During the past couple of weeks, I've been working on developing various literature courses, including a course on the metafictional turn in contemporary young adult literature. As of now, I have entitled the course Book-Ception: The Metafictional Turn in Young Adult Literature. For those of you who are confused about the title, -Ception is a … Continue reading Developing a Course on Metafictional Young Adult Literature
Defining the parameters of postmodern literature is a daunting task, due not only to disagreements about what texts can or can't be approached as postmodern, but also to the paradoxical and elusive nature of the postmodern movement. Paradoxical seems to be an effective word to invoke when approaching postmodern literature--as Barry Lewis points out in his … Continue reading What is Postmodern Literature?
Originally published in 2006, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic is a graphic memoir that led Alison Bechdel to commercial and critical success. Reminiscent of Art Spiegelman's Maus, Fun Home explores the relationship between Alison and her closeted father, Bruce Bechdel, to shed light on themes such as gender, the coming-out process, and the complicated dynamics of family life. The exploration … Continue reading The Role of Gender and Literature in Alison Bechdel’s [Fun Home]
Art Spiegelman's Maus revolutionized the perception of comics not only in academia, but also in popular culture. Not only is it the first graphic novel to ever win a Pulitzer prize, but its presence has been ubiquitous in academia--appealing to scholars interested in areas such as the image-text relationship, animal studies, postmodernism, history, memoir, Holocaust studies, and … Continue reading An Analysis of Pastiche in Art Spiegelman’s [Maus I: My Father Bleeds History]
"Lost in the Funhouse" is a short story in John Barth's book of the same name, originally published in 1968. The stories within this collection are typically approached as postmodern due to their self-reflexivity, their self-awareness, and their use of self-reference. The short story "Life in the Funhouse," in particular, is known for its active … Continue reading John Barth’s “Lost in the Funhouse”: A Postmodern Critique of the Developmental Narrative
If we are unable to unify the past, present, and future of the sentence, then we are similarly unable to unify the past, present, and future of our own biographical experience of psychic life. With the breakdown of the signifying chain, therefore, the schizophrenic is reduced to an experience of pure material signifiers, or, in … Continue reading John Guare’s [Six Degrees of Separation] and the Postmodern Schizophrenic
"No one will ever know anyone. We just have to deal with each other. You're not ever gonna know me." "What in the hell does that mean?" I ask. "It just means you're not ever gonna know me," he says. "Figure it out. Deal with it." - Bret Easton Ellis, The Rules of Attraction (p. 252) What does it … Continue reading Knowledge, Postmodernity, and Bisexual Love Triangles: Bret Easton Ellis’ The Rules of Attraction