3.2 Language, the Common Medium of Presenting Reality and Fantasy77
3.3 The Narrator on the Edge of Reality79
3.4 Metafiction in a Fantastic World81
1. Parody, Deconstruction of Past/Present85
2. Trout Fishing in America, a Parody87
2.1 Shattering Metanarratives and Old Prototypes88
2.1.1 American Dream89
2.1.2 Trout, a Parody of Myth92
3. In Watermelon Sugar as a Parody of Utopia93
3.1. One Kind of Reading, the Novel as a Utopia93
3.1.1 Binary Opposition of iDEATH and Forgotten Works94
3.2. In Watermelon Sugar, Deconstruction of Utopia94
3.2.1 Utopia as a Metanarrative95
3.2.2 Utopia and Binary Opposition97
3.2.3. Deconstruction of a Utopia98
18.104.22.168 Narrator for iDEATH99
22.214.171.124. Forgotten Works, another Utopia100
3.2.4. Metaphysics of Presence104
1. Chapters Review109
2. Findings and Results116
3. Suggestion for Further Research119
1. General Background
American literature is indebted a great deal to the Beat Generation. In fact the shift towards the postmodern fiction and poetry wasn’t possible if it were not for the Beat Generation writers. Richard Brautigan is always considered as a writer emerging from this generation. Although he never committed himself to any label or literary movement, his writings is always considered as good examples of the American novel at the period. This thesis is going to analyze two of the early and most important novels of Brautigan.
Richard Brautigan is the author of ten novels, nine volumes of poetry and a collection of short stories. According to Companion to the American Novel he is best remembered for Trout Fishing in America which is considered as “a novel that revolutionized postmodern fiction and may becompared today to works of his contemporary, Ken Kesey, and viewed as the precursor to such younger writers as Tom Robbins” (176).
According to the same source, “Brautigan was born on January 20, 1935, in Tacoma, Washington, to Mary Lula Brautigan; apparently he never met his father, Bernard F. Brautigan, and his mother reportedly also abandoned her children from time to time”(176). At the age of 21 and after being hospitalized as a paranoid schizophrenic, he left Tacoma for San Francisco and met with Lawrence Ferlinghetti who ran a bookstore and small publisher house named City Lights. This bookstore was a gathering place for young poets and writers like Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs and Brautigan was soon get influenced by their radical views about literature. The first novel he wrote was Trout Fishing in America but the first novel that was published by him was named A Confederate General from Big Sur (1965). Trout Fishing in America hadn’t been published sooner than two years later in 1967 but when it was released its sudden success among the young American readers was almost a legend. From that time on Brautigan was appreciated by his young readers for his revolutionary style but the critical success didn’t come to him till his death. This American writer committed suicide in 1984 at the age of forty-nine. It was only in late 80s that the literary critics came to conclusion about his works and labeled them as good examples of early postmodern metafiction and cross–genre works. As mentioned above, Brautigan indebted much of his fame to The Beat Generation, a generation which Random House Dictionary, quoting Jack Kerouac, defines in this way: “those who were raised among the Second World War, those who probably due to the influence of the cold war had the tendency to habits and a desire for getting rid of social and sexual tensions”. So it would be useful to follow this movement from a closer view.
