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Postmodernism - Essay

Introduction

❶The kind of criticism that often has to be invoked in discussing a traditional realistic novel is in the indicative mode:

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All of our relationships, our dreams and memories are surrounded by the shapes of architecture. The buildings started to have a completely different meaning in early 30s and began to express not only the outside but also the inside of the building. The basics in architectural design before and after the modernism, has always been the same such as space making, space defining or looking how the light falls within the space.

The only thing that has changed was the use and the connection of materials. In late 18th century when the High Baroque style appeard it was very popular for architects to use smooth, light-coloured surfaces, occasionally curved, and extensive areas of glass windows and mirrors. Then the modernism started, and the look of roof design became flat and simple.

There were also some changes in the material category. Glass towers, steel frames or reinforced concrete became to be the main aspects of architectural life.

One of the most famous buildings in 20th century, modern architecture was the Bauhaus placed in Germany. It was designed by an architect called Walter Adolf Georg Gropius in The Bauhaus was mainly used for exhibitions, concerts and theatrical performences but was also used for educational purposes.

Bauhas inspired architects from other countries and continents to create a place where people would share with their similar interests and knowledge. This was a perfect place for people that were creative and admired art in every meaning. The Bauhaus movement transformed the design and production of modern architecture and has used steel frames and glass walls and windows. Gropius used a big amount of glass to make the building feel like an open space.

Open space suggests that he wanted to make people feel free and independent. The amazing structure of the Bauhaus gives an incredible impression particularly at night time when the lights highlight the beauty and freedom of glass walls.

Architecture became modern when the revolution of materials and technology appeared in 20th century. These famous modern designs are mainly made out of glass. In modern Architecture glass is almost like a principle of modernism. Another feature of modernism is non symmertrical windows and roofs. Sharp and clear lines used sa simplicity are the main key ideas in modernism. Another important thing and how you can recognise modernism is when you see open spaces with a lot of light coming through different shaped and angled windows.

One of the precursors to Modernism is Roman Architecture. The building that I choose is called Pantheon that was built in Rome in AD and it was rebuilt by the emperor Hadrain.

This building was a combination of classical and modern styles. The architect who designed Pantheon has not been discovered and no records have been made so the architect remained unknown. Until now the building remains the best preserved in Roman Architecture. The Pantheon is one of the best achievements in the worlds history of architecture because of its astonishing construction and size. As the architect of the Pantheon was unknown people didnt know what was the purpose of the building.

Its enourmous space inside has given people idea that the possible mean of Pantheon could be a temple to all gods because of its open space and a whole in the dome. This is a perfect place for others to take a rest and sooth their thoughts. They wanted to show this by building a massive dome from concrete.

It was very hard and risky to design a dome that would be 44 meters long without any concrete reinforcment as it would presumably collapse under its own weight. However the engineers ventured to build the design and it came out as one of the most famous buildings in the world. This is placed in the centre of the dome and its a whole that is ten meters wide.

The fantastic open space was very important in this design because this helped the light come through and illuminate the whole dark space inside as there is no electrical lighting involved. The front construction of the building is supported by sixteen of the finest columns made from Egyptian granite. The next very eye catching feature is the huge bronze front door that are seven meter tall and are opening to a cercular area.

The moment you walk in the only thing you can think of is the space around you. The engineers have made the dome out of concrete and came up with an idea of rings of collars around the dome to make reduce its weight and the pressure. They have made the dome very thick at the bottom and the concrete was lighter within each layer.

To reduce the weight of the concrete dome architects came up with an idea to cut out symmetrical and characteristic square shapes on the inside of the dome which also decorated the interior in unusual way. The construction materials that have been used when making the Pantheon are heavy concrete and limestone blocks which was very popular in Rome at that time and used in almost every Roman Architectural design.

This is not an isolated or lonely struggle: It is not a homogenization of all others that one is talking about, but a kind of solidarity through difference, compatibility through plurality, which can strengthen them in their contest with the massed forces of postmodernism.

The cultures of resistance that the non-West must seek to create are not about eradicating the individual in the search to re-establish the community as a viable thriving entity. It is rather the rejection of notion that human beings can find and are fulfilled through the existential loneliness and angst of postmodern existence.

