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Postmodernism Authors and Literature. What is Postmodernism? Postmodernism is a term that encompasses a wide-range of developments in philosophy, film,

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Presentation on theme: "Postmodernism Authors and Literature. What is Postmodernism? Postmodernism is a term that encompasses a wide-range of developments in philosophy, film,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Postmodernism Authors and Literature

2 What is Postmodernism? Postmodernism is a term that encompasses a wide-range of developments in philosophy, film, architecture, art, literature, and culture. Originally a reaction to modernism, referring to the lack of artistic, intellectual, or cultural thought or organized principle. Started around 1940s, exact date is unknown. Peaked around the 1960s and 1970s with the release of Catch 22 and Slaughterhouse Five

3 Postmodern Literature What is it? - Used to describe the different aspects of post WW2 literature (modernist literature). - There is not a clear and defined definition of postmodernism because of the little agreement of the concepts and characteristics and ideas within postmodernism.

4 Postmodernist Literature Postmodernist Literature contains a broad range of concepts and ideas that include: - responses to modernism and its ideas - responses to technological advances - greater diversity of cultures that leads to cultural pluralism. (small groups within a larger society maintain their culture identity). - reconceptualizations of society and history

5 Postmodern Literature There are a few similarities to modernist literature. -Like modernist literature, both are usually told from an objective or omniscient point of view. -Both literatures explore the external reality to examine the inner states of consciousness of the characters -Both employ fragmentation in narrative and character construction

6 Postmodern Literature: Common Themes Irony, playfulness, black humor - Example: The Crying Lot of 49, Pynchon uses childish wordplay while discussing serious subjects. An example of his wordplay can be found in the names of his characters: Mike Fallopian, Stanley Koteks, Mucho Maas, and Dr. Hilarius.

7 Postmodern Literature: Common Themes PaStiche - Authors often combine multiple elements in the postmodern genre. Example: Pynchon includes elements from science fiction, pop culture references, and detective fiction to create fictional cultures and concepts.

8 Postmodern Literature: Common Themes Metafiction - Writing about writing, often used to undermine the authority of the author and to advance stories in unique ways. Example: In Italo Calvino’s novel, If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler, is about a reader attempting to read a novel of the same name. In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Slaughterhouse Five, the first chapter is about the writing process of the novel.

9 Postmodern Literature: Common Themes Paranoia -The belief that there is something out of the ordinary, while everything remains the same. Example: In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Breakfast of Champions, a character becomes violent when he imagines everyone else as a robot and he is the only human.

10 Postmodern Literature: Influential works Catch 22 – Joseph Heller Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut Lost in the Funhouse – John Barth The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien White Noise – Don DeLillo Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon

11 Postmodern Authors Joseph Heller -Born May 1, 1923 in Brooklyn, New York -Known for his post World War satires and playwrights -Catch 22 most well-known of his works -Other works include: Something Happened, Good as Gold, and Closing Time. -Also wrote plays: We Bombed in New Haven, Catch 22, Clevinger’s Trail

12 Postmodern Authors Thomas Pynchon -Born May 8, 1937 in Glen Cove, New York. -Known for his fictional writing over many different subjects that include: science, mathematics, and history -Known for his early works: V, The Crying of Lot 49, and Gravity’s Rainbow. -Also wrote essays concerning diverse topics such as missile security and Watts Riots ( a large scale riot that lasted six days in the Watt’s neighborhood of LA).

13 Postmodern Authors Kurt Vonnegut -Born November 11, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana -Known for using Pastiche in his works. Blends satire, black comedy, and science fiction to create novels, such as Slaughterhouse Five and Breakfast of Champions. -As a former soldier and prisoner of war, many of his experiences influenced his later works.

14 Postmodern Authors Tim O’Brien -Born October 1, 1946 in Austin, Minnesota - His career began with the release of If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship me. Wrote mainly about his experiences in the Vietnam War -O’Brien uses fiction and reality and blends them into his own genre. He labels his works fiction, however, he uses his situations he experienced in his works. -Most famous work: The Things They Carried

15 Your Postmodern Story MUST: Be written in first person or center on one character Contain at least two examples of pastiche Either be dominantly: ironic, playful, or full of black humor Use either Paranoia or Metafiction Have some semblance of a beginning and an end. Be 750+ words

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