Postmodernism has become the buzzword of contemporary society over the last decade. But how can it be defined? In this highly readable introduction the. Download Citation on ResearchGate | On Oct 10, , Christopher Butler and others published Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction. Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction challenges and explores the key ideas of postmodernists, and their engagement with theory, literature, the visual arts.
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'easily the best introduction to postmodernism currently available.' Very Short Introductions are for anyone wanting a stimulating. Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions series) by Christopher Butler. Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB. In this Very Short Introduction Christopher Butler challenges and explores the key ideas of postmodernists, and their engagement with theory, literature, the visual arts, film, architecture, and music. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University.
View all 7 comments. It emphasizes throughout the point of studying philosophy, explains how different areas of Legal System and Practice. Publications Pages Publications Pages. Lacking any features to sustain interest in itself except perhaps to Pythagorean number mystics it inspires us to ask questions about its context rather than its content:
A Very Arts and Humanities Archaeology. Biographical Studies. Byzantine Studies. Classical Studies. Media Studies. Performing Arts. Society and Culture. Law Criminal Law. Family Law. History of Law. Human Rights and Immigration. Intellectual Property Law. International Law. Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law. Legal System and Practice.
Medical and Healthcare Law. Clinical Medicine. Christopher Butler does us a valuable service in writing this short book that covers the topic across the arts of literature, music and painting providing many examples and a penetrating critique that carefully defines terms and is a pleasure to read. Postmodernism questions authority.
It does this by revealing the influence of cultural forces behind works of art, forces that surround us so completely we fail to see that they are not natural and inevitable, if we see them at all. Most will view an artwork and be either pleased or repulsed by the superficial appearance, not appreciating how much lies beneath the surface. Postmodernism also questions authority in the sense of authorship.
Even if I paint a village scene, am I justified in claiming that it is simply that and nothing more? Isn't it possible postmodernists would say inevitable that there are influences on me when I paint of which I am unaware and that someone viewing my painting might well see these influences even in spite of my denial they were a factor in my work?
It's all about meaning - who and what makes meaning. Postmodernism is valuable for casting doubt on received wisdom, gut reaction and the idea that there is one fixed, best way in which to see any work of art. It invites digging into any work, not taking what the author of the work says about it as gospel, realizing that all creativity and its reception are loaded with baggage. Perception is not antiseptic, not clean and concise. This is not to say there is no meaning, but that it isn't one thing to the exclusion of all else.
Butler offers criticism of postmodernism as well as explanation. It can go too far, take itself too seriously, result in absurdity, deconstruction to the point of destruction, leaving pieces that are not allowed to be assembled in any way because no one way is better than another, a protesting critique that offers nothing in exchange.
Since construction is power, said to be a bad thing, we are left helpless, unable to promote one interpretation over another. This short introduction continues the very high standard I have found throughout the series. At the end of each read, I have no doubt that the author is deeply informed and has made a clear presentation.
I feel informed at a basic level about the subject.
What more could one ask of an introduction? Mar 15, Taylor Stark rated it did not like it. The author a professor of English literature; not a philosopher or historian is unabashedly against postmodernism. Every discussion of postmodernist theories is put before the reader with a sneer; "just look at how ridiculous these thoughts are. The whole thing is just dripping with vile.
What did postmodernism ever do to you, Christopher Butler? Although, delightful irony that in a book about postmodernism the author is so self-assured in his own unsupported opinions. Jun 01, Ivy-Mabel Fling rated it it was amazing. This is an excellent short guide to the destructive and narcissistic nature of postmodernism by a man who has seen what it has done to serious academic study.
But it is not a real introductory guide to this way of thinking for those who know nothing about it, nor is it in any way neutral. Mar 20, Brian Soetaert rated it really liked it. Some explanations and a few of my thoughts can be found here: Jun 09, Afshin rated it really liked it. To read a comprehensive introductory book on Postmodernism from a critical point of view with a considerable effort to be fair, was very informative and enjoyable.
This is not only a good introduction for whoever is new to the subject but also a good wrap up for others. Sep 17, Michael rated it really liked it Shelves: I like to think I am a fan of post-modern literature, but ask me to explain it, I will have a hard time.
Post-modernism is often referred to when talking about art, films, architecture, music and literature but what does it actually mean?
I picked up Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction in the hopes of understand it a little more but I still do not think I can explain it. For me, I view post-modernism, as a reaction to modernism which seemed to reject past thinking in favour of innovations l I like to think I am a fan of post-modern literature, but ask me to explain it, I will have a hard time.
