As our fearless leader said, once our class struggled through the conflicting definitions of?post and modern isms, “We’re drinking from?the fire hose here.”
No doubt. I can’t digest it all without drowning in confusion. So, in order to?quell the full rush of information down to a?slow trickle, I turn my focus toward the differences between modern and postmodern?text. (After all, this is an English class.)
In Malpas? The Postmodern, according to literary critic Brian McHale:
Modern fiction asks about how a world can be interpreted and changed and is interested in questions of truth and knowledge, i.e. in epistemology ?
Postmodern fiction confronts the reader with questions about what sort of world is being created at each moment in the text, and who or what in a text they can believe or rely on, i.e. questions of ontology. (24)
[Insert brilliant analysis?here one day.]?
Of?the postmodern/ontology connection, I find the argument between Jameson and Hutcheon (25-26) most interesting. They fully disagree with?what value?exists in the different ways?we interrogate our human condition.
- Jameson?is?ticked?that the PoMo world refers to a history that never happened
- ?Hutcheon is all for exploring concepts while illustrating that there is no?gaurantee of Truth in the history that Jameson cherishes.
AND, I love them both. I?experienced?each side?while watching The Last King of Scotland.?(Great movie, by the way.) The mix of history and fiction deeply disturbed me, only after I saw the movie, because I believed the entire story to be true. I explain in more detail?on Misty?s blog.
Has anyone else seen this movie? Did you?know?that the Scottish doctor is a fictional device used to explore the myths surrounding?the?very real Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin??Until I watched the DVD special features, I thought he was a real guy. Like many Ugandans themselves, I am in the?historical?dark when it comes to African history.
So,?how does this play into postmodern democratization??It doesn’t necessarily bring “history” to the people. Instead, doesn’t this illustrate that postmodern interplay requires a?complex education in which techniques of storytelling are at work prior to understanding what is being told? I’m feeling the elitist vibe of “T.S. Eliot and Company” knocking?at the door and can’t decide if I should open it. At the same time, I feel like the terrorizing essence of Idi Amin was better captured via the close relationship with the fictitious doctor and many?Ugandans will learn?about that man. In that case,?are the exact details of such importance? Probably not.