Postmodernist lit: so pomo

Postmodernist literature is, by nature, complex to define and in trying to so categorize a given title as such, it’s all too easy to succumb to a series of strange debates and contradictions. This we know and this we accept. But, because the criteria is often so unclear, it’s also, unfortunately, one of those terms easily snatched up like gold and shortened for a handy go-to to address some degree of take-me-seriously-itis, especially when coupled with a disinterested yawn. As in: Oh, (yawn) that’s so pomo.

Hi, please.

So, last week, when I was up to my eyelashes in the ongoing Kindle nonsense, I saw my regularly-enjoyed LA Times books blog post their list of 61 essential reads of postmodern literature.
The annotated list is cross-categorized by such details as “author is a
character”, “includes historical falsehoods”, and “comments on its own
bookishness” and the whole thing is complete with symbols. But, while
the post is all well and good, the comments, people, the
comments are a riot, particularly the moment in which great debate
erupts over pre-post-metafictional-pomo-neo-classical classification
points. Gold.

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  • I'm loving the term "take-me-seriously-itis."

  • Thanks! Descriptive, no?

  • Came here to say that, too.

    Does anyone else find "Magical Realism" a really, really tedious designation? Yes, yes, Amelie and Run Lola Run are still two of my favorite films of all time, but frankly it was mostly on the strength of Audrey Tautou and Franka Potente. Can you see Franz Kafka being OK with being painted by the "Magical Realism" brush? To me, the creative people that do Magical Realism the best don't need a descriptor to legitimize or further define their work. As someone who reads and edits fiction as well as writes it, I foresee a great eye-rolling tide of poorly-constructed crap being thrust at me under the banner of Magical Realism.

  • My favorite comment from that article:

    "Wikipedia has decent definitions of these things!"

  • mark, you're leaving out Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the father of "magical realism." also, if we want to get picky, i dont think you need to capitalize magical realism.

  • Very true. Another case of "people on the internet do it, so I did it without thinking." *frown*

    My wife loves GGM, and embarrassingly I've never read anything by him. Any suggestions on where I should start?

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