The Concept of 'Postmodernism'

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CHAPTER 1 The concept of ‘Postmodernism’- A Theoretical Approach It is a cliché by now to say that we live in a postmodern world, and it is true that the word ’postmodern’ has become one of the most used, and abused, words in the language. Still, it is striking that not many people can say with assurance what this term actually means and involves. Some theorists suggest that ‘postmodernism’ refers to a mood or an attitude of mind, others define it as a literary, cultural, or philosophic phenomenon. Either way, critics haven’t agreed on a common definition for the concept. “Brian McHale points out that every critic “constructs” postmodernism in his or her own way from different perspectives, none more right or wrong…show more content…
He famously claimed that when one of he most representative examples of the style, the award- winning Pruitt- Igoe housing complex in St Louis, Missouri, was demolished in 1972, modern architecture died. The trend towards eclecticism in architecture, with old and new styles freely being mixed, was given its greatest boost by Jencks. He also considers that the confusions between the late modernism and the post-modernism could be explained by the fact that both artistic movements were born in the post-industrial society. On the other hand, he claimed that the concept of postmodernism itself suffered some changes during the decades and became clear in its meaning only in the ‘80s.. But not all theorists see such a contrast between modernism and postmodernism. In Postmodernist Fiction, Brian McHale affirms: “ Postmodernism follows from modernism in some sense, more than it follows after modernism”.[v] Dan Grigorescu, a Romanian theorist, shares the same opinion concerning the dispute between modernism and postmodernism: “Prin “noua paradigmă” nu se urmăreşte acreditarea ideii că ar exista o ruptură totală între modernism şi postmodernism, ci mai degrabă a aceleia potrivit căreia modernismul, avangarda şi cultura populară au intrat într-un nou sistem de relaţii reciproce şi de configuraţii ale discursului ce a primit numele de postmodernism, considerat de autorul rândurilor de faţă ca fiind cu totul diferit de paradigma “modernismului elevat”
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