Analysis Of ' The Era Of Postmodernism '

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Throughout the history of man, human beings impose form and order on all aspects of life in order to reassure themselves there is a grand design behind life’s seeming uncertainty. Evidence of this desire are social constructions such as religion and time. However, the strong need to understand the word through concrete systems is also seen in smaller details of daily life, such as fiction novels. The average person enjoys realistic fiction, or fiction that mirrors what one perceives as the “the human experience.” One method that fiction uses to enforce this desired reality is the use of a single overarching storyline, or metanarrative. The era of Postmodernism upended this notion that a novel should only have one grand metanarrative, and this upending is based in a reality closer to one’s lifespan where experiences are not singular or linear, but an amalgam of events and memories which overlap, shift priorities, and transcend strict chronological time. Two Postmodern novels that challenge the concept of a single metanarrative by including various micronarratives, employed to confuse what story takes precedence over the other, are Vladimir Nabokov’s Pale Fire and Italo Calvino’s If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler. Nabokov employs the concept of intertextual conversation between different sections of the book in Pale Fire while Calvino makes use of the reader’s self-awareness of their role as an active participant in the reading of If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler to

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