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Ellenor McLeod

on 22 August 2013

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Transcript of Postmodernism

Entering the postmodern world is just like entering the forbidden room in the fairy tale Bluebeard. Fear of the unknown is overcome by an overwhelming sense of curiosity. The
to unlocking the door of postmodernism is to acknowledge the purpose and significance of postmodern techniques within texts. Bluebeard promotes the negative consequences of curiosity. This prezi promotes and consolidates the positive impact of a comprehension of postmodernism and its characteristics.
"Having come to the closet door, she made a stop for some time, thinking about her husband's orders, and considering what unhappiness might attend her if she was disobedient; but the temptation was so strong that she could not overcome it."
-Bluebeard, Charles Perrault.
Postmodern Characteristics
Temporal distortion
Technoculture and hyper reality
Black humour

As the name suggests, pastiche 'pastes' or combines genres together
as a feature of a postmodern text. Quentin Tarantino often uses pastiche
in his films. The 2012 film, 'Django Unchained' is a reference to the 1966 spaghetti western, 'DJANGO', from which Tarantino appropriated the theme song and title font with his unique and innovative directorial style.
Django Unchained pays homage to director Sergio Corbucci.
In simple terms, metafiction is writing about writing. Metafiction provides the audience with the awareness of fictionality and the presence of the author. David Hander adopts the persona of author Lemony Snicket for the book series "A Series Of Unfortunate Events". In the first novel, Bad Beginning, Snicket intentionally reveals himself as the author of the story, whose solemn duty is to record the story of the Baudelaire children.

"It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing. "

With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket.
Black Humour
Irony, playfulness and black humour is not exclusively a postmodern
technique, but it is one used most frequently. This technique adds humour to a normally serious and solemn issues from a position of distance or disconnect. A prime example of black humour is evident in the Roald Dahl novel, 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". The story depicts a humorous outlook on the abduction of children. The tour of the factory was set up by Willy Wonka to test the intelligence and integrity of the potential heir. At each stage a child 'disappears' in a comical and ironic fashion. For example, Veruca Beauregarde, a record breaking gum chewer, chews an experimental piece of gum against the request of Wonka, and swells into a blueberry and is subsequently removed from the story.
Technoculture and hyper reality
This technique presents a world social/political movement in the information age. The movement has spaced itself from capitalism and characters and their audience are constantly bombarded with advertisements, videos and product placement. Technology has taken over in a dystopian world in 2019 in the 1982 Ridley Scott film, 'Bladerunner'.
The protagonist, Rick Deckard, is a blade runner, a cop who specializes in terminating replicants, robots created to service humans, but began to rebel. The replicants are difficult to distinguish from humans. Deckard is constantly surrounded by advanced technology and advertisements on his conquest.

Intertextuality is an essential postmodern characteristic. The technique
acknowledges and appropriates previous literary works. Family Guy is an
evident postmodern text, which also encompasses other techniques including black humour and temporal distortion. In this clip, creator Seth McFarlane makes an intertextual reference to "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' in a local brewery. The song parodies the "pure imagination" chocolate creates and compares it to the "pure inebriation" of alcohol.
Participation actively involves the reader in the outcome of a text, either through asking the reader a question, filling in missing narrative, or choosing narrative paths. Participation retains an interest with its audience. Choose your own adventure novels have experienced success with using this technique, and many can be found online to make the interactive process easier than ever before.

Temporal Distortion
A recurring postmodern theme is the belief by the protagonist that there
is an ordering system behind the chaos of the world. Any apparent connections or controlling influences leads to a sense of paranoia.
Joseph Heller's "Catch-22" effectively demonstrates paranoia. The protagonist, Yossarian, and his air force squadron are on the island of Pianosa in WWII. No one but Yossarian believes that there is a war going on; everyone thinks he is crazy when he insists millions of people are trying to kill him. He takes the whole war personally; he is infuriated by the fact that his life is in constant danger. Yossarian's motivation is to 'live forever or die in the attempt'.
Catch 22: Life is not worth living without a moral concern for the well-being of others, but a moral
concern for the well-being of others endangers one's life.
"Just because you're not paranoid
doesn't mean they aren't after you"
Temporal distortion employs a non-linear timeline. The text may jump backwards in time or include historical or cultural references that do not fit.
The non-linear narrative 'Inception' jumps between dream and reality, making it one of the most successful and confusing films of all time. The indistinguishable line between dream and reality is an effective technique used to entice and challenge the audience.
What is postmodernism?
You decide.
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