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Going Beyond the Postmodern in Contemporary Literature

Stavris, Nicholas Charles (2012) Going Beyond the Postmodern in Contemporary Literature. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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The complications surrounding postmodernism as being against foundationalism and absolutism stem
from its somewhat conclusive development into what has been described by many as a grand
narrative. Postmodernism sought to recalibrate away from the grand narratives that potentially defined
modernism, to break free from logic and definitiveness, and yet for most, it fell short, thus in turn
becoming that which it fought so hard to undermine. Linda Hutcheon for example, asserts that the
inclusion of postmodernism on the educational syllabus led to its institutionalisation.1 The general
consensus surrounding the failure or apparent end of the postmodern is that it became something.
Postmodernism, by definition, became a ‘period’. Whether or not this was inevitable is difficult to
say. What seems to be the case is the need for definition and categorisation. All that the postmodern
stood for was overwhelmed by terminology, by the incessant development of ascribing to it a sense of
unique identification or definition – a factor it was supposedly set against in the very first instance. If
the postmodern is in fact over, or has indeed failed as a literary and cultural ‘period’, there arises the
ever-pressing question, that is, what has replaced it as a cultural position? This is a question
embedded with contradiction. If the general assumption is that definition is unavoidable, there appears to be an equally general assumption, as outlined in the very make-up of postmodernism, that
definition is also impossible. In this sense, there is a need to categorize the current ‘period’, and an
overwhelming inability to do so, a paradox which surrounds any attempt to label the current situation
post-postmodernism. Nevertheless, it is my attempt in this essay to investigate one of the possible
movements, or periods that we have now entered into following the demise of postmodernism.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
Depositing User: Kirsty Taylor
Date Deposited: 16 May 2013 12:28
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2015 19:24


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