1.1 Beat Generation
The Beat Generation is a term coined first by an American journalist named Holmes. He was a friend of Kerouac and after reviewing his friend’s ideas published an article in The New York Times Magazine and introduced the term as a label for the young generation emerging from the post-war era in 1952. The term refers to a social life style inspired by careless living and drug addiction which was proper at the time and was a source of inspiration for a few young writers and poets that later were labeled as “beatniks”. These writers had a central group including three major writers, Alain Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William. S. Burroughs. Their main attitude in literature was rejection of fixed mainstream literary works as well as the American values in post-war era. They had been inspired a lot by the free life style of ordinary youth along with some effects from experimentation with drugs and an interest in Eastern spirituality. Jamie Russell in The Beat Generation writes:
The Beat phenomenon transformed American society. Not only was it the first expression of what we would now dub youth culture—paving the way for the hippies, punks, grungers and ravers as well as a thousand and one other styles—but it was also the first moment in Western culture when literature, music and film became cool. In other words, it was totally opposed to the boring adult world of work, money and responsibility. (7)
Kerouac described the meaning of Beat in this term as a mixture of “beaten down” and the “beatific”. It was a term taken from the dialect of drifters and members of circus at the late 40s. The members of this literary movement believed in works highlighting spontaneity, open emotion and total engagement in worldly experiences. Yet in comparison with all these, the Beats had a strong tendency for spiritual experiments coming from their devotedness towards the eastern tradition of spiritualism that could be seen in Zen-Buddhism. Many of these writers borrowed terms for their writings from traditions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. They were mostly resided in San Francisco which became later a capital for hippies that succeeded Beat Generation and made the counter-culture of 1960s. These writers are now considered as the first group who doubted solid values of modern literature and wrote works which had been labeled later as postmodern literature.
1.2 Labeling Brautigan, not an Easy Task
Categorizing and labeling Brautigan is not an easy task. This creative novelist transgresses boundaries and schools of writing. His works always bear his signature and this individual uniqueness resists any classification. All of these caused him to be labeled in some texts as off-beat. His novels and stories often contain black comedy, parody, satire, and Zen Buddhism. Some critics tend to explain Brautigan as a writer of metafiction, as a minimalist writer influenced by Zen but in fact he is simultaneously both of them and none of them. In other words what is crucial in reading Brautigan is avoiding either/or structure. As a postmodernist writer he escapes traditional conventions and structural binary oppositions. In a minimalist language, short and simple sentences his works challenge hierarchies, metanarrative and all the history and culture of America.
1.3 Brautigan’sWriting Career
Brautigan’s first published novel, A Confederate General from Big Sur, was not so successful. However publication of Trout Fishing in America in 1967 brought him fame and made him known as the representative of the newly emerged youth-movement of the late 1960s. Though this novel was published after A Confederate General from Big Sur, it had been written before it in 1961 and is considered Brautigan’s first technical novel. The novel does not have a linear time and summarizing its plot is difficult. Some generalities such as the setting of the story and the various times of the narrative are recognizable. The novel describes the narrator’s childhood, his day to day life of adulthood and a trip in Idaho. The narrative is broken here and there by interfering different characters, recipes, memories and even Trout Fishing in America as a character. The term “Trout Fishing in America” has different functions throughout the novel. It is first of all the title of the novel; in some parts it functions as the narrator of the novel; it is also the name of a character appearing in one chapter. The book with its ironic title is full of references to American society, habits and well known concepts. Brautigan brings history of America into his novel and turns the narrative into a discourse between past and present.
The other novel, analyzed in the present research, is In Watermelon Sugar published immediately after Trout Fishing in America in 1968. Despite the previous novel, this one has a recognizable storyline. It is about a small hamlet called iDEATH, a fantastic world in which many things are made up of watermelon sugar. The sun shines in different colors every day and watermelons have the same color as the sun of that particular day. The narrator, which has no name according to he himself, narrates some past events in flashbacks which build the most chapters of the novel. The story is about inBOIL and his gang, a group previously residing at iDEATH and now at somewhere called forgotten works. The narrator is contemptuous toward this group and their place of residence. Margaret, ex-beloved of the narrator has also a tendency toward this group. At last, inBOIL and his followers return to iDEATH and suicide by cutting themselves to death.In this way Brautigan creates a utopian world according to the principles of fantastic fictions, but this is not the whole story. Again we have playful Brautigan who plays through his text and also plays with his reader. Different contradictions in the novel justify its parodic nature. Certainty and calmness as characteristics of utopian worlds are ironically under question.
Brautigan’scareer in novel writing consists of ten novels. Besides the first three novels mentioned above, his other seven novels by the order of publishing are as follows: TheAbortion: An Historical Romance (1971), The Hawkline Monster: A Gothic Western (1974), Willard and His Bowling Trophies: A Perverse Mystery (1975), Sombrero Fallout: A Japanese Novel (1976), Dreaming of Babylon: A Private Eye Novel 1942 (1977), The Tokyo-Montana Express (1980), So The Wind Won’t Blow It All Away (1982), An Unfortunate Woman: A Journey (1994).
