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Postmodern Novels and Novelists
In defense of ugly prose - The Writer
Postmodernism began in the sixties, when there developed on both sides of the Atlantic a feeling that poetry had become too ossified, backward-looking and restrained. Certainly it was clever, with striking imagery, symbolism and structural economy, but it was also far too predictable. Where were the technical innovations of the early modernists? Where were the alternatives to capitalism and the modern state that feature in Pound's or Lawrence's thought? And if contrary movements existed, they seemed disorganized. The UK might have its neo-Romantics, and a reaction to them.
Iconoclastic and irreverent, the postmodern novel is by definition a radical experiment that emerges when a writer feels the customary tropes of fiction have been exhausted. For the postmodernist , the well-worn genre of the novel is insufficient and no longer capable of conveying the imagination of the writer or the magnitude of historical events. Several critics agree that postmodern fiction is a product of the post-World War II period. Other writers, including William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway , had ceased publishing innovative and experimental work. Critics also tend to concur that postmodernism is an extension of rather than a decisive break or deviation from modernism, the defining literary movement of the twentieth century.
Postmodern literature is a form of literature that is characterized by the use of metafiction , unreliable narration , self-reflexivity , intertextuality , and which often thematizes both historical and political issues. This style of experimental literature emerged strongly in the United States in the s through the writings of authors such as Kurt Vonnegut , Thomas Pynchon , Philip K. Dick , Kathy Acker , and John Barth. Postmodernists often challenge authorities , which has been seen as a symptom of the fact that this style of literature first emerged in the context of political tendencies in the s.