Are You a Postmodern Literature Pro?



9 Questions

What is a significant feature of postmodern literature?

What is the technique used in postmodern literature to create a unique narrative or comment on situations in postmodernity?

What is metafiction in postmodern literature?

What is fabulation in postmodern literature?

What is historiographic metafiction in postmodern literature?

What is the recurring postmodern theme that often coincides with the theme of technoculture and hyperreality?

What are the two stylistic approaches found in postmodern literature?

What is fragmentation in postmodern literature?

What is the approach offered by Hans-Peter Wagner to defining postmodern literature?


Postmodern literature emerged in the US in the 1960s characterized by metafiction, unreliable narration, self-reflexivity, and intertextuality, often thematizing historical and political issues. The style first emerged in the context of political tendencies in the 1960s. Precursors include Don Quixote, Tristram Shandy, and Sartor Resartus, but postmodern literature was particularly prominent in the 1960s and 1970s. Postmodern literature often challenges authorities and is highly self-reflexive about the political issues it speaks to. Postmodernism refers to a historical period, theoretical postmodernism, and cultural postmodernism, the latter of which includes film, literature, and visual arts. Late 19th and early 20th-century playwrights whose work influenced the aesthetics of postmodernism include August Strindberg, Luigi Pirandello, and Bertolt Brecht. Postmodern literature represents a break from 19th-century realism and explores subjectivism and fragmentariness in narrative- and character-construction. Samuel Beckett's work is often seen as marking the shift from modernism to postmodernism in literature. The 1980s saw several key works of postmodern literature, including White Noise, New York Trilogy, and Gravity's Rainbow.Postmodern Literature: Themes, Techniques, and Authors

  • Postmodern literature is characterized by irony, playfulness, and black humor, often treated in a playful and humorous way.

  • Intertextuality is a significant feature of postmodern literature, where references to other literary works, extended discussions, or the adoption of a style can be observed.

  • Pastiche, a technique that combines multiple elements, is used to create a unique narrative or comment on situations in postmodernity.

  • Metafiction is essentially writing about writing, often used to undermine the authority of the author and advance a story in a unique way.

  • Fabulation challenges traditional notions of literature and integrates fantastical elements, such as magic and myth, into the narrative.

  • Poioumena refers to a specific type of metafiction in which the story is about the process of creation.

  • Historiographic metafiction fictionalizes actual historical events or figures, and notable examples include The General in His Labyrinth by Gabriel García Márquez and Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow.

  • Temporal distortion is a common technique in postmodern literature, often used for the sake of irony.

  • Magic realism is characterized by the mingling and juxtaposition of the realistic and the fantastic or bizarre, skillful time shifts, and convoluted narratives and plots.

  • Notable postmodern authors include David Foster Wallace, Zadie Smith, Chuck Palahniuk, and Jennifer Egan.

  • Publications such as McSweeney's, The Believer, and the fiction pages of The New Yorker are heralding a new chapter of postmodernism or possibly post-postmodernism.

  • Many postmodern authors emphasize a strong urge for sincerity in literature.Themes and characteristics of postmodern literature

  • Fredric Jameson's description of postmodernism as the "cultural logic of late capitalism" and Jean Baudrillard's claim that postmodernity is characterized by a shift into hyperreality, in which simulations replace the real, are important themes in postmodern literature.

  • Paranoia is another recurring postmodern theme, often straddling the line between delusion and brilliant insight, and often coinciding with the theme of technoculture and hyperreality.

  • Maximalism, characterized by the sprawling canvas and fragmented narrative of some writers, and minimalism, characterized by a focus on surface description and allowing readers to take an active role in the creation of a story, are two stylistic approaches found in postmodern literature.

  • Fragmentation, in which various elements of plot, characters, themes, imagery, and factual references are fragmented and dispersed throughout the work, is another important aspect of postmodern literature.

  • Postmodern literature often presents different perspectives, including John Barth's essay "The Literature of Exhaustion" and "The Literature of Replenishment", Joseph Heller's Catch-22, and Umberto Eco's theory of postmodernism as a kind of double-coding and a transhistorical phenomenon.

  • Postmodern literature often makes use of pop culture references, as noted in David Foster Wallace's essay "E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction".

  • Hans-Peter Wagner offers an approach to defining postmodern literature.


Do you consider yourself a literature enthusiast? Are you interested in exploring the fascinating world of postmodern literature? Test your knowledge of themes, techniques, and authors in this exciting quiz! From intertextuality and metafiction to fabulation and magic realism, this quiz covers it all. Discover the works of notable postmodern authors such as David Foster Wallace and Zadie Smith, and explore the recurring themes of paranoia, hyperreality, and pop culture references. Take the quiz now and see how much

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