Fragmentation in Postmodern Novels

John Hawkes once divulged that when he began to write he assumed that “the true enemies of the novel were plot, character, setting and theme”. Certainly many subsequent authors have done their best to sledgehammer these four literary cornerstones into oblivion. Either plot is pounded into small slabs of event and circumstance, characters disintegrate into… Read More Fragmentation in Postmodern Novels

Looseness of Association in Postmodern Works

Many postmodernist writers disrupt the smooth production and reception of texts by welcoming chance into the compositional process. The infamous The Unfortunates (1969) by B. S.Johnson, for instance, is a novel-in-a-box which instructs the reader to riffle several loose-leaf chapters into any order. Only the first and last chapter are denominated, otherwise the sections can… Read More Looseness of Association in Postmodern Works

Modernism, Postmodernism and Film Criticism

Postmodern cinema ironically has a history now. In 1984, Fredric Jameson observed that contemporary culture seemed to be expressing a new form of ‘depthlessness‘ – a concentration on style and ‘surface’. For Jameson these features represented a retreat from the need to supply a univocal narrative closure to the postmodern text, predicated on the fragmentation… Read More Modernism, Postmodernism and Film Criticism

Cyberculture, Cyberpunk, Technopoly and Cybercriticism

Cyberculture: cyberspace, technoculture, virtual communities, virtual realities, virtual identities, virtual space, cyborgs, cybernetics, cyberbodies, spectacles, simulations, simulacra and so forth. Cyberculture exists within the globally networked, computer-sustained, computer-accessed and/or computer-generated multidimensional virtual realities. Originally existing in the pages of science fiction, cybernetics – systems of control and communication in animals and machines – made cyberculture… Read More Cyberculture, Cyberpunk, Technopoly and Cybercriticism

Chaos Theory, Complexity Theory and Literary Criticism

Chaos theory and complexity theory challenge some of our most deeply held beliefs about the nature of reality. The former claims that natural systems (for example, the weather) are controlled by mysterious forces, called ‘strange attractors‘, such that they are simultaneously random and determined -a conclusion which undermines the laws of logic on which so… Read More Chaos Theory, Complexity Theory and Literary Criticism

Anthropological Criticism: An Essay

Anthropological criticism refers, broadly speaking, to a form of criticism that situates the making, dissemination and reception of literature within the conventions and cultural practices of human societies. Such an undertaking has become increasingly suspect in the twentieth century as critiques of the idea of the centred subject and of a stable field of knowledge… Read More Anthropological Criticism: An Essay