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E 341 (23)

Postmodernism, links with modernism/post-structuralism, virtual realities

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Colorado State University
E 341
Aparna Gollapudi

20 September Postmodernism Postmodernism 3 nodes of connection that shape postmodern theory Reaction against modernism Influenced by post-struct Response to the new high-tech media society Links with Modernism th th Late 19 /early 20 century “Modernist period” – Social, urban, human consequences of things like Industrial Revolution become evident, Darwin etc. cast doubt on enlightenment, humanist beliefs; heightened sense of an individual besieged and at the mercy of evolutionary or social or mechanical forces. WWI heightens this sense of a broken humanity. A sense that we are not godlike, we do not control our own place in the world. Modernism responds to this by focusing on: The Individual under siege who MUST be rescued Modernist artists try to capture sense of fragmentation in the post-Industrial Revolution, post-Darwin, WWI, rise of fascism situation And, they try to resurrect individual spirit/voice. Instead of the Realist Rationalism of Enlightenment legacy, value subjective, individual view Tone of lament, nostalgia for eternal verities lost and loss of visionary ideal of enlightenment Postmodernism inherits Modernist ideas about fragmentation, of the unreliability of realist literature, of resistance to coherent chronology – but into that mix goes other stuff that change the sense of fragmentation and angst. “This is the way it is” – not lamenting Not following a specific framework → freedom Links to Post-structuralism 1960’s France, 1970’s – 80’s continues to spread The loss of “eternal verities” and universal truths that Modernism mourns is reinforced by spread of post-structuralist ideas. Post-modernism incorporates post-structuralist notion of how radical and thorough that lack of truth or reality is. Individual as coherent source of values no longer valid. After all, the
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