The quest is to find a new dispensation, their own multiple and diverse cultural means beyond the straitjacket of western modernity and postmodernism where individual and community form a symbiotic whole. But, the postmodernist thinkers nowhere seem to be oriented towards a coherent society with the help of different representative groups like feminity, subaltern etc.

Actually, these postmodernist thinkers, by rejecting the ideas of history and traditions, try to dominate the Oriental or non-western countries where history or tradition has its own relevance or importance. It places the inhuman and degrading on a par with the humane and ethical. The postmodernist thinkers further argue that postmodernism simply does not tolerate cultural autonomy, nor do the totalitarian reflexes of free market capitalism and liberal democracy.

Creating the space, resources and empowerment needed to nurture the cultural autonomy that will permit cultural authenticity to mature will be hard. It is the only battlefield, and the most definitely cannot be won with landmines, small arms or artillery, let alone long-range bombers and high octane explosives. It is a work of imaginative reconstruction. For Shaprio, on the one hand, postmodernism discusses its life through the notion of hyper-reality or the concept of simulacra and on the other, it demands for the end of history.

Again, on the one side, it is against the concept of structuralism, and on the other it demands for the end of any kind of uniformity. But, it is not possible at all, arguing Shaprio, even to think about any society in the absence of coherent principle. Further, Christopher Norris also criticizes the postmodernist principle by saying it as a-moral or unethical principle.

He says that in fact the concept of postmodernism cannot be actualized in the real sense of the term. And this be it noted at a time when fundamentalist creeds of various description — Christian, Islamic, Nationalist, free-market capitalist, and so forth- are vigorously asserting their claim to supersede not only the secular discourse of Enlightenment but also its associated values of participant democracy, liberty of conscience, social welfare, and egalitarian reform.

Thus, the whole critical analysis of the postmodernist philosophy depicts that it is an illusionary concept. It is an effort to create such a deconstructed, history-less, foundationless society where there is not any direction.

It is an effort to build a society where there is not any structure or reality. Hence, it is an abstract concept. That is why; the Marxist philosophers and the philosophers from the Third World countries say that it is a new kind of ideology of domination.

It is not possible to live in a deconstructed divided society at all. Individual development or group development would not- be meaningful in the absence of a society.

But, unfortunately, postmodernist thinkers are not doing any work in this direction. You must be logged in to post a comment. But the painters' manifestations, as it turned out, can be more graphically perceived: All these manifestations can be summarized as the poet-painter's effort to engender purpose where we can outwardly perceive none.

The ultimate question proposed to modernisms of the future is whether human desire can give direction to objective chance. In their self-referential structures the best of surrealists appeared to think so.

The prophetic Apollinaire had foreseen two kinds of artists in modern time. One instinctively and intuitively lets the representation of modern humanity seep through him into the work of art; in that respect the postmoderns are justified in claiming that there is a touch of everyman in the so-called work of art and that it is therefore a collective possession. The other category, in which Apollinaire named Picasso as the original force, recreates a universal model, an aggregate of stylized projection to what might be called a cosmic scale of naturalism.

Picasso has been much more recognized of course than his counterpart in literature, Breton. But even in Picasso's case, I wonder whether that admiration has been sufficiently focused on that moment of epiphany when he slipped out of his blue period into the stream of light coming from the depths and the edges of night.

A fundamental argument emerges among moderns concerning the destiny of the metaphor. Robbe-Grillet declared some twenty-five years ago that in view of the absence of human meaning in the universe, the practitioners of the arts should eliminate analogy in their works and thereby suppress the metaphor.

But the neosurrealists, particularly the poets of Hispano-America, have increasingly sharpened the image as the sole device to guard what Breton had recognized as the creative spirit in its efforts to overcome what would otherwise be a solipsistic existence "when the primordial connections have been broken.

To quote Breton again: As we know, the element of rebellion, which is an essential feature of any and all modernism, can be expressed—and indeed was spectacularly expressed early in this century—by deconstructions in perceptions of aesthetics and in sociopolitical activisms.

