Postmodern Literary Theory 1946-present Definition Postmodernism- the name for the general quality of our time. It holds that all worldviews are constructed by historical documents, by culture and religion, so postmodernism sees those worldviews as a function of power rather than truth. encompasses theories of art, literature, culture, architecture, etc. Modernism Characterized by a loss of faith. The most famous of Human sensibility has these is ―Stream-of- been destroyed by consciousness‖. industrialized mass culture. Discontinous narrative Fragmentary structure Postmodernism Characteristics Reflect a sense of discontinuity (lack of stability) in the world Challenges borders & limits (including decency Explores marginalized aspects/elements of life & society ―Life just is‖ Postmodernism Characteristics Attempts to integrate art and life-inclusion of pop culture & forms into everyday reality Rethinks margins and borders A mistrust of the media as a presenter of ―facts‖ The world is absurd; no values/truths are eternal-everything is momentary Postmodernism Characteristics Belief that there is no Grand Design Reality is only as it is presented to us There is no objective truth or reality* Erodes distinction between classes & people Popular culture saturates people’s lives Postmodern Literature Mixing of fantasy w/ nonfiction No heroes Concern with the individual in isolation Detached, unemotional Usually humorless Narratives Postmodern Literature Experimental mixtures of novels, short stories, poems, nonfiction- blending of genres Search for identity is a common theme Mixing of fantasy and reality Embraces popular culture* Postmodern Literature deals with political and social issues development of such concepts as the absurd, the anti-hero, antinovel, magic realism Postmodern Culture Create your own values—no right, wrong, sin, etc. No right or wrong lifestyle Biblical Truth irrelevant– okay to dismiss whatever doesn’t feel compatible with personal journey Features of Postmodern Styles Nostalgia and retro styles, recycling earlier genres and styles in new contexts (film/TV genres, images, clothing and hair styles, advertising images). ―History‖ now represented through images in popular culture. POSTMODERNISM AND POP CULTURE ―MCDONALDISATION‖ AND ―DISNEYISATION‖ MTV PUNK MOVEMENT- THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, THE SEX PISTOLS, BECK ANDY WARHOL QUENTIN TARANTINO- RESERVOIR DOGS, PULP FICTION, JACKIE BROWN POSTMODERNISM AND MTV FUSION OF ART AND POPULAR CULTURE 1. VIDEOS AND COMMERCIALS POSTMODERNISM AND MTV REPRODUCTION AND SIMULATION 1. REPRODUCTION OF LIVE PERFORMANCE- Bruce SPRINGSTEEN’S ―Dancing in the Dark‖ 2. REPRODUCTION/RE- INTERPRETATION OF OLD SONGS- FUGEES’S ―Killing Me Softly‖ POSTMODERNISM AND MTV 3. PARODY- WEIRD AL YANKOVIC’S ―LIKE A SURGEON,‖ ―FAT,‖ ―EAT IT‖ ARE YOU POST MODERN? You know more about "Gilligan's Island" than Einstein's theory of relativity. For the Postmodern, meaning is found in the messages seen in popular culture rather than through scientific inquiry. ARE YOU POST MODERN? You believe that values are "whatever works for you." The Postmodern sees rules as being good for the rule giver, but not for the one who has to follow the rules. Each person, in the Postmodern view, has the right to create his or her own value system. ARE YOU POST MODERN? You'd rather have ten options than one when purchasing a product (such as a TV, car, or dishwasher). The epitome of the Modern Era was the Model-T Ford. Everyone could be happy with the same model. The Postmodern wants options. Choice and personalization are everything. ARE YOU POST MODERN? You think that African history, Asian history, and Native American history are as important as Western European/American history. The Postmodern is multicultural. All the wisdom and knowledge of the world, gleaned from all cultures, places, and times, is available to the curious mind. No one culture is superior to another. Each has contributed to the development of the human race. ARE YOU POST MODERN? You have to experience it before you believe something is true. the Postmodern sees the discovery of emotions and human experience as being paramount. Postmoderns must experience something in the soul before they believe it. ARE YOU POST MODERN? You are plugged in to electronic media (radio, TV, DVD, ipod, computer) 75 percent of the time you are awake. The Postmodern is connected to the world through a wide variety of electronic communication devices in a way never seen before in history. A constant stream of information, both positive and negative, keeps the Postmodern plugged in to the beat of humanity. The Modern Era had the radio and then the TV; the Postmodern added everything from personal computers to fax machines to the eighteen-inch satellite dish. ARE YOU POST MODERN? You have surfed the Net. The Internet is the ultimate Postmodern tool. It enables a person to send electronic mail in the flash of a second to any place in the world. With a few points and clicks, you can access the latest articles from Time magazine, see the latest displays from the Smithsonian Museum, or download the newest electronic pinup of Lois Lane from Lois and Clark. A world of information is at a person's fingertips. ARE YOU POST MODERN? You are more interested in spirituality than in religion. The Postmodern has no desire to be churched, to be boxed in by one set of rules or rituals. He or she does not want life to be set in stone. Spirituality, for Postmoderns, is tied to deeply held beliefs that give meaning to life lived in the midst of adversity. God is not to be pursued like a commodity. God is the one who gives depth and meaning to life. ARE YOU POST MODERN? You can watch TV, listen to the radio, and read — all at the same time. The Modern person can process only one stream of information at a time. Postmoderns can process many different streams of information at the same time, enabling them to make unexpected connections.