1.4. Brautigan and Postmodernism
As was mentioned before, Brautigan does not yield to any fixed criteria. He renews old materials and dead concepts. Many words, places, things and happenings which are somehow exhausted through their everyday use are refreshed again in his works. These characteristics can all be traced in postmodernism. The very nature of postmodernism too is contradiction and avoidance of any reduction to fixed principles or criteria. Our new world has made postmodernism inevitable and Brautigan belongs to this age. We live among contradictions and in such a world metanarratives are of no help anymore. It was the fact that Brautigan himself was aware of it. Malcolm Bradbury in The Modern American Novel listed Brautigan under the postmodern writers and argues that his novels are “attempts at the dissolution of forms, the breaking of serial orders, the collapse of nominative processes and identities, the substitution of free invention for static mimesis” (170).This statement in addition to its other significances reveals the postmodern abilities hidden in Brautigan’s fiction. The two novels that are discussed in this research belong to a branch of postmodern fiction categorized as metafiction. In these kinds of novels the narrator suddenly interprets his own narrating by addressing directly to the reader. This quality divides these novels from the mainstream fiction and makes them a new genre in which the time and space are interrupted.
2. The Argument
The present thesis studies two novels by Richard Brautigan: Trout Fishing in America and In Watermelon Sugar. These two novels by disobeying the accepted norms expose some questions both in literary and ideological level.
Trout fishing in America is an example of postmodern novel, different from mainstream novels. Conventions of novel writing are not fully observed in this novel and the reader, from the very first lines, understands that she is reading a kind of text which cannot be easily analyzed by defined structures and forms. Using structuralist narratology reduces the text to some predefined elements and wastes the parts which are not compatible with these principles. This characteristic led the researcher to adopt poststructuralist narratology for analyzing the text; an approach which acclaims diversity of texts and respects innovation and difference. From different foundations of poststructuralist narratology, deconstruction is one chosen for studying these two novels. According to Derrida deconstruction is present in all texts, but what encouraged the researcher to choose this foundation from the others is that these two texts deconstruct themselves consciously. In other words Brautigan intends to subvert the literature of his past and his intention is apparent in these texts. Such texts are more open to be read by a deconstructive reading. Deconstructive reading, rather than deconstructing the text, highlights deconstruction which already exists within the text. It shows that how a text itself deconstructs itself. Derrida is the main figure whose theories and methodology are applied to these novels.
One strategy of deconstruction is deconstructing binary oppositions. In these two novels some of the main binary oppositions are found and their deconstructions are shown. Binary of past and present, presence and absence, fictionality and reality are the studied binaries in these novels.
Scrutinizing binary of reality and fictionality, respecting Derrida’s discussions, lead to these questions: Where is the boundary between world of fiction and that of reality? Is there such a boundary? This question is not just the thesis question, but a question of postmodern era and the question of these two novels as well. What is the answer of the novel? Trout Fishing in America makes a world which intermingles with the world of the author. The process of writing the novel is part of the fiction itself. In Watermelon Sugar presents a fantastic world. However this fantastic world is narrated in a realistic manner. This narrative shatters downour categorization of reality and fictionality. Is there any base for confirmation of reality of our world and fictionality of the world defined in In Watermelon Sugar? These questions are some fundamental questions of human thought and ideology. This kind of indeterminacy shatters thousand years old basics of human life and threatens all those constructions made upon them.
The binary of presence and absence, and pursuant to it, past and present are other binary oppositions studied in the following chapters. Why does Derrida put emphasis on the binary of presence and absence? The crucial function of this binary in giving authority to many constructions is studied through good examples from the texts of these novels. What is the relation between the narrator and this binary? This question is very significant in reading In Watermelon Sugar. The present narrative is compared with the silent narrative, and the researcher shows the reason of some dominant reading of this text suggested by different critics. It shows that deconstruction of this binary opposition is very helpful in revealing deep levels of narrative and hearing the voice of silent narrative. Why does dominancy of one narrative take shape and how can deconstruction eliminate this dominancy?
