The architectural theorist Charles Jencks asserts that, as art movements go, postmodernism (or “the Post-Modern,” in his rendering) has at fifty years in the making been considerably longer lived than modernist avant-garde movements such as vorticism, futurism, or surrealism. As an aesthetics, or even as a dominant cultural order, the postmodern has “become a transhistorical concept” (Jencks 2011, 8) like the baroque or romanticism. Jencks is not making a subtle distinction here between architectural history and cultural politics. In a field in which edifices rise and, then, after a period of time, may be demolished, a historical period will have its tombstone markers of birth and death: for example, Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1906 Larkin Administration Building in Buffalo, New York, the epitome of the modern(ist) office complex, was razed for a parking lot in 1950; and the implosion of the Pruitt-Igoe high-rise urban housing project in St. Louis...
Postmodern/Postwar—And After: Rethinking American Literature ed. by Jason Gladstone, Andrew Hoberek, and Daniel Worden
Joseph Conte is professor of English at the University at Buffalo. His book Design and Debris: A Chaotics of Postmodern American Fiction received the Elizabeth Agee prize in American Literature from the University of Alabama Press in 2002. Unending Design: The Forms of Postmodern Poetry was published by Cornell University Press in 1991 and released as an e-book in 2016.
Joseph Conte; Postmodern/Postwar—And After: Rethinking American Literature ed. by Jason Gladstone, Andrew Hoberek, and Daniel Worden. Twentieth-Century Literature 1 March 2018; 64 (1): 120–127. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0041462X-4387773
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