Modernism Vs. Postmodernism. What do you think of when you hear the word ‘ modern ’ ?. Modernism: A Definition.
Le Guitariste by Pablo Picasso, 1910
The Eiffel Tower, built in 1889, stands at 1000 feet high. It is an architectural accomplishment and symbolises the modern world
Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity – science and reason won the day!
Sigmund Freud’s teachings of the unconscious
Flappers were ladies in the 1920s with shorter skirts and short hair who used to get drunk and dance to jazz
Postmodernism is a late twentieth century movement that is a reaction to the worldwide view of the 16th-mid 20th century. This movement contends that there is no objective reality/truth and that human nature is socially determined. Postmodern literary works usually are ironic and abandon convention, formal structure, a linear narrative style, and social/political content.
“Reality T.V.” now dictates that everyone can be a star.
Most recently, documentaries have become ‘mockumentaries’
Nietzsche wrote ‘Beyond Good and Evil’ in 1886 (!) which challenged modern perceptions of right and wrong: “truth is error”
Pulp Fiction is a good example of postmodernism because its structure is based on a series of flash-backs. Also, it challenges the conventions of symbols in cinema by having a suitcase… that we never find out what it contains!
James Joyce wrote some parts of his novels using the ‘stream of consciousness’ technique, i.e. no punctuation!
Franz Kafka wrote surreal novels
This is an example of post-modern or ‘abstract’ art - perhaps it is making a statement against art itself?
In music, “pop will eat itself” is a phrase that means that eventually nothing can be original because everything will have already been ‘done’. Nowadays, this can be seen with ‘samples’ in hip-hop and dance music: pieces of music are being reused in other songs. Nothing is original any more!
The television series ‘Seinfeld’ is seen as being post-modern because a) nothing really happens in the show, and b) characters do not improve or develop during the series. It is a rebellion against moral, character-based television series.
Jean-Paul Sartre was an “existentialist” that believed in subjectivity over objectivity – i.e. that everything has multiple interpretations
View the clips from Star Wars 1977 and Space Balls 1987.
Consider: What is being parodied by Space Balls?
Lots of elements of postmodernism here:
“I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a
most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricasie, or a ragoust” (Swift).
View Simpsons Episode Intro.: “Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJB9_8BrgAQ
Exaggeration: The portrayal of something trivial or unimportant as very important, usually to emphasize its triviality.Diminutization: the portrayal of something perceived as important as something trivial/unimportant to show its unimportance.
Utopian: A criticism of the status quo through comparison with a superior kind of society that highlights the weaknesses of one’s own.
Dystopian: A criticism of certain aspects of society through comparison to an inferior society that adopts some of these aspects.
Irony: language that has two levels of meaning; the first is superficial or literal; the second is critical and often the opposite of the superficial meaning