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Thread: Postmodern Techniques

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    Postmodern Techniques

    i promised i would post these up, those doing pomo should know these already but probably helpful to know and to use as a checklist for your essay, particularly if you are integrating the texts by the techniques they use.

    Non-Traditional or Non-Linear Structure
    This includes use of a poly-temporal time structure where several time frames run at once. This is evident in texts like Orlando, where the protagonist seemingly lives for 400 years.

    Self Reflexivity
    where texts point out their fictional nature - a good example is in an episode of the simpsons where bart and lisa discuss how unusual / abnormal it would be for someone to have five fingers

    Hybrid Structure (including use of techniques such as Pastiche and Bricolage)
    easily explained, used in Possession which is a collection of letters, memoirs etc, and used in FLW also with the epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter

    authorial knowingness
    This can be used in two ways - one, as an example of irony, where the author writes in the "god-like" convention of most texts, and combines knowingness with non-omniscient narration. The second is where the author knows more than the timeframe of the story. for example, in FLW, fowles says :had they but been able to see into the future! For Ernestina was to outlive all her generation

    Irony
    Pretty self explanatory, but present in Orlando: in the opening scenes we are presented with an androgynous character; it is difficult to determine the sex of orlando, and the narrator ironically states: “he, for there can be no doubt about his sex”

    Multi – Voiced Narratives
    Also self -explanatory, pomo texts can often be told from the viewpoint of multiple characters / perspectives, reinforces the "no one truth" idea.

    Fluid Identity
    Obvious in FLW, where Sarah is a pastiche of female stereotypes. she is a woman of a clouded past, sexually deviant, the "fallen eve", the virgin, even the mother.

    Existentialism
    A key belief of pomo, expressed when characters take control of their destiny.

    Cynicism
    often present through authorial intrusion, where, for example, an author may criticise his/her characters for their moral faults.

    Non-Omniscient Narration
    where an author appears to have no control over his / her characters, including not knowing what they are thinking. again, in FLW: "When Charles left Sarah on her cliff-edge, I ordered him to walk straight back to Lyme Regis. But he did not; he gratuitously turned and went down to the Dairy.”

    Blurring of Boundaries (known as Simulacra)
    coined by Baudrillard. Generally refers to the blurring of reality and fiction (apparent when fowles is on the train with charles towards the end of FLW) but can refer to any blurring of distinction - eg in Orlando, there is a blurring between sex and gender, and the forms of film and novel (the division of the film into chapters)

    Challenging of Meta Narratives
    coined by Lyotard. A challenging of "truths" including class, gender, religion etc. Also extends to the challenge of literary conventions. Something which you will find in pretty much any postmodern text.


    feel free to add to the list or to any individual definitions.
    sorry they are brief, im a bit rushed.

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    Member gracie007's Avatar
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    Re: Postmodern Techniques

    Thats a great list. What about..

    Ontological Games
    - POMO texts like to play games with ontological levels, flickering between different layers of 'reality' and representation like Ros & Guil Are Dead, Purple Rose Of Cairo, Will Self's short stories, Pynchon's Vineland.
    -Often use 'ontological flicker' - a term of Brian McHale's, about switching between levels to create a kind of vertigo.
    -Ontology: the branch of philosophy that studies what is. It includes defining categories like reality, illusion, etc.


    Mise en abyme
    -Literally 'thrown into the abyss' the phrase, from the French, to explain, in heraldry, where shields are inside shields inside shields. Like the effect created by mirrors in a department store, you get a vertiginous disappearance into the horizon and lose sense of perspective. Such Chinese boxes, or Russian Dolls effect, can be seen in Paul Auster's New York trilogy, or even, in part, FLW.

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    Re: Postmodern Techniques

    Thanks heaps for the list, its good,

    adding,

    INTERTEXTUALITY

    however, i have some major issues in grappling these techniques,

    These techniques, although we associate with pomo, is not strictly pomo.
    I don't understand how we say that these techniques challenge 'conventions' when they were breached many times in the past.

    e.g.
    Non-Traditional or Non-Linear Structure
    Dorian Grey is immortal, that's 'non-traditional' like Orlando,

    Don Quixote is certainly far from 'normal',

    Heck the original orlando does not follow any 'linerarity'... unless by the fact that Woolf was modernist means that the non-linearity was on the merge already...

    I can see the 'difference' with art like Warhol or Cristo... but in terms of 'non-linearity' i have trouble i suppose in writing it...


    Self Reflexivity

    Self Reflexivity i thought have been used for ages, try "reader I married him"?


    Irony

    But irony has existed for ages, think Shakespeare's comedies
    The irony seen in Twelfth Night for a specific example


    Fluid Identity
    Obvious in FLW, where Sarah is a pastiche of female stereotypes. she is a woman of a clouded past, sexually deviant, the "fallen eve", the virgin, even the mother.


    Existentialism

    Just think Through The Looking Glass (and what alice found there) and read Alice's conversation with Tweedledum and Tweedledee, both in terms of describing Alice's existence, and the idea of the Red King's dream


    Blurring of Boundaries (known as Simulacra)
    As i'm stuck in wonderland,
    Read Jabberwocky, the 'fake' words demonstrates how we are in a hyperreality as the words create a 'world' in where we understand that "someone killed something"...
    Even in terms of his adaption of his 'told story' and his 'written story', the overlay between his real experiences with the Liddells is blurred in what really is happening in wonderland...


    well that's mainly it, should i just ignore my potential worries and write what i've been tought and get the marks for hsc or other?

    cheers
    Last edited by Quilan; 22 Jul 2006 at 8:30 PM.

