RARA-AVIS: Re:Postmodernism and literature

From: bobav1 ( rav7@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Date: 19 Mar 2007

I avoided chiming in during miker's criticism month, but I'm home sick today, so what the hell.

As a grad school escapee, I too agree that the overwhelming majority of postmodernist critical product and artistic product is stupid crap. That said, I also think that the postmodern critical perspective does a better job of illuminating both art and "the real world" than earlier critical strategies.

Some of the generally accepted postmodern tenets (all systems break down, language itself creates/distorts/determines reality, the power structures of race/class/gender etc.) are visible on the front page of every newspaper every day, and are not some hypothetical "left-wing pseudo-intellectual horse shit." Without engaging in any political discussion whatsoever, I submit that such words as "conservative" and
"torture" are rather in flux at the moment in the United States.

Many recent vigorous rara-avis discussions (Long Goodbye, moral obligations of the author, what's "new" in hardboiled/noir) are the types of questions postmodernism grapples with: how producer/consumer/language/society together create "text" , or the meaning of originality. To ask an on-topic question: are the Marlowe stories set in stone, belonging to a past when men were men, etc. etc.
(please define your own etc.s), or are they living texts adaptable to new ideas of the detective and a changing society? If updated, are they still the Marlowe stories?

I commend David David for his shot at explanation, but for a not half bad brief introduction to the subject that still involves some slogging through grim reading, try the Wikipedia entry (of all places) for "postmodern." Moe Szyslak's quotation is also pertinent.

Awaiting lengthy Doherty parsings,

Bob V in NYC

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, Michael Robison
<miker_zspider@...> wrote:
> JIM DOHERTY wrote:
> So, if I understand you correctly, "po-mo," briefly,
> is short for "post-modern," and "post-modern" is a lot
> of left-wing, pseudo-intellectual horse shit.
> Have I got that right?
> *****************
> Yup.
> miker
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