But the rebellion involved in the moral concerns of any serious artist penetrates a deeper level of the art of expression. Apollinaire described the evolution of Picasso as the calm after the frenzy; "calm" in that context means mastery of process as an answer to unilateral, belligerent attitudes toward the conditions of life in the twentieth century. What Apollinaire perceived in the development of the art of Picasso is the transformation of circumstantial rebellion into the multitiered image of subversion in painting, in poetry, in film, whereas frenzy is the overt exercise of uncontrolled, unsparing movement.

One of the great changes in subsequent manifestations of modernism is the channeling of these energies of rebellion so that they are no longer the outer garment of the artist but assume through shocking analogies the double-edged meaning of reconstruction, constructing while deconstructing, espousing no single issue but catalytic of any issue. It is too early to take inventory of all the avant-gardes that constitute the self-perpetuating modernism of the twentieth century.

What matters for the moment is to proceed beyond the attempt to understand motivations, beyond tolerance of each and every one, because indeed to love the avant-garde has become as popular and trendy as it previously was to shun it. Instead it may well be time to go beyond tolerance to critical discrimination. The distinctions between modes should be helpful in discerning the degree of craftsmanship in any such modes.

If there emerges what appears to be sloppy composition, is it because the artist wants to represent a sloppy state of existence or is it simply a sloppy state of composition for lack of technical and aesthetic expertise?

If the plot dissolves, if character remains flat, is the structure an intentionally reductive form of art, an act of artistic minimalism, or is it due to a lack of imaginative resourcefulness or a unilateral desire to shock and nothing more? If there is no ending, is it because the author believes that the elimination of a sense of ending suggests the quagmire in which humanity is engulfed or does it betray on his part a lack of inventiveness or a weakness in the mastery of the particular art?

When does the excremental image lose its power of analogy to return to its original signification of waste? When does erotic language and its objectification lose its luxurious quality to become standard pornography? Are awkwardly shaped figures on a canvas or tedious repetitions of geometric lines a statement about the destruction of human form or a sign of haphazard bluff? Is it time to ask at what point even the most flamboyant avant-garde artist gets repetitious, tired, boring? Or, on the other hand, when do minimal linguistic discourse and gaps of total silence, hailed as achievements of the most recent examples of modernism, become merely indicative of clinical aphasia or verbal deficiencies?

One of the greatest powers of the modernisms of the past has been the overtone of sincerity and commitment; how far can the ironic element of author distancing from reality be carried out without bringing about reader-spectator distancing as well from the work declared as art?

The time has come, I think, when answers to this type of questioning may have to replace the more current, simplistic responses to the avant-garde—which have consisted either of rejecting it totally and in principle or accepting it and embracing it totally and without reservation and without even recognizing that in a single writer or artist there are better and lesser degrees of achievement. I bought some time ago at a book fair the latest work of a very personable playwright whose fame as a "neo-avant-garde" is fast rising.

The title was "Burn This," and after reading it I had the feeling that the title was very appropriate. But this piece of trash received acclaim and an award. Audiences used to be too resistant to the avant-garde; now either they have become pushovers if the work is overt or they run away if it is a bit subtle—and the artists are becoming too eager to please.

Renato Poggioli, whose Theory of the Avant-Garde has become a universal reference in any serious discussion of the question of modernism in spite of the availability of many books subsequently written on the subject, thought that it was too early to evaluate. He therefore made his classifications according to the sociological factors involved.

But his book is of vintage. It is hard to believe that we are designating moderns in the same way more than forty years later. Political protest and social negativism are still being rated as the basic elements of modernism and it is no longer too early to begin evaluation. It is time to look empirically at achievements rather than intentions. There is good and bad avant-garde no matter what standards of evaluation we use. A torso on canvas hanging on the wall may shock the viewer.

Maybe it is a protest against violence and as such it is perhaps a sociological document, but it has to fulfill certain other criteria to be classified as art, and to be judged as modern it has to have a quality that extracts out of the transient something of the eternal. I have suggested certain categories of the modern. My distinctions are arbitrary and have to do with my own reading lists and philosophy of art. My intention is not to impose them on anyone else but to indicate that it is time to establish values, or at least guidelines, whereby we can regroup the moderns of the past with a good triage in the bargain, and gauge what to expect in current and even future moderns as eventually viable classics.

With the everchanging political and social scene, it is time to minimize the element of protest as a signal of the modern and to ask, what else is there? It is time to scrutinize the various powers of construction rather than be overwhelmed by the destructive intensity of the work. It no longer matters who shouted loudest, who shocked most widely.

