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The Post-Modern age in English Literature; An Overview.


Post-Modern literature is a style of literature that is headed after world war II, including the multicultural aspect of society. Postmodernism is usually marked as a reaction against modernism.

Postmodernism introduces to a socio-cultural and literary theory and a shift in outlook in social sciences, literature, composition, drama, fashion and many more. Post-Modern literature customarily rejects the boundaries between 'high' and 'low' sorts of art and literature.

For numerous post-modern writers, the multiple disasters that occurred in the last half of the 20th century left a fraction of writers with a deep sense of fright. Post-Modern literature is a reaction to the deemed rhetorical and profound constraints of modernist literature and therefore the progressive changes the world experienced after the end of World War II.

While the modernist writers portrayed the world as fragmented, wounded and on the prick of disaster, that is best displayed within the stories and novels of such modernist authors as Albert Camus, Virginia Wulf, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott.

On the other hand Post - Modern writers tend to describe the world as having already undergone unnumbered disasters and being on the far side redemption or understanding.

The Post-Modern theory contends that experience and details are always applicable to particular circumstances and that it is both impractical and impossible to strive to locate any definite meaning to any idea, thought or effect.


1.Samuel Beckett :

Samuel Beckett was born on April 13, 1906, in Dublin, Ireland. During the 1930s and 1940s, he wrote his first novels and short stories. He wrote a triad of novels within the 1950s and one of his notable plays like 'Waiting for Godot'.


The Nobel prize in literature was awarded to him in 1969. Samuel Beckett wrote in French and English, however his most well-known works, written between WW II and therefore the 1960s, were written in French.

His later works enclosed poetry and story collections and novellas. He died on December 22, 1989, in Paris, France.

His works area was full of allusions to alternative writers like Dante, Rene Descartes, and James Joyce.

2.Jorge Luis Borges :

Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges Acevedo (24 August 1899 – 14 June 1986) was a short-story writer, columnist, poet and translator, and a notable personality in Spanish language and universal literature. Borges most celebrated books are Fictions and The Aleph which were published in the 1940s.


Borges was one in all the earliest writers to embrace what we tend to currently recognize as postmodernist methods.

Borges never wrote a single novel, he was all about the story format and alternative short works like poems and essays.

These stories are not concerning naturalism or realistic depictions of daily life rather are additional into the erudite stuff and therefore the shattering down of ancient notions regarding time and house.

Despite their philosophical themes, these stories go down the postmodernist route in refusing to supply any grand narratives to elucidate human existence.

3.Vladimir Nabokov :

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (April 22, 1899 - July 2, 1977) could be a robust nut to crack and folks like to debate about whether or not he is a modernist or postmodern, since there is a certain continuity between the two and Nabokov probably splash in each.


Since he was Russian born, he wrote in Russian as well as English.

Two collections of verse, Poems (1916) and Two Paths (1918), before leaving Russia in 1919 were published by Nabokov.

Nabokov's most postmodernist novel is 'Pale Fire', has an innovative narrative structure and spurts our expectations.

Not solely will it draw attention to the means of reading a text but it instead it revels in its disorder and refuses to produce any clear-cut explanations of the recovering loss. Together with works like Pnin (1957), Ada or Ador (1969), and the Gift (1970), tells why Nabokovis often named as a postmodernist trailblazer.

4.Dylan Thomas :

Dylan Marlais Thomas (27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953) mostly renowned for his sharply lyrical and heartfelt poetry. Also, his chaotic personal life is not hidden too many people. The brilliance of his work executes categorization complex.


Thomas can be witnessed as an addition into the 20th century regarded to be one of the most comprehensive Welsh poets of all time.

His ingenious use of language and strong imagery in his poems is what he is well known for.

Thomas began writing poetry very early and his notebooks from 1930 and 1934, exhibit the young poet’s struggle with plenty of personal trials.

A Child's Christmas In Wales (1952); Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (1947); Under Milk Wood (1954); Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Dog (1940); In My Craft Or Sullen Art (1946); Fern Hill (1945); Prologue (1952) are some of his most celebrated works.

Modernism and Postmodernism; the distinction

Modernism started in the 1890s and lasted till about 1945 on the other hand Postmodernism arose notably after 1968 that is following World War II.

• While we see postmodernism as a reaction to modernism, we see a refusal in the importance of reasonable thought. Also, the thought during the postmodern era was based on irrational, absurd consideration process.; Modernism was much more drifted towards sensible and valid centres to expand knowledge.

• Postmodernism could be observed as based on an anarchical, non-totalized and uncertain nature of awareness. On the opposite side modernism is an ordered and circumscribed nature of experience.

• The strategy of postmodernism was much based on subjectivity. It needed the rational nature and views were eloquent and fully focused on belief. While the approach of the Modernist was the aspiration, logical and reasonable.

• Another primary variation between modernism and postmodernism is that the postmodernist intellectuals consider that there is no universal truth or ideal. At the same time, the modernist thought is about the search of a conceptual truth of life.

• The postmodernism strives to remove the difference between high and low whereas Modernism endeavours to assemble an identified view of the world. Modernist reasoning also says that mankind progresses by science and reason.

Art and literature works were regarded as novel creations of the artists during the modernist period. The intention of creating art and literary works were earnest among people. These works presented a wide sense, also novels and books commanded society.

When we proceed to the postmodernist period, with the opening of networks, television and computers became powerful in society. Copying and preserving of Art and literary works began with the help of digital communications.

People started considering in deriving their own meanings from pieces of art and literature and no longer believed in art and literary works exhibiting one unique purpose. Interactive media and the Internet led to the dissemination of awareness.

The Absurd Drama

A kind of drama which highlighted the absurdity of human presence by using rambling, repeated, and unreasoning dialogues. The idea of Absurd goes back many centuries and can be found even in Greek culture. The writer of Absurd drama entered this breaking of regular opening, central also ending arrangements.

Absurd drama twirled throughout purposeless and complex ideas as well as areas that required much realistic and coherent improvement. The theatre of Absurd is not at all a positive drama.

A literary drift in drama rife everywhere in Europe from the 1940s is noted as the Theatre of the Absurd. The elimination and concerns of the twentieth century were skilled by the Absurdist theatre by questioning the sense of truth and vision.


Absurdist playwrights focus on the theories of French-Algerian thinker Camus. A fraction of the leading significant figures within the Theatre of the Absurd were presented by Apostle Dickson, collectively with playwrights Martin Esslin and Samuel Beckett.

"Waiting for Godot", "Happy Days" and "Endgame" by Samuel Beckett "The Just Assassins" by Albert Camus are some of the absurd writings.

Stream of Consciousness

A method where the writer is allowed to describe the emotional status of a persona in a more powerful and possible way. Here the writer takes the reader in the thought of the personality. the term was coined by William James to denote the flow of inner experiences in his book "Principles of Psychology"(1890).

It seeks to depict the multiple thoughts and feels crossing the mind of the reader.

James Joyce in 'Ulysses'(1922) who held to know this work took this method to an excellent level.


The stream of consciousness was not only used to show the thinking of a personality but also to replicate the sense of thinking, which enables the reader to access the mind and world of the personality more wholly.

Since 1970s many authors had acquired from James Joyce, but Virginia Wulf and William Faulkner are the two prominent authors to develop Strem of Consciousness into a far level. "To the Lighthouse" (1927); "The Sound and the Fury" (1931) are works with the stream of consciousness.


“Think you're escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home.”James Joyce, Ulysses

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