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Unit III Postmodernism
 

Unit III Postmodernism

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    Unit III Postmodernism Unit III Postmodernism Presentation Transcript

    • Unit III: THE POSTMODERN AGE
      Literature in English II
      Prof. Julia I. Martínez
    • MODERNITY
      Epochal term (refers to a historical period)
      From the Renaissance (reason)/ Enlightenment (18th c.) till today
    • MODERN AGE
      Historical age
      From the end of the 15th c. (discovery of America) to 1789 (the French Revolution). Then, the Contemporary Age begins
    • MODERNISM
      One of the cultural manifestations of Modernity.
      A category that means change / rupture / beginning / a moment of crisis
      It began in 1922 with Eliot’s “The Wasteland” and Joyce’s “Ulysses,” and finished (?) around 1960
    • MateiCalinescu: The Five Faces of Modernity (1987)
      Postmodernism is one other face of the extraordinary phenomenon that came to be known as modernism
      It is another expression of the modernist ethos since there are “two conflicting and interdependent modernities -one socially progressive, rationalistic, competitive, technological; the other culturally critical and self-critical, bent on demystifying the basic values of the first...” (p. 265).
    • POSTMODERNISM
      A period in Western history beginning in the 1960s (Postmodernity)
      A style in culture (Postmodernism)
      A style of thought / an intellectual atmosphere (Postmodern theory)
    • Ihab Hassan & Brian McHale:
      POST – MODERN – ISM
      movement, poetics
      modernism
      Anti: reaction against Modernism
      After:  logical consequence of modernism
       temporal posteriority
      successor of Modernism
    • Brian McHale (1987):
      In order to differentiate modernist from postmodernist fiction, we should talk about the dominant of each
      taken from Jackobson (the focusing component or the principle of sistematicity)
    • Brian McHale:
    • Socio-cultural context of Postmodernism
      End of the 1960s
      Counter culture: Hippie and feminist movements
      Strikes (students’ strikes in particular)
    • Postmodern Theory (Steven Best)
      Origin: France, 1960s / 1970s
      Rapid modernisation process (1960s)
      changes in lifestyle (anxiety
      Post-structuralist philosophers (1970s): Derrida, Kristeva, Foucault, Lancan
      instability of meaning
      Rupture with traditions
      Change in thought strikes (1960s)
    • Leslie Fiedler
      “The End of the Novel” (1967)
      Writers turned to experimental writing because they didn’t know what to write about
    • John Barth
      “The Literature of Exhaustion” (1967)
      “The Literature of Replenishment” (1980)
      He reacted against Fiedler
      In his view, it is true that some forms are exhausted, but this “experimentation” may lead to a new form.
      If there are no more topics to write about, we should use the past to recreate new fiction.
      Literature is inexhaustible
    • Effects:
      Writers abandoned classical fiction
      Writers turned to experimental fiction
      Reality can’t be apprehended
      If we can’t tell what reality is, how can we represent reality? By constructing new realities
      Phenomenology (Husserl)
    • Main concerns of Postmodernism
      Deconstruction of:
      Truth
      Language
      History
      Reality
      Meaning
      Identity
      Power
      Space
    • Main characteristics
    • Metafiction - Definition
      A tendency within fiction
      Patricia Waugh (1984): “Fictional writing that systematically / self-consciously draws attention to its status as an artifact” (p. 2)
      It poses questions about the relationship between fact and fiction (existential questioning) (p. 2)
      Examines the fundamental structures of narrative fiction (experimental writing)
    • Metafiction - Themes
      Relationship / boundaries / juxtaposition of fact and reality and fiction and fantasy
      Reality as a linguistic and discursive construct
      Role of the person who writes fiction (fiction maker); critical reflections about writing fiction
    • Metafiction - Devices
      Critical discussions of the story within story
      Visible inventing narrator (obtrusive narrator)
      Explicit dramatisation of the reader
      Construction / deconstruction of worlds
      Intertextuality
      Narrative self-erasure
    • Metafiction - Devices
      Multiple endings
      Chinese-box structures
      Lexical exhibitionism, catalogues
      Heteroglossia (polyphony of voices)
      Breakdown of spatial and temporal organisation of the narrative (playful)
      Parody
      Historical revisionism
      Pastiche
    • HistoriographicMetafiction
      Linda Hutcheon (1988): “In the 19th century (…) literature and history were considered branches of the same tree of learning. (…) Then came the separation that resulted in the distinct disciplines of literary and historical studies today. (…) However, it is this very separation of the literary and the historical that is now being challenged in postmodern theory and art” (p. 105)
    • HistoriographicMetafiction
      Hutcheon: “they are both identified as linguistic constructs, highly conventionalized in their narrative forms, and not at all transparent either in terms of language or structure; and they appear to be equally intertextual, deploying the texts of the past within their own complex textuality” (p. 105)
    • HistoriographicMetafiction
      Hutcheon: “this kind of novel asks us to recall that history and fiction are themselves historical terms and that their definitions and interrelations are historically determined and vary with time” (105)
      “Historiographic metafiction suggests that truth and falsity may indeed not be the right terms in which to discuss fiction” (109)
    • HistoriographicMetafiction
      Hutcheon: “Postmodern fiction suggests that to re-write or to re-present the past in fiction and in history is, in both cases, to open it up to the present, to prevent it from being conclusive and teleological” (p. 110)
      Historiographic metafictions “both install and then blur the line between fiction and history” (p. 113)
    • HistoriographicMetafiction
      Hutcheon: “Postmodern novels raise a number of specific issues regarding the interaction of historiography and fiction that deserve more detailed study: issues surrounding the nature of identity and subjectivity; the question of reference and representation; the intertextual nature of the past; and the ideological implications of writing about history” (p. 117)