Introduction to postmodernism essay

Literature is not exhaustible for the simple and sufficient reason that no single book is.

Introduction to postmodernism essay

Introduction to postmodernism essay

Literature is not exhaustible for the simple and sufficient reason that no single book is. A book is not an isolated entity: Borges, "A Note on Toward Bernard Shaw" Over the past two decades, as the high tide of modernism ebbed and its masters died off, the baring of literary artifice has come to be more and more a basic procedure—at times, almost an obsession—of serious fiction in the West.

The creators of self-conscious fiction in our time do not constitute a school or a movement, and the lines of influence among them, Introduction to postmodernism essay to them from their common predecessors, often tend to waver and blur when closely examined.

Some of these writers have tried their hand at shorter fictional forms, which, after the Borgesian model, one now calls "fictions" rather than "short stories"; but most of them, perhaps inevitably, have turned back to, or stayed with, the novel, attracted by its large and various capacity to convey a whole imaginatively constituted world.

Scattered over three continents, they are an odd mixture of stubbornly private eccentrics, on the one hand, and promulgators of manifestoes, on the other; of powerfully evocative novelists or conductors of ingenious laboratory experiments in fiction; of exuberant comic artists and knowing guides to bleak dead ends of despair.

The whole reflexive tendency in contemporary fiction has been reinforced by the prominence of selfconscious cinema since the early sixties in the work of directors like Fellini, Antonioni, Resnais, and Godard. Film, because it is a collaborative artistic enterprise involving a complicated chain of technical procedures, almost invites attention to its constitutive processes; and there is a clear logic in the involvement in filmmaking of several of the French New Novelists, or in Introduction to postmodernism essay repeated recourse to cinematic composition by montage in a writer like Robert Coover.

Our culture, a kind of Faust at the mirror of Narcissus, is more and more driven to uncover the roots of what it lives with most basically—language and its origins, human sexuality, the workings of the psyche, the inherited structures of the mind, the underlying patterns of social organization, the sources of value and belief, and, of course, the nature of art.

If this is the moment of the self-conscious novel, that is decidedly a mixed blessing, as the spectacular unevenness of innovative fiction today would indicate.

The growing insistence of self-awareness in our culture at large has been both a liberating and a paralyzing force, and that is equally true of its recent developments in artistic expression. In this regard, criticism must be especially wary.

The kind of criticism that often has to be invoked in discussing a traditional realistic novel is in the indicative mode: It is all laid out for him across the printed pages of Tristram Shandy, ready to be analytically described, with no apparent need for recourse to a touchstone of "rightness" outside this and other literary texts.

For this reason an astute critic, impelled by his own professional concern with formal experiment, can easily make a piece of self-conscious fiction sound more profound, more finely resonant with implication, than it is in fact. Queneau begins his book by reporting a banal anecdote of a young man with a long neck and a missing button on his coat who is jostled in a crowded bus.

He tells this anecdote ninety-nine times, constantly changing the narrative viewpoint, the style, the literary conventions; going as far as the use of mathematical notation and anagrammatic scrambling of letters in one direction, and the resort to heavy dialect and badly anglicized French in the other; even rendering the incident in alexandrines, in free verse, as a sonnet, as a playlet.

Introduction to postmodernism essay

All this is extremely ingenious, and, I would admit, more than ingenious, because as one reads the same simple episode over and over through all these acrobatic variations, one is forced to recognize both the stunning arbitrariness of any decision to tell a story in a particular way and the endless possibilities for creating fictional "facts" by telling a story differently.

The controlling perception, however, of Exercices is one that goes back to the generic beginnings of the novel; and to see how much more richly that insight can be extended into fictional space, one has only to think of Sterne, where a "Queneauesque" passage like the deliberately schematic "Tale of Two Lovers" is woven into a thick texture of amorous anecdotes that critically juxtapose literary convention with a sense of the erotic as a cogent fact of human experience.

Precisely what is missing from Exercices de style is any sense—and playfulness need not exclude seriousness—of human experience, which is largely kept out of the book in order to preserve the technical purity of the experiment.

Queneau, of course, has written full-scale novels of flaunted artifice, both before and after Exercices de style, that do involve a more complex sense of experience. One of the great temptations of the self-conscious novelist, however, is to content himself with technical experiment, trusting that in these difficult times but then the times are always difficult the only honesty, perhaps the only real profundity, lies in technical experiment.

The other, complementary fault of the self-conscious novel, also much in evidence among its contemporary practitioners, is to give free rein to every impulse of invention or fictional contrivance without distinguishing what may serve some artistic function in the novel and what is merely silly or self-indulgent.

After all, if in an old-fashioned novel you have to describe a petulant, spoiled young woman like Rosamund Vincy, you are obliged to make her as close a likeness as you can to observed examples of the type, and so some commonly perceived human reality provides a constant check on your inventiveness.

The second-remove novelist invented by the first-person narrator-novelist gives birth to a full-grown man that is, a new character ; but while this writer, fatigued with parturition, is asleep, his characters rebel against him, resenting the roles he has assigned them.Rhetorical analysis essay on the story of an hour laughter is the best medicine essay words or less essay on accountability of sensitive items dinig sana kita synthesis essay dissertations on church leadership development, essay hook lines for bayliner dissertation on work life balance pdf best essay writing service canada, point essay.

General Introduction to the Postmodern.

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POSTMODERNISM POSES SERIOUSCHALLENGES to anyone trying to explain its major precepts in a straightforward metin2sell.com one, we need to make a distinction between postmodern culture and postmodernist theory.

Postmodernism in American Literature Essay Words May 25th, 6 Pages Postmodernism in American literature The novel Beloved by Toni Morrison often makes us question the credibility of what is being told, and uses many striking, sudden shifts between the past and present, making it difficult to distinguish between reality and fiction.

Klages’ presents a brilliant introduction to postmodernist thinking in her article, “Postmodernism.” The article discusses the fact that postmodernists do not believe in the idea of “universal truths,” and that, in fact, “disorder” is perfectly reasonable seeing as there does not exist a single way to establish order in our world (Klages).

In this essay, I will explore Luhrmann’s postmodern film Moulin Rouge in relation to the theories presented in Jameson’s “Postmodernism and Consumer Society,” and to postmodernism itself.

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Through critical analysis of textual details, I will illustrate how various elements in the film complement and at times refute both the text and postmodernism as a whole.

Free sample research paper on modernism and postmodernism. Get help with writing a research paper on art topic. Difference between modernism and postmodernism design research paper. Modernism vs. postmodernism architecture essay example.

Critique of Klages’ “Postmodernism” | Essay Example