English Professor | Specialist in Queer Children's and Young Adult Literature, Media, and Culture
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Elizabeth Wilson, The Postmodern Chameleon, NLR I/, March–April
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About Nicholas Zurbrugg. Nicholas Zurbrugg.
Books by Nicholas Zurbrugg. No trivia or quizzes yet. Poststructuralism has been an influential part of the cultural scene since the s, but nowadays it can be seen to be part of a more general reaction to authoritarian ideologies and political systems that we define as postmodernism.
Much more than being a genre or a typology, postmodernism can be approached as an attitude that is reactionary, especially towards the ideas and ideals perpetuated in the modernist movement e. Modernisms, including Marxism, dreamt of a better world. Legislating for this world on the basis of this dream of a better one is seen as the cardinal sin of that modernism which postmodernism seeks to go beyond.
The Parameters of Postmodernism
First-wave postmodern texts not only challenged the divide between high-literature and low-literature that was fostered by modernists such as Virginia Woolf and T. The text not only exposes how conventional plots work, but it actively highlights and questions its own structure, plot, and content. When Lewis refers to the literary characteristics that postmodern authors embrace and reject, he is referring mostly to well-known literary conventions such as plot, setting, character, and theme. These conventions are challenged and shattered both in first-wave and second-wave postmodernism through features such as:.
If first-wave and second-wave postmodernism share these traits, what differentiates the two?
Whereas the features mentioned above were employed in first-wave postmodernism as a way of challenging the authority and dominance of literary conventions such as plot, setting, character, and theme, they are employed in second-wave postmodernism simply because they have become integrated with the dominant literary culture.
I hope that this post gives you a better idea of the notions that constitute postmodernism and postmodern literature. Sims, Stuart ed.