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By Joseph P. Natoli

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Extra info for A Postmodern Reader

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I will of course not be relating the postmodern views to any single concept of Modernism; Modernism may not be as unstable a concept as Postmodernism, but it would be optimistic to say that any characterization of Modernism is widely accepted. Rather, I will follow the critics that I will be discussing in their understanding of the concept. A final word, then, on my choice of material. I have mostly restricted myself to those critical sources that actually made use of the term postmodern of postmodernist, either with or without a hyphen, with capitals or without capitals (or even with hyphen and capitals, as in the extreme case of Post-Modern).

Other influences are Buckminster Fuller, the ecological and transcendent science fiction of Ursula LeGuin, and the magical world of Carlos Castaneda. It is seen by its practitioners and by its early critics such as Fiedler and Sontag as a radical departure from Modernism, with a value system all its own. However, later critics tend to see continuing links with Modernism (Graff) or with the Avant-garde of the modern period (Hassan and others). 3 Postmodernism as an Intellectual Revolt against Modernism In 1969, Richard Wasson identified a Postmodernism (although he does not use the term) that shares the revolt against Modernism and Modernist assumptions with the Postmodernism of the counterculture, but is far more intellectual and also international, not specifically American.

To engage literature in an ontological dialogue with the world in behalf of the recovery of the authentic historicity of modern man (Spanos 1972, 165-66). For Spanos, Modernist literature is iconic, indulges in a "religioaesthetic withdrawal from existential time into the eternal simultaneity of essential art" (Spanos 1972, 158), and only that literature deserves the name Post-modernist that accepts contingent historicity from an existential point of view. Such a Postmodernist literature refuses "to fulfill causally oriented expectations, to create fictions .

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