Lethem in the essay proves to be a sort of superhero to me particularly once he wades within the mess surrounding “postmodernism” (Lethem 5). This phrase caught my attention while reading the essay. Postmodernism is a phrase usually utilized as pointer finger towards a vast number of factors, which could be viewed as intimidating to canonical customs. Postmodernism fosters and encourages destroying the high and low traditions converting them into a value-neutral fog, unwarranted orientation to varying platforms of media particularly the electronic ones. It additionally enhances passion for ‘metafiction’ towards popular culture or general forms references, encourages obvious surrealism or hysterical realism.
Lethem brings out three areas that depict postmodernism in “Postmodernism as Liberty Valance”. Firstly, is the notion that the universe of “global techo-capitalism” cannot be a congenial dwelling for beings psyches (Lethem 12). Secondly, the generation of authors who have adopted various foreign websites along with other critical theorists towards addressing American subjects. Thirdly, the modernist aesthetics grouping of what could be widely referred as the “pop-culture”, a phrase, which Lethem is very suspicious. Postmodernism in the popular imagination through ill-motivated weak criticism refers to “exalting disreputable genres like the crime story” whilst at the same time meaning nouveau roman-style shift away from the plot itself. Ingeniously Lethem takes the postmodernism straw man as Marvin’s character (unprincipled, brutalizing); whom every person thinks is killed by Stewart, along with the critic as Wayne’s covert assassin (Lethem 27). Lethem states that the reason postmodernism never comes to an end is because it is not the symbol inside the black hat evident within the streets squaring off towards the law-abiding realists, evidently, postmodernism symbolizes the street. Similar ideas are expanded within the heading essay, whereby there exist a noble snub to adopt a thinking comprised of pop versus traditions or innovativeness versus imitation (Lethem 38). Certainly, Lethem’s rejections from either smartening up authors like Phillip Dick to change, figuratively, their converses for a pleasant couple of brogues or to cartoon the novel as dehydrated vampire requiring the street culture’s fresh blood, makes Lethem’s literary practices vey progressive.
Postmodernism literature is described as majorly depending on techniques such as disintegration, dubious narrators and paradox, and is usually described as a trend that came into being after the World-War II period. Postmodern literal works are viewed as being a response in opposition to Enlightenment perceptions and Modernist techniques towards literature (Maus 20). Similar to Postmodernism, Postmodern literature tends to oppose explanation or categorization as a “movement”. Certainly the postmodern literature union with varying modes of critical hypothesis, specifically reader-response along with deconstruction advances and the implicit contract subversions amongst the writer, text and the reader through which its literary works are usually described have resulted to the rise of pre-modern fictions. Whilst there exist little consensus regarding the exact features, scope and significance of postmodern literature, which is frequently the situation with artistic works, postmodern literature is usually described in association to a precursor (Maus 12). For instance, postmodern works usually do not conclude through a smartly tied-up ending, which is frequently experienced in modernist literature, however habitually parodies it. Postmodern writers usually values chance over craft, additionally, adopts metafiction to weaken the authors authority. An additional feature of postmodern literature regards the questioning of differences amongst high and low customs by the usage of pastiche, the mixture of themes and genres not formerly considered healthy for literature.
There exist an objective innate
actuality, an actuality whose subsistence and features are logically autonomous
of humans ( their thoughts, communities or social practices). Postmodernists
ignore and reject this notion and term it as naïve realism. Such realism to
postmodernists is a theoretical construct, a scientific practice work of art
along with language. Additionally, by the usage of logic along with greatly
specialized technological tools, humans are likely to transform their community
along with themselves to better their future (Maus 35). Postmodernists reject
the Enlightenment faith towards technology as a tool of humans’ advancement.
They hold that technology pursuit is misguided since it resulted to the
development of weapons for mass killings especially during the Second World
War. Reason and common sense are universally valid, such that, their
regulations are similar or apply uniformly to every thinker along with every
language domain. For postmodernists reason and common sense are simply
theoretical constructs making valid only inside the established intellectual
customs where they are utilized (Maus 45). Humans may acquire knowledge
regarding natural realism and this awareness can ultimately be justified
through evidence that may be given instantly, intuitively or else with
confidence. Human nature comprises of aptitudes, faculties and dispositions
present at their birth rather than taken in via social forces or learned (Maus
9). Postmodernists however persist that almost all human psychology elements
are wholly socially determined.
Therefore, certainly, Postmodernism is majorly a reaction in opposition
to the philosophical suppositions and modern era of Western culture. Certainly,
most of the principles linked with postmodernism may be illustrated as direct
denial of the universal philosophical viewpoints.
Lethem, Jonathan. The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, Etc. Westminster, MD: Books on Tape, 2011. Print.
Maus, Derek C. Postmodernism. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2001. Print.
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