Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ihab Hassan on Postmodernism

What is postmodernism? Is it an historical era? Is it a specific movement in the arts? It is an artistic sensibility? A set of philosophical precepts? How does it differ from modernism? Theorist Ihab Hassan famously divided modernism and postmodernism along the following lines. We will discuss these differences in detail in class. For now, think about these issues/characteristics as you read my translation of Furukawa Hideo’s recent work “Now There Is Neither Purity Nor Defilement” (2012).

Modernism                                                  Postmodernism

Romanticism / Symbolism                        Pataphysics / Dadaism
Form (conjunctive, closed)                        Antiform (disjunctive, open)
Purpose                                                         Play
Design                                                           Chance
Hierarchy                                                     Anarchy
Mastery / Logos                                          Exhaustion / Silence
Art Object / Finished Work                       Process / Performance / Happening
Distance                                                        Participation
Creation / Totalization / Synthesis          Decreation / Deconstruction / Antithesis
Presence                                                       Absence
Centering                                                      Dispersal
Genre / Boundary                                      Text / Intertext
Semantics                                                     Rhetoric
Paradigm                                                      Syntagm
Hypotaxis                                                     Parataxis
Metaphor                                                     Metonymy
Selection                                                      Combination
Root / Depth                                               Rhizome / Surface
Interpretation / Reading                          Against Interpretation / Misreading
Signified                                                       Signifier
Lisible                                                          Scriptible
Narrative / Grand Histoire                      Anti-narrative / Petite Histoire
Master Code                                               Idiolect
Type                                                            Mutant
Genital / Phallic                                         Polymorphous / Androgynous
Paranoia                                                      Schizophrenia
God the Father                                          The Holy Ghost
Metaphysics                                               Irony
Determinacy                                               Indeterminacy
Transcendence                                           Immanence

Source: Ihab Hassan, “Toward a Concept of Postmodernism” (From The Postmodern Turn, 1987).


Mother said...

You might also want to add: (1) emphasis on affect / waning of affect, and (2) clear division between "high" and "low" culture / blurring of "high" and "low."


Mother said...

Add this too: epistemological (Modernism) vs. ontological (Postmodernism)