Another question asked in the present thesis is about the function of parody in these two texts. How does parody operate in parallel with deconstructionist nature of the text? How does Brautigan enjoy the possibilities of parody?
Parody as the perfect genre of postmodernism has different controversial aspects. Brautigan in most of his novels, benefits from parody in order to satirize different literary genres and man-made constructions of life. Parodic nature of Brautigan’s novels opens the old, long history of literature and human culture into the worlds of his fictions. This characteristic makes his works potential for intertextual approaches. However the present thesis focuses mostly on the function of parody in deconstruction of time and binary opposition of past and present.
Another concern of this thesis would be language and meaning. Derrida’s differance is studied in Trout Fishing in America, and illusive nature of meaning is foregrounded by different examples from the text. The best example is the term ‘Trout Fishing in America’ which is repeated in different contexts with different meanings. Derrida’s theory in this respect would be explained and the result of replacement of signified by chain of signifiers is discussed.
Deconstructive reading of these two novels reveals representations of postmodernism both in their form and their attitudes toward different aspects of life.
3. Literature Review
This section reviews first the primary and secondary sources used in the present research and then goes to the other researches and studies done on these two novels by Brautigan.
The main books used for analysisin this research are the texts of Brautigan’s two novels: Trout Fishing in America and In Watermelon Sugar. Trout Fishing in America was published in 1967. This book is introduced as a novella, prose poem and novel. Maybe these different titles given to this literary work are the result of its disobedient nature which resists categorization and rebels the boundaries of storytelling and novel writing. This 172 page novel consists of 47 chapters, some of them less than one page length. One hardly can say what Trout Fishing in America is about. It is about America, about American dream, American family, parody of American literature, etc. This is really a hard task to categorize a novel which its nature is in opposition of any categorization. Adopting a conventional attitude or a structuralist approach for reading this novel makes us disappointed. This text is very illusive just like a trout and its fishing is not possible. It requires a perspective free from imposed rules on creative works of art, an approach in harmony of the unbounded nature of this work, an attitude eager to discover and create. The novel provides the reader with the opportunity of creation and in this way the reader in each reading can write a new novel and experiencejouissanc.
In Watermelon Sugar is the other novel discussed here. It was published in 1968 and is preceded by Trout Fishing in America. This novel is different from Trout Fishing in America in that it is more similar to the conventional familiar novel. The novel has a single story which is relatable and the narrative is a linear one. The setting is a hamlet called iDEATH which is somehow a fantastic place. Some critics assume iDEATH as a utopia and seek different features of utopian world. This novel is a good example of hidden layers of narrative which can be unveiled by adopting a deconstructive reading.
Derrida’s theories applied in reading these novels are mostly extracted from his two books, of Grammatology and Writing and Difference. However due to the complex nature of these philosophical theories the researcher used other secondary sources which explain Derrida’s statements and thought. Deconstruction as a method of reading suggested by Derrida, binary opposition and differance are explained in these two books.
This approach with deconstruction as one of the main bases sheds light to different contradictions hidden in the text and provides the reader with opportunity for discovery and enjoyment. One of the most important books utilized in the present thesis is Postmodern Narrative by Mark Currie. This book first of all introduces the transition from structuralist narrative to poststructuralist one. Curry himself describes the intention of his book in this way:
This book aims to describe the transition from the formalist and structuralist narratologies of the recent past, to set out the principles and procedures of the new narratologies, and to illustrate the extended scope and continuing vitality of a narratology in the process of transforming into something much bigger than it was: a narratology capable of bringing its expertise to bear on narratives wherever they can be found, which is everywhere. (7)
He then explains the most crucial changes in narratology in 1980s and after; the shift from “the scientific assumption that narratology could be an objective science which discovers inherent formal and structural properties in its object narratives” (7). This book is a good source for the history of narratology and knowing about poststructuralist narratology. One learns from this book that one of the basics of poststructuralist narratology is refusing to reduce a work of art to some abstract rules and categories.
