The Literature of Postmodernism in Great Britain

Modernism review:

Culture disarray

Decentering

Lack of Unity

Language cannot hold meaning

Fragmentation – collage

Multiple Perspectives

Reader more Responsible for meaning

LAMENTS loss of meaning

Postmodernism is all of the above EXCEPT:

1. Postmodernism CELEBRATES loss of meaning, larger field of play, as long as we are aware that everyone has different social and cultural code as, think of the liberty, how much more readily we will accept our fellow man if we realize that other interpretations are just fine.

Culturally we will have to agree on necessary terms, going to have common terms, but why are we so hung up on the idea that we think we share the meaning of language? We cannot share the same meaning.

Acknowledge that it gives us personal freedoms. Idea of a lament versus a celebration.

There is no sense of good and bad, who are you to define what good is for me?

It’s okay to privilege certain meanings over others as long as we are aware.

Recognize that your particular meaning cannot particularly be known as someone else’s particular meaning.

2. Modernists: meaning in the text. Postmodernists: Text is a Site for making meaning. Cultural codes affect this. How could the writer put meaning in their text if it is different than any others? True post-modern thinker would think anything. There is a difference between a postmodern reading. You could read anything in a postmodern way, subjectively. Some writers wrote a postmodern writing, very difficult style to write in, people are fearful that they’re not making connections in the world. In language, you can misinterpret gestures. Gestures are not flawless, but a more universal sense of language.

Meaning is indeterminate, and any claim that you can read something objectively cannot be done. You cannot approach any text objectively. The result is that texts are a surplus of meaning, condition of meaning at all. You can’t say “this Means this” because it might not mean it to others.

What are the Social structures most troubled by this?: Religion and Government, fear there, but terms like “equality”. Stop using words in this blanket way.

This class has been taught leaning towards a postmodern ethic. There is no definitive answer.

Writer’s best intentions are going to be interpreted based on the cultural codes of the readers.

We are a finite field, within it is an infinite number of possibilities. There’s no way given the variety of humans within that field that you could ever duplicate

Book, turned into a collage.

Looking at potentially the tree.

Different interpretations, that is something to celebrate. Human individuality, willingness to allow others human individuality. Make meaning anyway you want to, and so can others. It’s about humans and language working that way.

12/8/10

Postmodern writing is more about ideas than a certain message or content. Image cannot be concretely position, it’s however we see it.

Read poem handout, add it to your stack of postmodern readings

Sonnet – specific form

The form is the boundary, and infinite possibilities within it.

Interpret as long as you are aware that you are doing it and that everyone else gets to use their own meaning.

Postmoderns play with the language, changed by every individual reader.

Exam You’ve ruined my evening, you’ve ruined my life, or South America, Handout today, or first one in the Corless-Smith set. (“I Travel through the corpse of another…”)

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