– Definition of modernism and postmodernism;
– Role of modernism and postmodernism in world literature;
Similarities in modernism and postmodernism.
– Similar roots coming from realism;
– Stylistic characteristics;
– Thematic characteristics;
Differences in modernism and postmodernism.
– Fragmentation and subjectivism as an existential crisis in modernist literature;
– Role of the artist in internal conflict in postmodernism;
– Role of playfulness and meaning in both genres;
– Generalization of the thesis;
– Acknowledge of the thesis.
Modernist literature was characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional aesthetic forms. Utopian spirit of early modernist literature. It’s hard to define exact characteristics of postmodern literature. Postmodern literature is commonly defined in relation to modernist literature. Role of modernism and postmodernism in world literature. These genres represent a shift from a knowledge-based aesthetic to a being-based aesthetic.
Similarities in genres: common roots, personality in centre of the events, common themes and techniques.
Differences in genres: modernism is characterized by an epistemological dominant while postmodernism works are primarily concerned with questions of ontology.
In modernism the artist is often cited as the one to solve the internal conflict. In postmodernism the artist is impotent and the chaos is insurmountable, playfulness becomes central and meaning becomes unlikely.
Conclusion. Summary of similarities and differences in both genres.
In the early 20th century a new movement was born in Europe. It was characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional aesthetic forms. It was a new genre of literature that struggled with the new realm of subject matter brought about by an increasingly industrialized world. Both modernism and postmodernism represent a break from 19th century realism and a shift from a knowledge-based aesthetic to a being-based aesthetic. Though there are differences between these two genres, postmodern literature is commonly defined in relation to its precursor.
It’s hard to draw the exact line between modern and postmodern literature. They have common roots, themes and techniques, and there is always an individual in the center of the events. In character development, both modern and postmodern literature explore subjectivism, turning from external reality to examine inner states of consciousness, and fragmentariness in narrative- and character-construction. But there are some differences too.
Modernism is characterized by an epistemological dominant while postmodernism works are primarily concerned with questions of ontology. In modernism subjectivity is seen as a problem to be solved and the artist is often cited as the one to solve the internal conflict. On the other hand, in postmodernism the artist is impotent and the chaos is insurmountable. Playfulness is also an important aspect of two genres, but in postmodern literature it becomes central and the meaning becomes unlikely.
Comparing postmodernism and modernism I’ve come to the conclusion that these literature genres have many things in common. With a closer look I can tell that postmodernism is rather a smooth shift from the main ideas of modern literature to something similar but more acute, than a completely new and different genre of literature. A lot of critics tried to define the exact period when a line between two genres should be drawn. But to my mind, there is no sharp border between modernism and postmodernism, only a segue from one genre to another.
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