Author Archives

  • Postmodernism’s Critique of Modernism

    Postmodernism is a term applied to a variety of artistic, cultural and philosophical movements that arose as a result of modernism. While modernism frames itself as tahnedculmination of in response to Enlightenment‘s quest for authoritatively rational aesthetics, ethics and knowledge,… Read More ›

  • The postmodern as “the incredulity towards metanarratives”

    Jean Francois Lyotard, in The Postmodern Condition famously described Postmodernism as the “incredulity towards metanarratives”. Postmodernism attacks specific notions of monolithic universals and encourages fractured, fluid and multiple perspectives. Lyotard observes that modernism relies on metanarratives or grand recits —… Read More ›

  • Postmodernism

    Postmodernism broadly refers to a socio-cultural and literary theory, and a shift in perspective that has manifested in a variety of disciplines including the social sciences, art, architecture, literature, fashion, communications, and technology. It is generally agreed that the postmodern… Read More ›

  • The Waste Land as a Modernist Text

    TS Eliot‘s The Waste Land, which has come to be identified as the representative poem of the Modernist canon, indicates the pervasive sense of disillusionment about the current state of affairs in the modern society, especially post World War Europe,… Read More ›

  • Existentialist Movement in Literature

    Existentialism is a term applied to the work of a number of philosophers since the 19th century who, despite large differences in their positions, generally focused on the condition of human existence, and an individual’s emotions, actions, responsibilities, and thoughts,… Read More ›

  • Symbolist Movement in Poetry

    A term specifically applied to the work of late 19th century French writers who reacted against the descriptive precision and objectivity of realism and the scientific determinism of naturalism, Symbolism was first used in this sense by Jean Moreas in… Read More ›

  • Imagism: An Introduction

    Influenced by the poetic theory of TE Hulme and by the style of Japanese Haiku, Imagism emerged as a movement spearheaded by Ezra Pound, Hilda Doolittle, Amy Lowell and others, revolting against the looseness of texture of the Georgian poetry,… Read More ›

  • Avant-Garde’s Relation to Modernist Thought

    The dates of Modernism are disputable, it can be rightly claimed that nascent Modernism budded with the Avant-Garde (a military metaphor, meaning ‘advance guard’) which refers to a small, self-conscious group of artists and authors who deliberately undertook, in Ezra… Read More ›

  • Modernism: On or About December 1910 Human Nature Changed

    “On or about December 1910 human nature changed.” – Virginia Woolf wrote in her essay Mr Bennett and Mrs. Brown in 1924. “All human relations shifted,” Woolf continued, “and when human relations change there is at the same time a change… Read More ›

  • Techniques of Fragmentation Used in Modernism

    Modernism, which emerged out of an “immense panorama of futility and anarchy“, rightly represented in Klee’s painting, The Angel of History, found its radical expression in literature through the techniques of impressionism and subjectivity as exemplified in the stream-of-consciousness method… Read More ›

  • Modernist Metropolis

    Modernism was the first literary movement to take urban life as a given, as a form of experience that was categorically different from any other kind of life. Baudelaire was fascinated by the “flaneur”, the man who strolls the city… Read More ›

  • Modernist Use of Myth

    In an age that was wrought with scientism, technology and loss of spirituality, many of the major modernist writers realised and asserted the employment of integrative mythology in order to give “shape and significance” to the contemporary fragmented reality. The… Read More ›

  • Modernism: Literature between the Wars

    In 1924, Virginia Woolf wrote, “On or about December 1910 human nature changed. All human relations shifted, and when human relations change there is at the same time a change in religion, conduct, politics and literature.” It was an era… Read More ›

  • Decanonisation

    In the wake on Postmodernist critique of modernism and liberal humanism, and with the vogue of Derridean deconstruction and decentering of the subject/centre, the Western canon of “great” books, not only in literature but in all areas of humanistic study, has… Read More ›

  • Julia Kristeva: Intertextuality

    A term popularised by Julia Kristeva in her analysis of Bakhtin’s concepts Dialogism and Carnival, intertextuality is a concept that informs structuralist poststructuralist deliberations in its contention that individual texts are inescapably related to other texts in a matrix of… Read More ›

  • The Yale Critics

    The Yale School is the name given to an influential group of literary critics, theorists, and philosophers of literature who were influenced by Jacques Derrida’s philosophy of deconstruction. Many of the theorists were affiliated with Yale University in the late… Read More ›

  • Aporia

    The word “aporia” originally came from Greek which, in philosophy, meant a philosophical puzzle or state of being in puzzle, and a rhetorically useful expression of doubt. In contemporary theoretical parlance, the term has more been associated with deconstructive criticism,… Read More ›

  • Deconstruction

    Deconstruction involves the close reading of texts in order to demonstrate that any given text has irreconcilably contradictory meanings, rather than being a unified, logical whole. As J. Hillis Miller, the preeminent American deconstructionist, has explained in an essay entitled Stevens’… Read More ›

  • Jacques Derrida: Transcendental Signified

    Upholding the notion of decentering, Derrida asserts that a “fixed” structure is a myth, and that all structures desire “immobility” beyond free play, which is impossible. The assumption of a centre expresses the desire for a “reassuring certitude” which stands… Read More ›

  • Derrida’s Formulation of Ecriture

    Derrida’s formulation of “ecriture” emerges from his criticism of the most significant binaries of speech and writing. Discussing these binaries in his essay Signature Event Context (1972), in an attempt to reorient the established hierarchy of speech over wrifing, (what he… Read More ›