Defining Postmodernism

Postmodernism is one of those words that has become a part our everyday language. How often do we describe a movie or a book as “so postmodern’? From James Rawson’s pop art, to authors like Vladimir Nabokov and Umberto Eco, to extremely popular movies like Moulin Rouge, Scream, and Pulp Fiction, there’s no getting around it: postmodernism has become an inseparable part of our lives and our entertainment.

But what is it?

Like any literary movement, postmodernism can’t be defined exactly—in fact, it is several ideas complied together. Postmodernism is known for its revolutionary approach and willingness to experiment. Considering the times we live in today, all this may seem very commonplace, but there was a period known as the Enlightenment back then in 17th and 8th centuries, which was all about order, unity, reason. Of course the post modernists were not the first ones to come up with this kind of approach; also romanticism and then modernism had already questioned the possibility of these ideals. Although,postmodernism is more about embracing the chaos. The word “postmodern” may have become cliché, but one cannot deny its popularity. It has given us some of the most-loved texts of the 20th and 21st centuries.

So what is the contribution of post modernism in today’s time? Well, it has revolutionized our perspectives. While all the major literary movements were specific and defined in their approach, postmodernism does not focus on a particular set of “classic” authors or texts. It has helped change people’s ideas about what we can classify as literature. Sure, there may be some people who like to emphasize on the traditional, “serious,” “intellectual” texts, but postmodernism has made a major alterations in conventional ideas about literature, art, and culture.

Prof.Anjali Ramnani

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