Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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Hal Foster begins his Preface to

The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture

(1983) (reprinted as

Postmodern Culture

(1985)) with these questions: “Postmodernism: does it exist at all and, if so, what does it mean? Is it a concept or a practice, a matter of local style or a whole new period or economic phase? What are its forms, effects, place? How are we to mark its advent? Are we truly beyond the modern, truly in (say) a postindustrial age?” (vii). These questions concerned something which had already, by then, been around for almost fifty years, in name at least (Federico de Onís referred to


in his

Antología de la poesía española e hispanoamericana (1882-1932)

(1934), the American poet Charles Olson had spoken of “postmodern man” in a letter to Robert…

3710 words

Citation: Coughlan, David. "Postmodernism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 December 2005 [, accessed 12 June 2024.]

889 Postmodernism 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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