The other useful sources in writing this thesis are three books by Linda Hutcheon: Poetics of Postmodernism, Politics of Postmodernism and Narcissistic Narrative: The Metafictional Paradox. In Poetics of Postmodernism, Hutcheon explains about “a flexible conceptual structure which could at once constitute and contain postmodern culture and our discourses both about it and adjacent to it” (ix). She then introduces “historiographic metafiction” which according to her, characterizes postmodern fiction. The fourth chapter of the thesis with focus on binary of past and present has many references to this book. As Hutcheon believes, the most important postmodern concept is “the presence of the past” (5). She explains about totalizing narratives in both history and fiction. She then goes to postmodernism tendency of questioning this totalization; the tendency of breaking master narratives. Master narrative, a term introduced by Lyotard is one of the concepts studied in chapter four. American dream as a metanarrative is under question in Trout Fishing in America and utopia as another metanarrative is under question in In Watermelon Sugar.
Politics of Postmodernism is another source book by Hutcheon which explains what postmodernism is and how it is realized in literature. Representing the past, knowing the past in the present, de-totalizing total history and parodic postmodern representation are among the important concepts in this book which were very helpful in the present study.
Narcissistic Narrative: The Metafictional Paradox is another book by Linda Hutcheon which is used as a precious source in the present thesis. In this book Hutcheon goes to self-reflexive novels and explain their characteristics and the reading they demand. Participation of the reader in the fictional process is one of the important features of these novels. Chapter two from this book provides a good survey of mimesis in narrative from Plato up to now. This discussion is very crucial, because the third chapter of the thesis is an attempt to deconstruct the binary of fictionality/reality in Brautigan’s two novels.
An important article used mostly in chapter four is Richard Brautigan’sUtopia of Detachment by Jeff Foster. The critic’s reading of In Watermelon Sugar provides a utopian perspective in which the world inside the narrative is being idealized. The present thesis challenges such a view.
The section named Postmoderns and Others: The 1960s and 1970s, written by Malcolm Bradbury and published in The Modern American Novel is another source which is used in present thesis. In this section Bradbury explains the American flow of experimental works in fictional form through the postmodern aspects presented in Brautigan’s fiction.
Another article which has been used in the present thesis is Narrative Technique inBrautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar written by Carolyn Blakely. The author explains in this article that In Watermelon Sugar can be considered as a parody of the pastoral world of American history and tries to show that our understanding of the narrative technique could be affected by this kind of reading.
The Geography of Time Remembered: Richard Brautigan’s Autobiographical Novels is the other article used here as a source. This article is written by Bo Pettersson and studies the narrative of four novels by Brautigan including Trout Fishing in America with concentration on three elements: space, time and the remembering. Some of the discussions appeared in this article is used in chapter three of the present thesis.
4. Thesis Outline
The first chapter of the thesis is introduction which provides a brief account of Brautigan’s biography, his works and the historical context out of which he had risen. Then in the next part, the main discussion of the research is stated and the related questions are proposed. In literature review, the researcher gives a short account of the main sources used in this research and introduces them. Then in methodology and approach, the researcher explains that this study is library-based and uses poststructuralist approach in reading two narratives by Brautigan. The approach is limited to deconstructive reading as one of the main foundations of postmodern narratology. In definition of key terms, the main literary terms which are referred throughout the whole thesis are explained.
The second chapter of the thesis is dedicated to the approach applied in studying these two novels. A history of narratology and then poststructuralist approach is presented in this chapter. The context of postmodernism leading to formation of these new approaches is explained as well. Then deconstruction as a kind of reading first introduced by the French philosopher Derrida is explained. The main concepts used in reading these novels are defined by benefiting from Currie’s explanations. Hutcheon as another theoretician is introduced in this chapter and those of her theories concerning the main discussions of this project are reviewed.
