A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction by Linda Hutcheon

By Linda Hutcheon

Half I
1 Theorizing the postmodern: towards a poetics
2 Modelling the postmodern: parody and politics
3 restricting the postmodern: the paradoxical aftermath of modernism
4 Decentering the postmodern: the ex-centric
5 Contextualizing the postmodern: enunciation and the revenge of “parole”
6 Historicizing the postmodern: the problematizing of history

PART II
7 Historiographic metafiction: “the hobby of earlier time”
8 Intertextuality, parody, and the discourses of history
9 the matter of reference
10 topic in/of/to heritage and his story
11 Discourse, energy, ideology: humanism and postmodernism
12 Political double-talk
13 end: a poetics or a problematics?

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Extra resources for A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction

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In order to try to avoid the tempting trap of co-option, what is necessary is the acknowledging of the fact that such a position is itself an ideology, one that is profoundly implicated in that which it seeks to theorize. , a series of intellectual acts profoundly committed to the historical and subjective existence (they are the same) of the man [sic] who performs them” (1972, 257). In other words, we cannot exempt our own “discriminating scholarly discourse” as Douwe Fokkema would like (1986a, 2), for it too is as institutionalized as the fiction or the painting or the philosophy or the history it would pretend to scrutinize.

He seems to want to call this esotoric, private game-playing, but then stops and claims, after all, that “there is a general penumbra of historical meaning which would, I believe, be perceived” (1980b, 19). Like all parody, postmodernist architecture can certainly be élitist, if the codes necessary for its comprehension are not shared by both encoder and decoder. But the frequent use of a very common and easily recognized idiom—often that of classical architecture—works to combat such exclusiveness.

Its irreconcilable incompatibilities are the very bases upon which the problematized discourses of postmodernism emerge (see Foucault 1977, 151). The differences that these contradictions foreground should not be dissipated. While unresolved paradoxes may be unsatisfying to those in need of absolute and final answers, to postmodernist thinkers and artists they have been the source of intellectual energy that has provoked new articulations of the postmodern condition. ” The model of contradictions offered here—while admittedly only another model—would hope to open up any poetics of postmodernism to plural, contestatory elements without necessarily reducing or recuperating them.

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