Productive Postmodernism addresses the differing accounts of postmodernism found in the work of Fredric Jameson and Linda Hutcheon, a debate that centers around the two theorists' senses of pastiche and parody. For Jameson, postmodern texts are ahistorical, playing with pastiched images and aesthetic forms, and are therefore unable to provide a critical purchase on culture and capital. For Hutcheon, postmodern fiction and architecture remain political, opening spaces for social critique through a parody that deconstructs official history. Thinking in the space between these two sharply different positions, the essays in this collection investigate a broad range of contemporary fiction, film, and architecture--from such narratives as Don DeLillo's Libra, Toni Morrison's Beloved, and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, to the vastly different spaces of Las Vegas casinos and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum--in order to ask what the cultural work of a postmodern aesthetic might be.
About the Author
John N. Duvall is Associate Professor of English at Purdue University and the author of The Identifying Fictions of Toni Morrison: Modernist Authenticity and Postmodern Blackness and Faulkner's Marginal Couple: Invisible, Outlaw, and Unspeakable Communities.