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Old 02-09-2005, 09:11 PM   #1
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Postmodernism

So, Melon has dropped the term "postmodernism" in several threads. I've studied a bit, as I'm sure others have. However, I'm guessing that there are others that are scratching their heads going "Whaaa?"

Check this out and then we shall discuss:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism

My observation is that postmodernism either calls to people or it turns them off. I'm in the camp that says we're in a post-post-modernism. I think Critical Realism is the buzzword that is being tossed around (which is kind of a pendulum swing to the opposite side of postmodernism). When I think of the pastiche side of postmodernism, U2's ZooTV era comes to mind. Man, they were so ahead of their time. (And I still think that about Pop.)

Has anybody read Umberto Eco's essay, "City of Robots?" It really makes you think.

It's wide open. We can talk about postmodern elements in U2 or religion or what kind of detergent you buy.

All right Melon, enlighten us...
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Old 02-09-2005, 09:28 PM   #2
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What do you all think about this article ~ reconciling scientific enquiry with postmodern thought. This wonderful piece really opened my eyes to postmodernism and it's intellectual value.
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Old 02-09-2005, 09:38 PM   #3
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Ooh, give me a day or two. There are lots of big words in the title that I have to look up. (Plus I have a pile of Spanish 101/102 compositions just begging to be graded. Ugh!)
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:08 AM   #4
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Re: Postmodernism

Quote:
Originally posted by U2utah2U
I'm in the camp that says we're in a post-post-modernism.
That's interesting, because I agree with you. To a point.

There is no particular agreement as to the start of postmodernism. One group claims that postmodernism started with the construction of the World Trade Center, which was one of the first major structures designed in postmodernist architecture. Hard-core modernists didn't take the construction of the WTC well, it has been noted.

After the construction of the WTC, there was a story of a prominent modernist couple having driven a futuristic 1930s automobile that had never been driven before in public. It caught people's eyes, because it was so very different. It was shaped like a rocket. The couple then proceeded to drive it off of a bridge, and they plunged to their deaths.

Anyway, if the construction of the WTC was the start of postmodernism, I argue that the destruction of it on 9/11 signalled the end of postmodernism. Postmodernists had actually foresaw it's own demise years ago, and predicted that, in its wake, would come a resurgence of modernism. Eventually, though, they predict, modernism will eventually give way to 19th century romanticism and realism. In other words, society will eventually erase all traces of the 20th century.

Currently, I would say that we are in a modernist period. Modernism had lasted from 1880 to about 1945, where it remained in academic circles until around 1970. The unfortunate part of modernism is that it tends to lean towards fanaticism. Both communism and fascism/Nazism were products of modernism, and while I like modernism's tendency towards "futurism," I worry that fanaticism and futurism are inextricably tied together in modernism.

Much of the Bush Administration is textbook modernism. Their "global war on terrorism" reminds me of communism's zeal for "global revolution." After all, Bush isn't just trying to rid the world of terrorism; he's trying to export capitalism around the world. The right-wing think tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC), has already theorized its plan to mold the 21st century in its image, with little disregard for past precedent (that's futurism).

Those who labelled the Bush Administration as "Nazi" were probably thinking of modernism, but just didn't think deep enough. Modernism does not necessarily equal "Nazi" at all. But we have to be on guard for potential fanaticism within American government to prevent it from devolving into extremism. It is my prediction, though, that modernism will eventually give way to fanaticism. I have to pray that it won't get genocidal.

Following society's disillusionment with modernism, that's when I predict we'll go back to romanticism and realism. We will still remember postmodernism, and we won't want anything to do with it. Yet.

Melon
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:17 AM   #5
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Damn, this is heavy stuff. Let me finish grad school before I have any business commenting on this stuff.
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:15 PM   #6
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Nah, the whole point was so that people who didn't know a whole lot about these trends could get some nuts and bolts info.

By no means am I saying I know everything about post-modernism. In fact, most of my experience is on the literary side of things. Melon's post enlightened my understanding. (By the way, where does Brasilia's arquitecture fit into all of that? I'll have to check and see when it was built (ah, 1956-1960). I always thought that was one of the first post-modern structures.)

As far as literature goes, Post Colonial Theory and Global Theory are still lingering but there is a huge movement for Critical Realism. I'm not sure I understand all of the trends with that one but a lot of my snooty learned friends say Critical Realism is the cat's pijamas.

Personally, I like the Modernists of Latin America. I mean, I'm not going to write my dissertation on them but they were cool.

Fernando Pessoa is one of my all time favorite poets. He's a Portuguese poet that lived 1888 - 1935. He was definitely a Modernist and even a futurist. I don't equate literary Modernism with fascism or Nazism. However, I do agree there are philosphical trends that could lead to that extreme mind-set.

