Linda Hutcheon A Poetics Of Postmodernism Analysis

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In her book, “A Poetics of Postmodernism”, Linda Hutcheon identifies the term postmodernism, when used in fiction, to describe fiction that is at once metafictional and historical in the way it presents the texts and contexts of the past (Hutcheon, 40). This is what she calls historiographic metafiction. Most of the historiographic novels emphasize self-reflexivity and our paradoxical relations to past events. Historiographic metafiction somehow acknowledges the paradox of the past, that is to say, the past is accessible to us today only in the form of text. As Fredric Jameson reminds us, “history is not a text, but it is only accessible in textual form” (Homer, 4). Actually, historical metafiction sees history as a story, through which we …show more content…
The representation of the past is achieved only through text that is to say through language. Self-reflexively, the reader sees how Crick textualizes his own story by including historical details of his family background, personal life, natural history and historical events. Here, we could also refer to Linda Hutcehon ‘s essay “The Pastime of the Past Time”, in which she specifies that literature and history are narrative form and how they rely more on verisimilitude rather than objective truth (Hutcheon, 111). By verisimilitude, Hutcheon relates to the truth to life and is interested in making readers examine historical texts as a means of authenticating the fictional text. She sees the historical meaning today as being “unstable, contextual, relational and provisional”. Postmodern fiction, in turn underlines making stories out of chronicles and constructing plots in order to uncover the chronicle meaning through representation. Historiographic metafiction combines them both to make historical representation, by subverting the traditional way of history writing, which in Tom Crick’s case is …show more content…
These are stories, which cause traumas. The personal autobiography of Crick comes after a crisis, a point where things go wrong. Tom’s life is moving backward and forward in time, circling around the main question, which has to do with the crisis that he experienced in his life. What Tom Crick experienced in his childhood must be revealed in the present time. First of all Crick’s wife Mary is barren, because when she was a teenager she attempted to induce miscarriage, which resulted in abortion. As Crick explains, every act, no matter how irrational it seems must have some explanation. He also reveals his wife is a chrizoprhrenic and has stolen a child, which she thinks is a gift from God. He then reveals about the murder of Freddie Parr and the mysterious disappearance of his half-brother Dick, who is the product of an incestuous relationship between father and daughter. When Tom Crick was 9, his father Earnest Atkinson married his nurse, who is actually Ernest’s daughter. The story reveals that Dick – ‘the potato head’ is the product of incest between Ernest and his daughter. Following those events, Ernest goes mad and commits suicide. In between those personal and family stories, Tom Crick also recognizes the importance of historical events, such as the French Revolution and the social history of Britain. Tom Crick’s history of weaving stories that goes back and

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