For me, I view post-modernism, as a reaction to modernism which seemed to reject past thinking in favour of innovations like stream-of-consciousness. Post-modernism still found value in the past techniques and theories and found interesting ways to use them in new and exciting ways.
Post-modernism wanted to invoke thought and criticism; within its literature you might find something bizarre or weird that you just need to talk about. I know my view on the topic is very broad and it is far more complex but that is what I love about post-modern literature.
I want books that force me to think critically about what I am reading and post-modernism forces you to do just that. In Postmodernism: A Very Short Introduction, Christopher Butler tries to equip us with the basic ideas behind post-modernism to allow us to recognise and understand the theories more easily.
This is still a very complex movement but I am starting to understand why I love it. This is a good starting point, if you are actually interested in the critical thinking side of this movement.
Oct 11, Monique rated it it was ok. This book successfully provides a quick-whizz revision of postmodernism, consolidating key moments and texts, both creative and theoretical, in an accessible language.
However, the tone is blustery and exasperated. It comes across with the same anxious fear as arguments about the impossibility of atheists holding any kind of moral viewpoint.
In an attempt to provide a "neutral" account of postmodernism the author is antagonistic towards postmodern politics. He does point to some key difficulties This book successfully provides a quick-whizz revision of postmodernism, consolidating key moments and texts, both creative and theoretical, in an accessible language.
He does point to some key difficulties facing postmodern thinkers, including tensions between individual difference and communal harmony, and the difficulty of making a direct or constructive reading of anything when every point of view is contestable and subordinate and the problems this creates for legal thinking. But in trying to treat postmodernism as "a whole", as something external, complete, coherent, unitary and finished in the s , the author struggles to articulate its more conflicted aspects.
The book seems to prove that postmodernism can't be seen as a unified or coherent theoretical stance, but rather must be read and understood as disparate and evolving over time in response to external changes in the world.
Each theorist can only be read as a response that progresses thinking along without standing in as a true or correct approach. It must be understood as a way of "muddling through" or "quietly agitating" in no particular direction. Oct 23, Ed Hatfield rated it it was amazing.
This is an excellent guide to and synopsis of the key characteristics of postmodernism in many fields - philosophy, art, literature, history, music - and the influence postmodern thought has had on politics, theory and how we make sense of the world. Very clear language and a well measured and balanced critique and review of the change from modernism to postmodernism and what that meant in all the fields above - my only strong criticism of the book is that there is an awful lot of name dropping!
There are so many different names - especially in music but notably also in literature and art- that I either didn't know at all or had barely heard of. This sort of constant reference might work in a more weighty academic review of postmodernism - especially once it is argued that postmodernism relies crucially upon referential parody and acknowledgement - but in a layman's introduction I think it is a barrier to both enjoyment and understanding.
If we're only being introduced then how would we know about all these people?
Overall this was really enjoyable, not least because it was very clear on what postmodernism does well - criticise and deconstruct - and does excruciatingly badly - construct and move forward. To anyone that wants a reference to 'postmodern', that word batted around so vaguely and casually without explanation - I strongly recommend this. Sep 28, L rated it did not like it.
Starts out as a critique, and inserts the "introduction" part towards the middle, then goes back to talking about how useless and silly it all is. While attempting to be informative, the author also ends up sounding whiny, not to mention that he spends a lot of time on Foucault more than half of it enumerating his and Derrida's flaws without discussing the differences between postmodernism and poststructuralism.
Take this for an example of the author lashing out: This "very short" introduction could have been shorter without all the complaining, which I think makes this book a hard sell, or maybe an irresponsible and mostly one-sided one, if it is truly meant to be an introduction.
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Jan 13, Michaelwilliam rated it it was ok. This book does a nice job introducing the historical development of Postmodernism. The author gets lost when he tries to apply this history to contemporary politics, an analysis of current trends in social democracy or liberal capitalism. Mar 07, Austin rated it did not like it. As the title says, it is indeed short.
It is, however, not an introduction and contains much more criticism of postmodernism than explanation. This is a dense and intimidating book that is mostly just pages of names and jargon which mean nothing to someone who isn't already familiar with postmodernism to begin with. May 20, Elizabeth Schlatter rated it did not like it Shelves: Totally biased, bloated with jargon, and way too self-congratulatory about the author's own opinions.
How is it consumed? Why do you enjoy it at all? In Music: A Very Short plays Introduction, Nicholas Cook invites us to really think about music and the role it plays in our lives and our ears. Drawing on a number of accessible examples, the author prompts us to call on How ought we to live? What really exists? How do we know?