Postmodernism

DEFINITION

Art, architecture, or literature that reacts against earlier modernist principles, as by reintroducing traditional or classical elements of style or by carrying modernist styles or practices to extremes. Phillip Ritter asked about the shades of difference in the meanings of "postmodern", "postmodernist theory" and "postmodernism"."Postmodernist theory" and "postmodernism" are nearly identical. The former can imply more the body of writing along with the thought, while the latter is more simply the body of thought, albeit largely encoded in texts. The term "postmodern theory" is potentially more confusing. It could be read as referring to any or all theory (collective theories) associated with the era of postmodernism, although what most writers probably mean is "postmodernist theory," and perhaps writers can be allowed to expect that the second meaning (postmodernist theory) will be read by readers, if/because this meaning is apparent in the context of its use.-MRDAbout postmodernism: A joke: "What do you get when you cross a postmodernist with a used car salesman? Answer: You get an offer you can't understand." Written by "vance" to a listserve, in turn quoted by "MaloneyMK" on the ArtsEdNet listserve, Jan. 27, 1998. Other resources about postmodernism: the-artists.org has a database about 20th century and contemporary artists. Also see dance, deformalism, feminism and feminist art, gender issues, interdisciplinary, isms and -ism, issue, modernism, new media, semiotics, and theater.

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