The question now is who shaped a permanent ticker tape of pleasure behind the instant notoriety, who went beyond talk about the unconscious to really give verbal approximation of unconscious or dream discourse, who conveyed the power of reality in the midst of concurrent processes of awareness and unawareness, whose work nourished the works of others instead of cloning itself endlessly?

Underlying the great variety of forms and attitudes loosely grouped and retained under the provisional title of "modernism" there emerge new encodings in search of new classifications.

Writers and artists have had to make choices between identifying with new challenges to new notions of time, space, chance, consciousness, and reality and distancing their art from these factors, revising the parameters of the arts accordingly. The transitory label of "modern" must be passed along to new editions of modernism while the great work of separating the chaff from the wheat is carried out as we weigh the viability and degree of meaning and change of meaning of previous modernisms.

I am concerned as I read from the pen of scholars with solid reputations such subservient remarks as "from Lacan we know," "from Foucault we learn," "Derrida tells us. Has it occurred to some that Lacan, Foucault, and Derrida could learn a few things from those of us who have been reading literature rather than psychology, archaeology, and philosophy?

As the post, post, post accumulate they seem to announce the ultimate end. Whereas some commentators on our era are eager to proclaim the death of literature, others obsessed with the prefix "post" are laboring under the assumption that we are witnessing the inevitable afterglow of a setting sun.

How discouraging this attitude must be both to young writers and to their prospective critics! The paradox is that with the radical changes in the meaning of meaning, the broadening of the channels of communication, and the multiplication of the inner and outer aspects of nature, there has never been such an auspicious moment for the creator as well as the receiver to discover the imminent modern. At the beginning of A Homemade World: The American Modernist Writers , Hugh Kenner performs an elegant act of metaphorical magic by yoking violently together two items in the history of modernity separately much celebrated, but not usually associated.

One is the flight of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk in , the first serious proof of powered flight, and a clear triumph of American technological inventiveness. The other is a work of fiction started the next year in which the image of the artist as modern flyer has a striking place.

That fiction, of course, is Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, where Stephen Dedalus's flight into the unknown arts provides us with a figure for the rising spirit of artistic modernism.

Metaphorically juxtaposing the one with the other, Kenner can now link two powers, those of American modernity and those of European modernism. As he says of the Wrights: American flyers came to the First World War, and also to the not much less embattled bohemias of Paris and London, where the new arts were being forged.

At this stage American technological dominance and European forms were separate. To most Americans, Modernism was foreign; but since it was modern they wanted it, but made in a homemade way. Poets like William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens, and many American novelists, musicians, and painters obliged, becoming Modernist without even going to Europe, exploring the new preoccupations as an aspect of the problems of the American language, the needs of American perception and American consciousness, American plenitude and American emptiness.

I have done little justice to Kenner's cunning book; but I start with it because it serves as an example of a familiar historiographical process, providing as it does both a narrative of an American act of artistic appropriation and a skillful critical mechanism for reinforcing it.

It is a way of telling Modernism's story largely by dislodging the venturesome modern spirit in the arts from a European soil, in which it appears unrooted, to modern American soil, where it prospers and fertilizes, grows with the American grain, What are the specific features of that movement and how are we to account for its emergence?

Two points need to be made before we start.


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Modernism Modernism was the most influential literary movement in England and America during the first half of the twentieth century. It encompassed such works as The Waste Land (), by T. S.

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Modernism describes the ideology of the art and design that were produced during the modernist period. There has been a lot of controversy about when modernism started, yet many believe it initiated sometime in the late 19th century and continued to .

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The Literary Modernism Time Period - The literary modernism time period was a movement in literature that started in the early s and was very eventful. Free Essay: The turn of the 20th century conveyed revolution in psychological, social, and philosophical thought. It was time for something neoteric. It was.

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MODERNISM Modernism is a comprehensive but ambiguous term for a movement which began in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It has had a wide influence internationally during much of the 20th C. Modernism Literature essaysModernism is the social and literal ideal that developped during the period after World War One. Alienation, Negativism, Ambiguioty, and glorifications of the past are all characteristics of Modernism. Great examples of modernist literature are The Metamorphosis, Notes F.