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From: "Tony Ellis" <tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) postmodernism, OTism, continent-ism
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 10:27:49 

Daniel Fusch wrote:

> By the way, I'm MUCH more familiar with modernism than postmodernism, so if
>   anybody can clarify or correct my explanation here, I won't mind!
I suspect that there are as many explanations of
postmodermism as there are postmodernists, but my own pet
in-one-sentence definition is to say that postmodern art is
self-aware art. It's art with a built-in awareness of its
own artificiality.

For modernists art was a way of trying to get as close as
possible to the 'Truth' (eg: Joyce's epiphanies): the
characters, the sensations, were all supposed to seem as
real as possible, while the art that brought them to you
remained transparent. In postmodernism the art itself is the
subject of the art. Thus in Ben Marcus's fascinatingly
bonkers 'The Age of Wire and String' you can have a chapter
that begins: "Sky Destroys Dog. Air days, in the Western
Worship Boxes, traditionally the Wednesday, Friday, and
Half-Man Day following the first Sunday that a dog has
suffocated the weather." You're not supposed to look beyond
the words for some higher meaning, you stop at the words
themselves and their arrangement.

Alga wrote:

> the stone town is Athens (and that when you go back a million years [say] at
> that lattitude and longitude you find yourselves not in Greece but in South
> America),
That is such an ingenious sleight-of-hand! But... but... if
the stone town is Athens, how can Severian, the Cumaen and
co. be sitting on the roof of Apu-Punchau's house, when that
was built a million years ago in South America? "When the
building was completed, I recognized the roof upon which
Jolenta would die, and I knew I would be buried beneath it."
TUOTNS, chapter L.

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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