My $.02.
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Old 02-11-2005, 06:09 AM   #7
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um, modernism began with the enlightenment
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Old 02-11-2005, 06:10 AM   #8
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Brian Mclaren offers an interesting christian perspective on post-modernism in his books A New Kind of Christian and The Story We Find Ourselves In
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Old 02-11-2005, 10:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueyedpoet
um, modernism began with the enlightenment
i thought it was the industrial revolution, and then modernism reached it's terrifying conclusion in the Holocaust. post WW2, postmodernity began.

that's my quick, simplified understanding of the modern/postmodern transition.
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Old 02-11-2005, 10:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueyedpoet
um, modernism began with the enlightenment
I disagree. Modernism is thought to have emanated from the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, whose writings were originally labelled as "anti-humanist."

I believe that humanism emanated from the Enlightenment. Humanists had a tendency towards romanticism (they invented the concept of the Renaissance in the early 1800s), and they helped create the basis for education that we have today ("the humanities").

While modernism is seen as a rejection of humanism and its tendencies towards romanticism, postmodernism tends to be romanticist. As an example, we have fashion trends that are "revivals" of past decades. That is a very postmodernist idea.

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Old 02-11-2005, 05:03 PM   #11
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I think that Nazism as an ideology has a lot more to do with romanticism than modernism, the long term goals of the Nazi regime were almost an amalgamation ~ armament and death camps were the modernist means to the nostalgic end with a 1000 year Reich.
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
I think that Nazism as an ideology has a lot more to do with romanticism than modernism, the long term goals of the Nazi regime were almost an amalgamation ~ armament and death camps were the modernist means to the nostalgic end with a 1000 year Reich.

yes, but not the concentation camps. they were essentially machines of mass production. only they were producing death, literally.
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Old 02-11-2005, 11:54 PM   #13
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Rationality, logic, scientific discovery etc are all foundations to modernism. Thus, modernism first began to take shape during the enlightenment. This is, at least, what my Modern History textbooks say
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Old 02-12-2005, 12:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2utah2U
(By the way, where does Brasilia's arquitecture fit into all of that? I'll have to check and see when it was built (ah, 1956-1960). I always thought that was one of the first post-modern structures.)
That's quite an odd example to categorize, as it was in the same vein as the concurrent trend in Capital design, akin to Le Corbusier's Chandigarh and even his previous theoretical works in city planning. A lot of folks blame his influence and the planning models that emerged from Neo-Classical German Fascist Garden Cities for the mess that is twentieth century suburban sprawl. Brasilia and Chandigarh are most definitely Modern with a capital M, even though their spirit may contain the precursors for PostModern Critical Regionalism.

As far as Nazi Germany goes, they were for all intents and purposes a confluence of Modernism and Neo-Classicism. The party both wanted to be Old Rome and to reclaim the hinterlands through referenciality... but at the same time they strived for the Futurist spectrum of Fascism: an almost chaotic desire to destroy and re-write history. Sure the speed and technology of Futurism is a seductive ideology in the context of exciting new media, but as a practice it has a dehumanizing aspect. Without a consideration for one's past or one's own context, any development towards a new philosophy is groundless and ultimately a failure.

On a sidenote, some circles point to the creation of perspectival qualities in art during the renaissance/enlightenment as the beginning of The Modern Age. However, this term is significantly different than Modernism... which is moreso a modular practice of the arts in many fields of design and expression. Postmodernism is the reaction... putting people back in places and reducing the presence of the machine.
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Old 02-12-2005, 06:27 AM   #15
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Right now quite frankly I'm confused about the whole thing right now. Modern philosophy as we know it came in with the change in the seventeenth century. This was when people stopped quoting some ancient authority figure, like Galen or Aristotle, as proof that something was true. Rather, they started to use experiments, hypotheses, and our modern methods of proving something is either true or false. In the Renaissance, people who were still using authority figures. This drove Andreas Vesalius, the founder of modern anatomy, crazy. He found out that Galen had made mistakes and these mistakes had always been treated as facts because Galen said them. This made no sense because dissection wasn't allowed by the Church back then and everyone assumed that human anatomy was just like that of other animals. This, of course, was incorrect. Vesalius knew this because he actually dissected. Incredibly, the universities continued to defend Galen because they didn't think he could make a mistake because they still accepted the "authority citation" stuff, and the scientists had to fight to get the experimental method accepted. I'm going to have to learn more about modernism vs. postmodernism in graduate school. I have to start out with two historiography classes. I studied my previous history prior to 9/11. This has changed everything. I'm sure I'll find out all about this.
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