, postmodernist literature. If modernism was an aesthetic movement how come postmodernism becomes bad for society? I think modernism caused more struggle and stress for ordinary people and they found relief in postmodernism. In my view, marketing play a big role here considering the fact that human races have tendency to follow and react what they see and what they hear.

Reality is not just about the sufferings and losses. A moving window in a computer screen is a virtual reality. Watching and enjoying that window movement while a war is going on in some other countries postmodernist literature very much better than going there and being participating in it. So whenever you talk about postmodernism, make sure you are not completely against this. Hello Can you postmodernist literature add up more to your excerpts With more original, important translated articles by the theorists with examples and analysis please, postmodernist literature.

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Postmodernism | Literary Theory and Criticism

 

postmodernist literature

 

Postmodernism is known for its rebellious approach and willingness to test boundaries. We may take this for granted in literature today, but there was a time back in the 17th and 18th centuries (known as the Enlightenment) that was all about order, unity, reason you get the idea. In Postmodernist literature, many postmodern authors combined, or “pasted” elements of previous genres and styles of literature to create a new narrative voice, or . Mar 31,  · Postmodernism broadly refers to a socio-cultural and literary theory, and a shift in perspective that has manifested in a variety of disciplines including the social sciences, art, architecture, literature, fashion, communications, and technology.