Presentation on theme: "Postmodern Texts An Overview. Postmodernism Postmodernism refers to changes that have occurred over the last fifty years in art, architecture, literature,"— Presentation transcript:
Postmodern Texts An Overview
Postmodernism Postmodernism refers to changes that have occurred over the last fifty years in art, architecture, literature, film, and other cultural productions. In the Introduction to their edited text Postmodern Picturebooks, Lawrence Sipe and Sylvia Pantaleo list a series of characteristics that we can use as we look at contemporary texts.
1. Blurring Distinctions Postmodern texts blur the distinctions between high culture and popular culture and between genres. A good example would be the award- winning Karen Hesse’s historical novel Out of the Dust, which is written entirely in poetic verse.
Out of the Dust From the earliest I can remember, I’ve been restless in This little Panhandle shack we call home, Always getting in Ma’s way with my Pointy elbows and fidgety legs.
2. Subverting Traditions Postmodern texts call into question literary traditions regarding form and language. They also undermine “the distinction between the story and the ‘outside’ real world” (3).
The Three Pigs
3. Pointing out intertextuality Although every text refers to texts that have come before it, texts that are postmodern draw explicit attention to intertextuality, as when Wiesner not only mentions previous fairytales, but creates a narrative in which characters from the different source texts interact with each other.
The Three Pigs
4. Destabilizing Meaning Postmodern texts point towards multiple meanings and often feature indeterminate endings. Most importantly, overt didacticism disappears from the text – although the Hidden Adult is always lurking (but the message is sometimes simply that there should not be a message!)
The Giver In Lois Lowry’s The Giver, readers are compelled to come to their own conclusions about Jonas’ behavior and his fate
5. Featuring Playfulness Postmodern texts invite the reader to view the text as a place where they can experiment with different words, meanings, and concepts. This sense of playfulness can often take the form of irony, as in the statement, “So you want to be a sardine?”
6. Emphasizing Self- Referentiality As Sipe and Pantaleo note, postmodern texts are self-referential, refusing “to allow readers to have a vicarious, lived-through experience, offering instead a metafictive stance by drawing attention to the text as a text rather than as a secondary world” (3). (The secondary world refers to a fictional location – we’ll learn more about this when we study fantasy.)
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales