Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Postmodernism Lecture One...

- Postmodernism is difficult because, "The concept of postmodernism is not widely accepted or even understood..." (Fredric Jameson, The Cultural Turn).
- "'Postmodern' has become one of the most used, and abused, words in the language. Yet few people can say with any assurance what the term actually means or involves..." (Stuart Sim, The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism).
- Key words: Skepticism and Relativism.
- Relativism = Your truth and my truth have equal bearing. The way you see things and the way I see things are relative, there isn't one single truth that could be said to be the truth for everybody. (Refer to the cartoon in slides).
- Key words: High Modernism, Capitalist, Superabundance, Disconnected, Pop, Fragmentary, Eclectic Nostalgia, Simulacra, Superficiality, Flippant, Depthless, Fabulation, Pastiche, Bricolage, Aleatory.
- "... references to postmodernism crop up in a comic way in lager commercials [or] in a spoof of 'arty types'... An article in a British journal devoted to horror films recently described 'slasher movies' as the postmodern phenomenon... pretentiousness is held to typify those who even use the word..." (Glenn Ward, Postmodernism).
- "postmodernity is modernity without the hopes and dreams which made modernity bearable. It is a hydra-headed, decentred condition in which we get dragged along from pillow to post across a succession of reflecting surfaces..." (Dick Hebdige, Hiding in the Light) = a metaphor for postmodernity.
- The volume, Postmodernism for Beginners, uses another name for this same environment whn it suggests that its illustrated pages might constitute the "crucial guide for anyone fascinated or exasperated by the hall of mirrors that is postmodernism." (Richard Appiganesi, Chris Garret, Postmodernism for Beginners) = another metheaphor for postmodernity.
- Postmodernism is apocalyptic.
- Postmodernism is schizoid.
- Postmodernism is power.
- Postmodernism is revolutionary.
- Postmodernism is 'political correctness gone mad'.
- Postmodernism is self-obsessed.
- Postmodernism is a 'sell-out'.
- Postmodernism is blasphemous.
- Postmodernism is dangerous.
- Postmodernism is creative.
- Postmodernism is unimaginative.
- Postmodernism is bullshit.
- "The Sokal Hoax" shows the concept that postmodernism is bullshit.
- Postmodernism is everywhere.
- Postmodern Examples: Madonna, Lady Gaga, Bluewater, The Simpsons, Banksy, YouTube, Shrek, Family Guy: Blue Harvest, Scream, Cadbury Gorilla Advert, Disneyland, Snakes on a Plane and Wikipedia.
- "No one exactly agrees as to what is meant by the term, except, perhaps, that 'postmodernism' represents some kind of reaction to, or departure from, 'modernism'. Since the meaning of modernism is also very confused, the reaction or departure known as 'postmodernism' is doubly so..." (David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity).
- Modernism is difficult.
- Modernism is the deliberate departure from tradition and the use of innovative forms of expression that distinguish many styles in the arts and literature of the 20th century.
- "To be modern is to find ourselves in an environment that promises adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and the world... Modernity can be said to unite all mankind..." (Marshall Berman, All that is solid melts into air, 1982).
- "But it is a paradoxical unity - a unity of disunity; it pours us all into a maelstrom of perpetual disintegration and renewal, of struggle and contradiction, of ambiguity and anguish..." (Marshall Berman, All that is solid melts into air, 1982).
- How can modernism and postmodernism be all these things?
- "Where a modernist artist or writer would try to wrest a meaning from the world... the postmodernist greets the absurd or meaningless confusion of contemporary existence with a certain numbed or flippant indifference..." (
- Postmodernism is important.
- "There is no such thing as a definition of the postmodern... Postmodernism, with all its complexity and possible excesses, is an attempt to find new and more truthful versions of the world." (

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