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    Re: Postmodern Techniques

    Double posting as this post is unrelated to existential moment ^

    Ok, Can we do a Pomo Techniques to texts too?
    Ill try start with Dead White Males,

    DWM: Mostly an analysis of postmodernism vs 'liberal humanism". But still uses certain postmodern techniques.

    TECHNIQUES

    * Blurring of boundaries (not simulacrum):
    - Williamson's bringing back of Shakespeare to life, and then killing him, to bring him back to life again; We are left unsure on why shakespeare is there.

    * Non-Linearity:
    -The random introduction/recreation of "As You Like It", using the same characters. Also blurring boundaries, as you do not realise whether the characters are their own charachters or not

    *Intertextuality: kinda minor and stretching it but...
    - Use of Focault and Shakespeare
    - Use of Godzilla vs The Smog Monster Which was a real movie and was rated as attrocious.

    *Irony: Really strectching
    -"go Foucault yourself", using intertextual reference, and giving Steve insight into Angela/Swain's conversation previous.

    *hyper reality: ok related to breaking down of boundaries, not sure if this works
    -. 1st level: DWM is a play involving the discussion of pomo theory.
    . 2nd level: This discussion of pomo, is reflected inside Angela's life with steve and Melissa
    . 3rd level: pomo theory is applied to the lives of Angela's relatives with Col vs the others
    In this regards it represents the tiers of 'reality' in the play that is all interconnected... to summarise the summary of the summary: its a simulacrum - they are all representations of postmodernsim but not actually 'it'.

    I want to also do it in terms of pomo theorists to link it to but i dont have time atm, but in brief?:

    IN TERMS OF POSTMODERN THEORISTS (unfinished):

    *Foucault: Explores (wrongly) his idea of "jouissance"
    *Baudrillard's Simulacrum

    next 4 are all linked to shakespeare's work:
    *Barthes' "Death of the Author" - regarding perceptions of Shakespeare's work; "I can scarce believe i wrote it", primarily Angela's discussion of Shakespeares work telling shakespeare what it's about

    *Foucaults (again): Swain descibes the "male patriarchy"; i.e. institutions controlling power i.e. what Foucault (and Satre to a degree too) said


    Well that's what i've got.
    anyone want to do Orlando/FLW (the ones im studying ), Possession/IOWN?

  5. #5
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    Re: Postmodern Techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by Quilan
    Thanks heaps for the list, its good,

    adding,

    INTERTEXTUALITY

    however, i have some major issues in grappling these techniques,

    These techniques, although we associate with pomo, is not strictly pomo.
    I don't understand how we say that these techniques challenge 'conventions' when they were breached many times in the past.

    e.g.
    Non-Traditional or Non-Linear Structure
    Dorian Grey is immortal, that's 'non-traditional' like Orlando,

    Don Quixote is certainly far from 'normal',

    Heck the original orlando does not follow any 'linerarity'... unless by the fact that Woolf was modernist means that the non-linearity was on the merge already...

    I can see the 'difference' with art like Warhol or Cristo... but in terms of 'non-linearity' i have trouble i suppose in writing it...


    Self Reflexivity

    Self Reflexivity i thought have been used for ages, try "reader I married him"?


    Irony

    But irony has existed for ages, think Shakespeare's comedies
    The irony seen in Twelfth Night for a specific example


    Fluid Identity
    Obvious in FLW, where Sarah is a pastiche of female stereotypes. she is a woman of a clouded past, sexually deviant, the "fallen eve", the virgin, even the mother.


    Existentialism

    Just think Through The Looking Glass (and what alice found there) and read Alice's conversation with Tweedledum and Tweedledee, both in terms of describing Alice's existence, and the idea of the Red King's dream


    Blurring of Boundaries (known as Simulacra)
    As i'm stuck in wonderland,
    Read Jabberwocky, the 'fake' words demonstrates how we are in a hyperreality as the words create a 'world' in where we understand that "someone killed something"...
    Even in terms of his adaption of his 'told story' and his 'written story', the overlay between his real experiences with the Liddells is blurred in what really is happening in wonderland...


    well that's mainly it, should i just ignore my potential worries and write what i've been tought and get the marks for hsc or other?

    cheers
    huh.. thats irrelevant.
    the point is to discuss techniques used by pomo texts. how they use them differs. if you look at flw, for example, fowles uses convention and styles of convention to undermine it

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    Re: Postmodern Techniques

    right, got you... i hope

    so semantically speaking, the techniques aren't 'postmodern techniques', they are techniques that are used in postmodern texts...



    so then, what we are meant to discuss/learn in the module (in regards to a response) is;

    1. how composers use these techniques in order to subvert 'something'.

    2. And by using these techniques, and thus subverting, they enlist with postmodern 'theory' such as what 'blah' says

    3. And that thus this is postmodernism

    4. And that's a 'postmodern' way of thinking

    of course manipulating the structure a little.

    I hope above isnt too confusing, but im getting somewhat confused

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    New Member mishxo's Avatar
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    Re: Postmodern Techniques

    hey I just finished term 1 of year twelve and in a week and a few days i will be starting my term 2..Im doing postmodern/gothic for ext2 and the above stuff written are way awesome and HELPful..GREAT stuff..THANKS alot.

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    Unhappy Re: Postmodern Techniques

    Nice list, i fiind it difficult to relate techniques to a postmodern texts i find the links really weak and i dont understand how to show a text is pomo??

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    Re: Postmodern Techniques

    This thread has been really helpful. Thanks very much.

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