The body of the present thesis consists of two chapters. The focus of the third chapter is the binary opposition of fictionality and reality. According to Hutcheon, in historiographic metafiction the nature of reality as a base is questioned and the binary opposition of fictionality/reality is deconstructed. In this way fictionality turns into a version of reality, a version which is constructed like other versions. There is no reality outside the text and all versions of reality are conceived through narrative. No one is preferred to the other one.
The third chapter is an attempt to show the deconstruction of binary opposition of reality/ fictionality in two novels by Richard Brautigan. The self reflexivity of Trout Fishing in America is discussed as helpful contribution in disturbing the boundary between reality and fictionality. The process of writing as the sole real thing becomes itself a part of the fiction. The fiction is real because it is describing the process of its being written and this description itself is a part of the fiction.
In the second novel, In Watermelon Sugar, the discussion is about the fact that nothing can guarantee the reality of the reader’s world or fictionality of the narrator’s. The special narrator of this novel is on the edge of reality. For deconstructing this binary one can imagine that the narrator of the story who seems to be aware of other kinds of people assumes himself and his world real, and now he is relating a story for some fantastic readers. This is the base of the discussion which is followed by some examples from the text.
The focus of chapter four is another binary opposition: past and present. Parody is at the heart of these two novels and what happens in a parodic work is the presence of the past or somehow deconstruction of the binary opposition of past and present. Derrida’s model is utilized for this discussion. In postmodern era parody reappears so vigorously that a critic like Linda Hutcheon in Poetics of Postmodernismcalls it “the perfect postmodern form”(11). Adopting deconstruction as the main approach, the thesis makes attempt to uncover deconstruction in parody in general and show this deconstruction in these two narratives by Brautigan. What is important about parody is that it incorporates and challenges what it parodies. Trout Fishing in America is full of references to American history by pointing to different significant characters, artists and works of arts. This intertextuality brings the whole history of America and its different indications into the novel. However this history is no more a stable totalized history as conceived till now. Postmodernism questions the totalization of the metanarrative of history by reproducing it and showing its flexibility. The history is reproduced in Trout Fishing in America and the use of parody is very helpful in this task. Linear time is replaced by circular time and the presence of past in present and presence of present in past is foregrounded.
The second part of this chapter with focus on In Watermelon Sugar is not going to find utopian features in this novel and categorize it. It is an attempt to justify that this narrative is far from being a simple utopian work. It also shows that how this narrative deconstructs one of the old metanarratives which is utopia. The definition of utopia which claims that everything in it is good, necessitates a fixed definition of good and ideal. In other words it means that there is something essentially good; an eternal good. This concept is the main target of poststructuralist critics. Now adopting a deconstructive look and getting close to utopia, exposes this question: what is the base of this ideal? How is it possible to have mere good? In a utopia how is good conceived without bad? These questions are discussed and general concept of narrative is challenged.
Another discussion in this part is deconstruction of the binary of utopia/ dystopia. Many critics believe that iDEATH is a utopia while forgotten works is a dystopia. The thesis challenges the said binary by reading the silent narrative of the text and foregrounding the function of narrative and presence in making binaries.
Chapter five is the conclusion which first of all gives a brief summary of all the chapters and then sums up all the findings and conclusions. This chapter makes attempt to answer the questions proposed in introduction chapter and explains the outcome of the research. The last part of this chapter would be suggestions for further research. In the process of writing the thesis the researcher finds out new subjects for study which could be the title of new thesis and articles. She may also find the texts suitable for other approaches. These suggestions, aiming to give new ideas to the future researchers are presented in this part.
5. Methodology and Approach
The present research is library based. The sources are different library materials including books, article, ebooks and magazines. Some sources on internet were used as well.
The approach applied in the present thesis is poststructuralist. The most important source of approach here is Postmodern Narrative by Currie. In this book the transition from structuralist narratology to poststructuralist one is defined well and the differences between these two approaches are discussed. Poststructuralist narratology bears indications of invention and complexity. It is far from being a scientific approach as was structuralist approach. It refuses to impose some structures on a text. This approach is not even the adventure of discovery; it is invention. Each reading is a new invention of the text and there is no totalization according to this approach.
