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- “Postmodernism…can be described as a set of critical, strategic and rhetorical practices

employing concepts such as difference, repetition, the trace, the simulacrum, and
hyperreality to destabilize other concepts such as presence, identity, historical progress,
epistemic certainty, and the univocity of meaning.” (Aylesworth)

Artistic Style:

- Self referential - “Pasitched”

- Defies categories - Blur of fact and fiction
-Intertextual - Pop Culture


- Image and Info -Fragmented

-Global -Blur of past and present

Modernism Postmodernism

1. Emphasizes western ideas, beliefs, and 1. Rejects western values as a

norms representative of human experience

2. Reveals truths 2. Suspicious of “truth”

3. Find depth and meaning behind history 3. Avoids drawing conclusions and dwells
and society on exterior

4. Focuses on central ideas and attempts to 4. Sees human experience as unstable,

create a unified vision/definition contradictory, and inconclusive

5. Authors guide and controls response 5. Creates open interpretations

Black humor: first wave of postmodernist literature

-mocks or makes comedy of rationality


“I hoped the doctor would be totally blind, or he might pull down my underwear, see the brown skid marks
on my white Montgomery Ward cotton briefs, and recommend me for placement in special education” (31)

“Nicholas Scoby, a thuggish boy who sat in the back of the class, ears sealed in a pair of top-of-the-line
Sennheiser stereo headphones and each of his twiggish limbs parked in a chair of its own. Rocking back
and forth in his seat and seemingly oblivious to Ms. Cantrell and life’s lesson plan, Nicholas Scoby seemed
like an autistic hoodlum. . . . Much to the dismay of those who paid attention to the burned-out teachers,
Scoby was a straight-A student” (66).

‘”Nick, I ain’t no ballplayer.’

‘I know you ain’t. I seen you looking at those sonnets, drool dripping out your mouth. You either a poet or
a homosexual.’
‘Oh shit, that’s fucked up. Why can’t I be both?’ (73)

“He must’ve forgotten to close the door, I thought, and walked to the bathroom. Psyco Loco was standing
naked, looking at himself in the mirror. Eye to eye with his demons and crying so hard he had tears on his
knees. I pulled back the shower curtain and handed him a bar of soap. He stepped into the mist . . . and said,
‘Don’t go nowhere, okay?’
‘Yeah, yeah,’ I said, trying not to embarrass either of us by acknowledging Psycho Loco’s pain.” (97)

“There was a timid knock at the door. ‘Judge for yourself.’” (180)

“How to explain that you’re basically white despite having Lopez as a surname” (186)

“…now here you are talking about freedom this and whitey putting shit-in-the-game that you and you don’t
even know what the plaque says?” (199).

Aylesworth, Gary, "Postmodernism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2009 Edition),
Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2009/entries/postmodernism/>.

Docarmo, Stephen N. "Dr. DoCarmo's Notes on Postmodernism." Bucks County Community College. Jan.
2010. Web. 16 Oct. 2010.

White, David L. "Introduction to Modernism and Postmodernism." Walters State Virtual Campus. Sept.
2001. Web. 16 Oct. 2010.