Post Modernism and 'City of Glass'

2761 Words12 Pages
There is no clear definition of what postmodernism is. However, City of Glass is considered to be the by far the text which is most visibly postmodernism. This is precisely because it “offers the kind of narrative that zigzags visibly, deliberately missing at all angle the sense of a foundation.” The postmodernist discourse remains central to the understanding of City of Glass. Perhaps the only thing that makes the story alluring is the fact that it is steeped in postmodernist features. Otherwise, it would have been just a cold and ambiguous story about too many coincidences. To understand the novel’s play with predictability, we must have recourse to the post modernist discourse about it. Aristotle primarily argued in “Poetics” that:…show more content…
As we see there is no clear structure in the novel. It is characterized by fragmentation and these fragmentations can stand on their own which is contrary to Aristotle’s concept of order in the novel. For instance, City of Glass can stand on its own even if it is only part of The New York Trilogy. The story can start anywhere and end anywhere. Auster’s story “branches out in all directions, without a beginning, middle or end like some structureless 'rhizome'” and it actually reflects the typical the “postmodern 'central emptiness under the absent god'”. He therefore, disrupts the usual order of things. Moreover, chance becomes the order by which the story operates. In fact, chance becomes what makes the story moves forward. For instance, if Quinn had not received the wrong call by pure chance, there probably would not have been any story. The story begins on hazard circumstances and thrives on hazards to develop. Even the ending of City of Glass is one that is prone to lead to more hazard instances. The story in itself does not deny the hand of chance as Quinn; himself states “nothing is real except the chance”. The result of this is endless possibilities and alternatives. This reflects what Baudrillard maintains in ‘Chance, Culture and the Literary Text’ where he claims that “certain phenomena happen beyond our control and hence chance allowed certain space to escape responsibility for such phenomena.” It should be considered that memory plays a
Open Document