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Linda Hutcheon

Related: parody - postmodernism


The life and work of Linda Hutcheon has many ironies. It is unusual for the daughter of Italian immigrants to become a professor at the University of Toronto. All the more so since Italian women of her generation were not encouraged to go to university at all. It is even more unusual to develop in the short span of 12 years such a diverse and creative body of work: eight volumes on subjects such as metafiction, formalism and the Freudian aesthetic, parody, and post-modern theory and fiction. More recently she has focused on feminist writing and theory, ethnic minority writing, and irony. More unusual still is for such a wide-ranging body of work to evolve into a hitherto unperceived unity. --http://aurora.icaap.org/archive/hutcheon.html [Apr 2004]

On Postmodernity [...]

LINDA HUTCHEON is very careful to distinguish between postmodernity and postmodernism. The former she understands to mean "the designation of a social and philosophical period or 'condition'" (Politics 23), specifically the period or "condition" in which we now live. The latter she associates with cultural expressions of various sorts, including "architecture, literature, photography, film, painting, video, dance, music" [style] (Politics 1) and so on. Indeed, Hutcheon diagnoses as one reason why critics have been led to such disparate opinions about the "postmodern" is because of the conflation of these two disparate if associated domains (socio-historical on the one hand, aesthetic on the other hand). By distinguishing between the two domains, Hutcheon offers a critique of Fredric Jameson's influential attack against the postmodern: "The slippage from postmodernity to postmodernism is constant and deliberate in Jameson's work: for him postmodernism is the 'cultural logic of late capitalism'" (Politics 25). Jameson thus sees postmodern art and theory as merely reinforcing the many things he finds distressing in postmodern culture, particularly the conditions of multinational late-capitalism. --Felluga, Dino. "Modules on Hutcheon: On Postmodernity." Introductory Guide to Critical Theory. Nov 28th, 2003. Purdue U. Apr 2004 http://www.purdue.edu/guidetotheory/postmodernism/modules/hutcheonpostmodernity.html.

On Postmodern Parody [...]

It is rather like saying something whilst at the same time putting inverted commas around what is being said. The effect is to highlight, or "highlight," and to subvert, or "subvert," and the mode is therefore a "knowing" and an ironic—or even "ironic"—one. Postmodernism's distinctive character lies in this kind of wholesale "nudging" commitment to doubleness, or duplicity. In many ways it is an even-handed process because postmodernism ultimately manages to install and reinforce as much as undermine and subvert the conventions and presuppositions it appears to challenge. Nevertheless, it seems reasonable to say that the postmodern's initial concern is to de-naturalize some of the dominant features of our way of life; to point out that those entities that we unthinkingly experience as "natural" (they might even include capitalism, patriarchy, liberal humanism) are in fact "cultural"; made by us, not given to us. (Politics of Postmodernism 1-2)

Politics of Postmodernism (1989/2002) - Linda Hutcheon

Politics of Postmodernism (1989/2002) - Linda Hutcheon [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

"Few words are more used and abused in discussions of contemporary culture than the word 'postmodernism.'..."

Statistically Improbable Phrases (SIPs):
postmodern photography, historiographic metafiction, complicitous critique, postmodern parody, postmodern representation, parodic play, postmodern fiction, postmodern strategies, postmodern art, feminist artists, narrative representation, realist representation

Capitalized Phrases (CAPs):
Barbara Kruger, Victor Burgin, Angela Carter, Roland Barthes, Hans Haacke, Midnight's Children, New York, John Berger, Martha Rosler, Maxine Hong Kingston, Roa Bastos, Cindy Sherman, Christa Wolf, Hayden White, Sherrie Levine, South Africa, Ihab Hassan, Jeanne Duval, John Lee, Lennard Davis, Patterns of Childhood, Susan Sontag, Charles Newman, Don Giovanni, Fredric Jameson

See also: politics - postmodernism

More books

  1. A Theory of Parody: The Teachings of Twentieth-Century Art Forms (2001) - Linda Hutcheon [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Linda Hutcheon's A Theory of Parody is one of the most important theoretical books of the decade not only on parody but also on postmodernism. The dispute over the worth of postmodern art revolves around one of its most striking features, i.e. the outburst of intertextuality in the form of parody and pastiche. This proliferation of parody has been described as an exhaustion of creativity, appropriation of the property of others, borrowing, pirating, and cannibalisation; all of which descriptions are quite derogative. Parodists have, therefore, been considered minor artists, who take out their spite on acclaimed authors by ridiculing them. Linda Hutcheon's views on parody are far more positive and allows us to analyse contemporary writers and give them their due worth. She claims that postmodern parody has changed in its essentials when it became an imitation with critical distance. It is a highly sophisticated genre and has come to be almost an autonomous literary form. It is, in fact, a form of literary criticism. According to her, parody is "repetition with critical distance;" it is "stylistic confrontation," a modern re-coding which establishes "difference at the heart of similarity." In short, in order for one to criticise any modern work of art, I believe that her theory becomes an essential tool, since it enables us to establish the relations between the work of art and all the included references, allusions and quotations, and moreover, to discover the evaluative judgement the author expresses on both the parodied texts and on his/her own text. Hutcheon's theory on parody helps us understand better what happens to the quotation from a canonical text when it is transported into a postmodern text which uses fragmentation and irony to subvert the original meaning. Conversely, Parodies offer a dialogue and a re-evaluation of the past in the light of the present, and a critical view of present from the perspective of the past. --kalinin@terra.com.br for amazon.com

  2. Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction - Linda Hutcheon [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    A Poetics of Postmodernism is neither a defense nor a denunciation of the postmodern. It continues the project of Linda Hutcheon's Narcissistic Narrative and A Theory of Parody in studying formal self-consciousness in art, but adds to this both an historical and an ideological dimension. Modelled on postmodern architecture, postmodernism is the name given here to current cultural practices characterized by major paradoxes of form and of ideology. The "poetics" of postmodernism offered here is drawn from these contradictions, as seen in the intersecting concerns of both contemporary theory and cultural practice. --Book Description

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