Peter Ackroyd
Hawksmoor (1985)
Postmodernism
Historiographic metafiction
• coined by literary theorist Linda Hutcheon
(defined in "A Poetics of Postmodernism„)
• works both intensely self-reflexive and yet
paradoxically also laying claim to
historical events and personages.
• Historiographic metafiction is a
quintessentially postmodern art form
• a reliance upon textual play, parody and
historical re-conceptualization
Historiographic quality
• Sir Christopher Wren (1632 – 1723) (e.g. St
Paul’s Cathedral)
→ real figure → architect
• Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661 – 1736)
→ real figure → architect
→ fictitious character → detective/20th century
plot of Hawksmoor
• Nicholas Dyer
→ fictitious character → architect → personifying
Nicholas Hawksmoor the actual architect of, for
instance, Christ Church in Spitalfields, London
Christ Church,
Spitalfields,
London
(1714-1729)
designed by
Nicholas
Hawksmoor
Fredric Jameson in Postmodernism, Or the Cultural Logic of
Late Capitalism (1991)
Postmodernism [. . .] ceaselessly reshuffles
the fragments of preexistent texts, the
building blocks of older cultural and
social production, in some new and
heightened bricolage: metabooks which
cannibalize other books, metatexts which
collate bits of other texts-such is the logic
of postmodernism in general. (96)
Ihab Hassan, “Toward a Concept of Postmodernism”
(in The Postmodern Turn; 1987)
MODERNISM
•
Romanticism/Symbolism
POSTMODERNISM
•
Pataphysics/Dadaism
• Form (conjunctive, closed)
•
Purpose
• Antiform (disjunctive, open)
•
Play
•
•
•
•
Design
Hierarchy
Mastery/Logos
Art Object/Finished Work
Chance
Anarchy
Exhaustion/Silence
Process/Performance/Happening
•
Distance
•
•
•
•
•
Participation
•
•
•
•
•
Creation/Totalisation
Synthesis
Presence
Centering
Genre/Boundary
•
•
•
•
•
Decreation/Deconstruction
Antithesis
Absence
Dispersal
Text/Intertext
•
•
•
Semantics
Paradigm
Hypotaxis
•
•
•
Rhetoric
Syntagm
Parataxis
Ihab Hassan, “Toward a Concept of Postmodernism”
(in The Postmodern Turn; 1987)
• MODERNISM
•
•
Metaphor
Selection
• Root/Depth
• Interpretation/Reading
• Signified
•
Lisible (Readerly) ~ Roland Barthes
• Narrative/Grande Histoire
•
•
•
Master Code
Symptom
Type
• Genital/Phallic
•
Paranoia
• Origin/Cause
•
•
God the Father
Metaphysics
• Determinancy
•
Transcendence
•
•
POSTMODERNISM
Metonymy
Combination
• Rhizome/Surface
• Against
Interpretation/Misreading
• Signifier
•
Scriptible (Writerly) ~ Roland Barthes
• Anti-narrative/Petite Histoire
•
•
•
Idiolect
Desire
Mutant
• Polymorphous/Androgynous
•
Schizophrenia
• Difference-Différance/Trace ~
•
•
Jacques Derrida
The Holy Ghost
Irony
• Indeterminancy
•
Immanence
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Peter Ackroyd, Hawksmoor (1985)