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From Modernity to Postmodernity: Deconstruction

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Yvette Washington

on 15 October 2016

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Transcript of From Modernity to Postmodernity: Deconstruction

Modernity/Postmodernism/Structuralism/Poststructuralism: Deconstruction
Modernity to Modernism
Core beliefs: objective status of reality, and fixed nature of aesthetic forms were questioned.
Aesthetic movement that questioned the ideals of British Victorianism and reflected material and psychological devastation of two world wars.
Literary artist choose to highlight unconscious or subconscious elements in their work by employing psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.
- way of examining reality and language.
Asserts an overall unity to every form of communication and social behavior.
Structural Linguistics
- (the science of language), uses techniques, methodologies, and vocabulary of linguistics, offering scientific view of how we achieve meaning in every aspect of life.
Structuralists believed that codes, signs, and rules govern all human social and cultural practices.
Work Cited
Structuralism: The Back Story
Throughout the 19th and 20th century,
y, not linguistics, was the science language.
Practitioners, known as philologist, decribed, compared, and analyzed the languages of the world to discover similarities and relationships.
Studied language change: word and sound
"Structuralists belived that codes, signs, and rules govern all the human social and cultural practices, including communication."
Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913)
The Structure of Language
Saussure's Redefinition of a Word
Methodologies of Structuralism

Claude Levi-Strauss
French social anthropologist and leading exponent of structuralism.
Roland Barthes
French essayist and social and literary critic whose writings on semiotics, the formal study of symbols and signs pioneered by Ferdinand de Saussure, helped establish structuralism and the New Criticism as leading intellectual movements.
V. Propp thirty-one functions simplified by Paul Vehvilainen
A lack of something exists
This lack forces the hero to go on a quest to eliminate this lack.
On the quest, the hero encounter a magical helper.
The hero is subjected to one or more tests.
After having passed the test(s), the hero receives a reward.
Tzvetan Todorov Gerard Genette
Declares that all stories are composed of grammatical units.
Gerard Genette is responsible for reintroducing a host of rhetorical terms into literarytheory and criticism.
Jonathan Culler
Professor of English and comparative literature.
Suggest a return to investigation of language.
Believes: A text will be unified. A text will be thematically signficant. A texyt's significance can take the form of reflection.
A Swiss professor and linguist. whose scientific investigations of language and language history provides the basis for structuralism's approach to literary analysis.
Pioneer of modern linguistics and formed the basis for structuralist literary theory and practical criticism.
Changed the direction and subject matter of linguist studies.
Course in General Linguistics (lecture notes from 1857 to 1913)
, most influential work published be his students in 1916.
Introduced the synchronic approach, a method that focuses on any given language at one particular time or single moment.
Rejected the mimetic theory of language, and asserted that language is determined by its own internally structured and systematized rules.
Rene Descartes (1596-1650), French philosopher, scientist, and mathematician.
Modernity rests on his the foundations.
Believe that reason is humankind's best guide to life.
The concept of the self is conscious, rational, knowable entity.
Believes science can lead humanity to a new promised land.
Reality can be studied, anaylzed, and known.
Truth can be demonstrated.
Language is referential, representing the perceivable world.
Rene Descartes
Definition and deceptions of truth are subjective, simply creations of human minds.
The concept of the self as ever-changing.
No "one correct" concept of ultimate reality, and interpretation of a text.
Truth is relative, relying on nature and a variety of cultural and social influences.
A skepticism or rejection of grand metanarratives to explain reality.
Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodernism as incredulity towards metanarratives.

Jean-Francois Lyotard, "The Postmodern Condition"
According to Saussure, all languages are governed by their own internal rules that do not mirror or imitate the structure of the world.
Key Terms

Emes - basic units that languages is composed of, i.e paradigms or models.
Phoneme – the smallest meaningful sound in a language.
Grapheme – written symbols that represent the phoneme sound.
Aspirated – pronounced with a greater force of air.
Voiced – pronunciation with the vocal cords vibrating.
Unvoiced - pronunciation with the vocal cords remaining still.
Phonology – the study of rules governing the meaningful units of sound in a linguistic system.
Phonetics – the study of production of the sounds in a linguistic system.
Morpheme – smallest part of a word that has lexical or grammatical significance.
Lexical – the base or root meaning of a word.
Grammatical – elements of language that expresses relationships among words or group of words.
Inflections – a change in the form of a word (typically the ending), i.e. {-ed}, {-s}, and {-ing}.
Morphology – the study of the form of words.
Ungrammatical – not conforming to grammatical rules; not well formed
Sentences or Grammatical Sentences – a set of words that is complete in itself.
Semantics – the branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning.
Lexicon – the vocabulary of a person, language, or branch of knowledge.

Rules for reading.
Jacques Derrida
French philosopher who rejected both
transcendental signified
, the fundamental error of Platonic idealism, and
, the belief that there is an ulimate reality or center truth that can serve as the basis for all our thoughts and actions.
Binary Oppositions
one concept is superior and ddefines itself by its opposite or inferior center
Privilege of speech over writing.
Metaphysics of Presence
Phrase coined by Derrida to encompass logocentrism, phonocentrism, the operation of binary oppositions, and other notions.
Jacques Derrida
The term used to refer to the unstable relationship between elements in a binary relationship.
The term is ambiguous, taking on the meaning of differer to mean defer and to different, simultaneously.

EXAMPLE: Young and Old Binary.
Bressler, Charles E. “Modernity/Postmodernism/Structuralism/PostStructuralism: Deconstruction.” Literary Criticism, 5th ed., Pearson Education, Inc., pp. 85–122.
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