IV. Postmodern literature
Currie, Mark, ed. Metafiction. New York : Longman Group, 1995.
Francese, Joseph. Narrating Postmodern Time and Space. NY: SUNY Press, 1997.
Frances defines postmodern writing and distinguishes it from modernist prose by citing the examples of two modern and three postmodern authors (i.e. John Barth and Italo Calvino; Toni Morrison, E.L. Doctorow andAntonioTabucchi). While the modernist narratives of Calvino and Barth attempt to assimilate what is other, the postmodern narratives of Morrison, Doctorow and Tabucchi recognize diversities that cannot be assimilated, instead seeking out external, communicative sources of authentication. To a great extent, these changes in narrative strategy are a response to changes in real living conditions, namely, our modified perception of space and the radical shortening of time horizons caused by recent revolutionary advances in information technology. from the back cover
Geyh, Paula, et al eds. Postmodern American Fiction : A Norton Anthology. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1997.
The scope of the anthology is good: it covers 1. Breaking the Frame, II. Fact Meets Fiction, III. Popular Culture and High Culture Collide, IV. Revisiting History, V/ Revising Tradition, VI Technoculture, VII. A Casebook of Postmodern Theory. It is a pity that there are only short excerpts. It has a good introduction.
Hassan, Ihab. The Postmodern Turn:
Essays in Postmodern Theory and Culture. Ohio: Ohio UP, 1987.
Linda. A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction. New York:
Marshal, Brenda K. Teaching the Postmodern: Fiction and Theory. New York: Routledge, 1992.
(general introduction. Discussions of Calvino, Coetzee, Tournier, Christa Wolf, Rushdie, Findley and Morrison.)
MaHale, Brian. Postmodernist Fiction. New York: Routledge, 1987.
p. 39". . . I have described the repertoire of strategies upon which postmodernist fiction draws in order to foreground the ontological structure of text and world (or worlds in the plural). As an organizing scheme, I have adapted Hrushovski's three-dimensional model of semiotic objects, altering the model in one important respect. Hrushovski's three dimensions are the reconstructed world ("Worlds"), the text continuum ("Words"), and the dimension of speakers, voices, and positions. . . . In place of modernist forms of perspectivism, postmodernist fiction substitutes a kind of ontological perspectivism, . . .This 'flickering' effect intervenes between the text-continuum (the language and style of the text) and the reader's reconstruction of its world.
---. Constructing Postmodernism. New York: Routledge, 1992.
(from back cover) 'Postmodernism is not a found object, but a manufactured artifact.' Beginning from this constructivist premise, Brian McHale develops a series of readings of problematically postmodernist novels --James Joyce's Ulysses, Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow and Vineland, Eco's The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum, the novels of Joseph McElroy and Christine Brooke-Rose, avante-garde works such as Kathy Acker's Empire of the Senseless, and works of cyberpunk science-fiction . . .
Pfeil, Fred. Another Tale to Tell : Politics and Narrative in Postmodern Culture. NY: Verso Books, 1990.
Mazzaro, Jerome. Postmodern American
Poetry. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1980.
(theory and discussion of Woolf, M. Drabble, A. Brooker, S. Plath, A. Tyler, G. Paley, M. Atwood and F. Weldon)
---. Practising Postmodernism Reading Modernism. New York: Edward Arnold, 1992.
(from the back cover) Instead of accepting postmodernism on its own terms as a radical break with previous Western modes of knowledge and representation, Patricia Waugh argues that it is more fruitful to view it as a late phase in a tradition of aestheticist thought inaugurated by philosophers such as Kant and embodied in Romantic and modernist art.
. . . At the outset, the main positions in the postmodernist debate are examined and some of the book's central ideas are developed in the process; the second part of the book goes on the consider the implications for modernism of the arguments advanced, challenging views of modernist writing that derive from the theories of autonomy. The discussion is supported by close readings of three 'postmodern' texts--Salman Rushdie's Shame, Alice Walker's The Color Purple, Doris Lessing's Memoirs of a Survivor-- and three 'modernist' texts -- Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, James Joyce's Ulysses.