A Postmodern Reader by Joseph P. Natoli

By Joseph P. Natoli

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Fiedler, who was joined by another American critic, Susan Sontag, found in Postmodernism a "new sensibility" (Sontag's term), a new spontaneity identified with the American counterculture of the 1960s. In ''Cross the BorderClose the Gap: Postmodernism," published in 1975, but written much earlier, Fiedler explored further his own brand of Postmodernism, which tended heavily toward pop art. Bradbury sees in Fiedler's and Sontag's definition of Postmodernism a "new post-humanist consciousness" (Bradbury 1983, 323) that rebels against traditional "humanist'' concepts of the nature and function of art.

Hans Bertens, "The Postmodern Weltaanschauung and its Relation with Modernism: An Introductory Survey," in Aproaching Postmodernism eds. , 1986), pp. 9-48. Reprinted by permission of publisher and author. < previous page page_25 If you like this book, buy it! html6/19/2010 2:53:38 PM next page > page_26 < previous page page_26 next page > Page 26 The survey that I am to offer of the postmodern world view as it has emerged in the writings of these critics of Postmodernism, will of course directly confront us with the vexing problem of what is actually constituted by the term Postmodernism, a problem that is still a long way from being solved, as is both suggested by the liveliness of the debate and by a recent statement of Ihab Hassan's, who has more than any other critic contributed to the gradual acceptance of the term.

From the start it was firmly entrenched in the inner recesses of modernity; fear of the "unfoundedness" of certainty was, arguably, the most formidable among modernity's many inner demons. Many times over it put the modern project on the defensive. Even when, for a time, forced into the limbo of the subconscious, it went on poisoning the joy of victorious offensives. Unlike the first kind of doubt, found resonant and useful and therefore rapturously displayed in public, the second kind was treated with unqualified and unremitting hostility: it was marked for total and irrevocable destruction.

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