By Joseph P. Natoli
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Extra info for A Postmodern Reader
Is a successful effort to systematize and analyse the various uses of the term at the time of writing. " (1980) although I do not propose to follow Martin's systematization in the discussion that will follow. My pluralist approachto abuse a term that is gaining more and more importance in descriptions of Postmodernismwill predictably lead to an equally pluralist postmodern Weltanschauung. If the various uses of the term Postmodernism are indeed based upon sometimes widely different critical constructs, then the world views identified with these constructs will also show a good deal of variety.
As Hassan points out in a recent article, "the question of Postmodernism remains complex and moot" (Hassan 1983, 25). In fact, nothing much has changed since Köhler published an early survey of the term, seven years ago, and had to conclude that "noch immer keine Übereinstimmung der Autoren darüber herrscht, was als 'postmodern' gelten kann" (Köhler 1977, 16). In other words, I have no serious hope that this survey will be able to point the way out of the terminological labyrinth into which the term Postmodernism has evolved in the course of the debate.
Grail's inclusion of the 'Projective" poetswhose main spokesman was of course Charles Olsonsuggests again the, in my view incontestable link between Fiedler's and Sontag's vitalistic Postmodernism oriented toward an immediacy of experience, and the Postmodernism of Olson and such later critics as William Spanos and Richard Palmer Graff also suggests the link with the "performative'' mode in Postmodernism, a link that I noted above. " Again, a fuller discussion will have to wait until later According to Graff, this supposedly anti-intellectual and hedonistic Post-modernism refuses "to take art 'seriously' in the old sense," it uses art against its own pretensions, it is boastful of its own vulnerability, it rejects analysis and interpretive criticismbecause analysis and interpretation tend to reduce art to abstractions and thereby neutralize its "potentially liberating energies"and its reflects, finally, "a less soberly rationalistic mode of consciousness, one that is more congenial to myth, tribal ritual, and visionary experience, grounded in a 'protean,' fluid, and undifferentiated concept of the self as opposed to the repressed Western ego" (Graff 1979, 31-32).
A Postmodern Reader by Joseph P. Natoli