Linda Hutcheon A Poetics Of Postmodernism Analysis

Superior Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Great Essays

    One of the tenets of literary journalism is to represent “a response to and rejection of traditional journalistic objectivity” (Stull 3). In order to achieve this principle, literary journalists have fused the objective with the fictional by endowing the historical event with subjective autobiographical inclinations. Therefore, the autobiographical trope of literary journalistic narrative establishes itself as a textual metaphor that brings forth the imaginative intersubjective experience side by side with the objective historical event of reference as sources for meaning-making of the narrative. Nevertheless, literary journalists, usually, omit the explicit projection of the authorial subjectivity through the use of fictional point of view to ensure a sense of historical objectivity. They overcome the borderlines between public events and their intersubjective experiences by approaching “public fact through a frank, obtrusive, liberated assertion of their private consciousness” (Hellmann, “Postmodern Journalism” 52).…

    • 1701 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    What survives from antiquity is texts [sic], that come to us in written form” (my italics 1). This way, antique epics present a static textual account of a story that developed orally through multiple tellings. Likewise, Rosa, Mr. Compson, and Quentin inform the story we receive in Faulkner’s static text as they tell and retell the story of the fall of the South and the implosion of the Sutpen dynasty. Indeed, the novel shares other narrative features with traditional epic. As Revard and Newman explain, [e]pic usually develops in the oral culture of a society at a period when the nation is taking stock of its historical, cultural, and religious heritage… Typically long and elaborate in its narrative design, episodic in sequence, and elevated in language, the epic usually begins ‘in the midst of things’ (in medias res) and…

    • 1648 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The storyteller here, tries to destabilise methodical historiography of the West and the supremacy that this historiography denotes by offering a non-linear and private his/story. What Rushdie seeks to do is to generate substitutes not merely to happenings but also to the discourse of past that describes these events. In the plot, destabilization of the alleged unprejudiced ancient discourse is achieved over the permutation of metafictional policies and historical authenticity. As it is about Saleem’s tussle to pen his story of life, in plentiful ways being private as differing to the impartiality of antiquity writing, the novel is by its very being about fiction inscription itself. If one ponders “the Chinese box structure” that Hutcheon puts to the fore in ‘Narcissistic Narrative’ as the essential component of metafictional narratives it is observed that Saleem, a fictional character himself, establishes his biography which entails of correspondingly fictional fundamentals that he makes up to suitable the past events into his description, henceforward performing the role of a novelist.…

    • 887 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Reason For Abortion Essay

    • 2234 Words
    • 9 Pages

    Aborting a child is followed with chronic cramping, bleeding, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and possible death. If the abortion is in the later terms, then there is chance for infection to set up and damage to the reproductive system causing the mother to not be able to carry a child ever again (Abortion Health Risks and Side-Effects). An unknown mother wrote, “How can God ever forgive someone like me? He gave me a blessed gift and I just threw it back at him. What kind of a monster am I?…

    • 2234 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    This type of self-regarding literature, as Borges indulges in, is underscored by the fact that his universe is fictive, not real. (Barth 78). Fiction and fact, imagination and critique areaspects of the same continuum throughout Borges’s work. This erasure of boundaries is encountered in the essays “The Meeting in A Dream” as well as “From Somebody to…

    • 3909 Words
    • 16 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien breaks down the border between fact and fiction as he articulates a credible collection of war stories. O’Brien takes the unique role in the novel as an imaginary character created from a blend of real and fabricated elements, but he still makes sure to elucidate that the novel is merely a work of his imagination. Nevertheless, this style of autobiographical fiction forces readers to question the fictional nature of the novel. O’Brien himself understands the blurred line separating fact from fiction, and he discusses the complex relationship between the two in his storytelling. By using varying levels of truth throughout the novel, O’Brien effectively persuades readers to accept his stories as factual.…

    • 1192 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Ultimately, the abduction is provoked by the circumstances involving Mary’s juvenile abortion and consequent infertility (Swift 253). Her father’s religious beliefs and Crick’s deployment prompts Mary to retreat to an extended period of isolation. When Crick returns three years later, they are…

    • 749 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Indeed, Hassan (1982, cf. supra) names this convoluted intertextuality a characteristic of postmodernism, yet The Crying of Lot 49 is also genrebound, namely, the detective novel. Being bound to a genre is a characteristic of modernism as defined by Hassan (1982: 267-268), following this argumentation, Harvey’s point is still somewhat valid, yet this interpretation still allows a modernist reading next to his postmodern interpretation (Harvey 2013: 6-7). I also have to note that Harvey’s argument here is overall weak. Joyce’s Ulysses is also a work that is saturated with intertextuality and it contains many genres such as ‘romantic magazine fiction’, ‘journalistic reporting’ and ‘dramatic dialogue’, yet it isn’t marked as a postmodern work (Childs 2008:…

    • 1154 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Modern scholars have explored and portrayed different approaches to not only define postmodernism, but to follow the ripples, of the era’s disturbance on our novelistic endurance & literary production. From metaphysics to liberalism, Freudian predictions of our present culture to actual post-modern novelistic examples, from reality to technological attributions, politics and intertextuality, the explanations for the deterioration in literary creativity and quality vary widely. The fate of the novel has taken a turn for the worse since post-modernism began in the 1950’s simply because people have lost their sense of reality in the world. Authors in this generation merely rewrite the past and foresee the future; in this process we’ve lost our…

    • 1559 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Source Critique Paper Published in 1995 and written by Lee Patterson, the article Literary History aims to both explain and criticize the way in which the history of literature has been understood since its ideological conception. More precisely, Patterson primarily focuses on literary history through an extrinsic approach, which he defines as “the relation of literature, as a collection of writings, to history, as a series of events.” By approaching the topic in this way, he is able to evade the common mistake of viewing literature through a discriminatory lens, discounting the significance of outside influences when attempting to form a basis for interpretation. Just as one would want a doctor to be aware of medical practices carried out in the past, it is imperative that any literary scholar be informed about the history of what they’re studying; thus, Lee Patterson’s document serves as an effective platform upon which one’s knowledge of literature can be based. As he points out in the opening line of his article, “’literary history’ harbors an often unrecognized ambiguity,” even “despite its familiarity.” It’s all too easy to underestimate the complexity of literary theory and the changes it has gone through…

    • 829 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays