lunes, 28 de julio de 2014

Postmodern Literature in July


The seventh installment of the Twelve Months of Classic Literature is Postmodern Literature.

It is difficult to define Postmodern Literature, since it encompasses wildly different books and authors. However, they share some common techniques, like metafiction, magical realism or intertextuality. While I haven't read many of the postmodern classics, I've read some postmodern books. As the month is almost finishing and I haven't had time to read and review a classic in this category, I decided to put together a list with my favorite works of postmodern literature


1. Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
2. Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
3. A Tale for the Time Being - Ruth Ozeki
4. Watchmen - Alan Moore
5. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke
7. Fictions and The Aleph and Other Stories - Jorge Luis Borges
8. Maus - Art Spiegelman
9. The Victorian Trilogy - Félix J. Palma
10. The Messenger - Markus Zusak
11. Europa - Romain Gary
12. Pedro Páramo - Juan Rulfo
13. Sleepwalking Land - Mia Couto
14. Agnes - Peter Stamm
15. Strange Pilgrims - Gabriel García Márquez


Unfortunately, there aren't many classics on my list. Any good recommendations?

4 comentarios:

  1. I never thought of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell as postmodern. I think Slaughterhouse-Five and Generation X are excellent postmodern classics. Slaughterhouse-Five is a favourite. Waiting for Godot is also a great example of postmodern theatre.

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    1. Admittedly, the criteria I used to compile the list were quite relaxed. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell is one of the few fantasy novels I've read which incorporates postmodern devices, so that secured it a place on my list.

      Thanks for the recs - I had never heard of Generation X before.

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  2. I am a complete newbie to postmodern lit. In fact, I'm not even sure how it is categorized. I'm curious as to how Don Quixote makes the list .…? I wonder if Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita would fit into this category? In any case, you've given me a number of new books to check out, Masanobu! Thanks!

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    1. Take my list with a grain of salt, because I'm no expert, either. I just enjoy some parts of it, like metafiction and magical realism, but I'm not a fan of absurdism. So I just listed some of my favorite books which happen to have postmodern characteristics.

      Don Quixote is a precursor of many a literature genre and movement, but I feel it is more akin to postmodern literature than to anything else. It is plagued with intertextuality, as many of the jokes are only understandable in the context of classic chivalric romances. Cervantes even cited some of the romances he is building the story about through his characters. Don Quixote definitely challenged the relationship between the reader, the author and the text, and pleaded the reader to entertain critical thoughts about other works of the time.

      The main character, Don Quixote, is actually the embodiment of irony and absurdity that many postmodern lit characters seem to aspire to. He is the father of them all. Don Quixote is always conscious of his futile attempt to fight against the norms of the time, yet he embraces every absurd adventure that comes his way. And the novel is ripe with black humor and fragmented timelines, although in a less obvious way than many postmodern works.

      (Is it too clear that I love Don Quixote? I thought so too, so I'll stop here!)

      I haven't read The Master and Margarita, so I can't say!

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