Enjoying this approach, the researcher tries to create a new text through writing the present thesis. In this approach the boundary between criticism and fiction is blurred and a critic changes to a novelist. So in following chapters a new reading or better to say a new writing of two novels by Richard Brautigan is offered. Deconstruction as one of the bases of poststructuralist narrative is utilized in reading these two novels. By deconstructing binary oppositions of past/present and reality/fictionality the thesis opens different possibilities of the texts and provides new readings.
One important feature of poststructuralist narratology is that it avoids from distinguishing different levels of narrative. Everything is conceived as a whole. The narrator is not distinct from the narrative nor the story or the time of narrative. This important principle of poststructuralist approach in observed in this thesis and whenever the structuralist labels are used the cause is mentioned. Different discussions with different subjects are based on deconstruction of binary opposition. The thesis shows the fact that many effective rules and many important metanarratives are based on binary oppositions. By unveiling and then deconstructing these binaries the thesis emphasizes the arbitrary nature of these rules or master narratives.
6. Definition of Literary Terms
Binary Opposition:Binary Opposition is a term borrowed from linguistics by poststructuralist theorist Jacque Derrida. He believes that western culture expresses thoughts in terms of contrary pairs. Presence/ absence, past/ present, black/ white are some examples. These dichotomies are not simply oppositions but also valulative hierarchies, containing one term that Western culture views as positive or superior and another considered negative or inferior. Deconstruction is a reading which is based on deconstructing binary oppositions. Derrida does not seek to reverse these oppositions, but aims to erase the boundary between them.
Decentralization: Postmodern art challenges the notion of a centre. From a decentered perspective, if one world exists, then all possible worlds exist. This will result in historical plurality and the move to rethink the margins.
در این سایت فقط تکه هایی از این مطلب با شماره بندی انتهای صفحه درج می شود که ممکن است هنگام انتقال از فایل ورد به داخل سایت کلمات به هم بریزد یا شکل ها درج نشود
شما می توانید تکه های دیگری از این مطلب را با جستجو در همین سایت بخوانید
ولی برای دانلود فایل اصلی با فرمت ورد حاوی تمامی قسمت ها با منابع کامل
Deconstruction: Deconstruction is a term originated by the French thinker Jacques Derrida and developed in his critical writings as well as de Man’s. It is a strategy and practice of close reading that unveils the oppositions and contradictions hidden in the text. It demonstrates that any given text is contradictory rather than coherent and unified.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) and Martin Heidegger (1889-1976), German philosophers, are among Derrida’s precursors who “put to radical questions fundamental philosophical concepts such as “knowledge,” “truth,” and “identity”” (Abrams, 57).
Fantasy: A fantasy is a story based on and controlled by an overt violation of what is generally accepted as possibility; it is the narrative result of transforming the condition contrary to fact into fact itself.
Historiographic Metafiction: This term is coined by Canadian critic, Linda Hutcheon. Curry in Postmodern Narrative summarizes Hutcheon’s definition of this term as follows:
This is what Hutcheon calls historiographic metafiction, a new kind of experimental writing which is uniquely capable of fulfilling the poetics of postmodernism precisely because it is epistemological: it raises issues about knowledge of the past and the bearing that narrative has on that knowledge. It has become more or less accepted in the world of literary and cultural studies that the postmodern novel is a philosophical novel, much better qualified than traditional discursive philosophy to address the question of the knowability of the past because it is stuck in the orbit of fiction and narrative. (35)
This kind of fiction unveils both fictional and worldly nature of a work of art. It does not deny the existence of the past but, asserts its textualized accessibility to us.
Iterability: Iterability is a concept introduced by Derrida. “Iterability” is a structure of repeatability. This word like many other terms introduced by Derrida is a portmanteau. According to Why Derrida it is the mixture of the Latin iter (‘again’) and the Sanskrit itara (‘other’). A sign, text or writing should be repeatable in order to be readable and repetition indicates sameness; at the same time a singular sign when repeated in a different context has a different meaning. In this way iterability entails both ‘repetition’ (sameness) and ‘alterity (difference).