Thursday, July 14, 2005

A quote I stumbled across


"Now that this is a po-pomo world, how is Modernism to be understood? Artistic progress has proved to be an illusion. Manifestoes have become impossible."


Anonymous Becky said...

Oh my god. Where did you even find that? To me it sounds entirely meaningless. Why would postmodernism be a problem for modernism more than it's a problem for anything else?

I think that postmodernism is one of those theories that has a valid and useful core, but that has been hijacked by a bunch of people who basically want to just write whatever the heck they feel like and not get criticised. A bit like Chaos Theory.

The really annoying thing about that quote is that it's impossible to attack. It could mean so many different things (although I'm sticking with my original argument that it doesn't mean anything at all). What do YOU think about the quote MP? I haven't gone through your archives yet so I don't know what you think about postmodernism in general, or if you even think about it at all. But I can't even begin to imagine what Anonymous might actually be saying in that sentence.


7/15/2005 08:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Becky said...

Hmm I just realised I misread that... I now see we're talking about POST postmodernism, not just postmodernism. I stand by my comments about it not meaning anything at all though.

7/15/2005 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger MelbournePhilosopher said...

I was doing some research into architecture - I'm daydreaming about designing a house :) Postmodernism was especially big in architecture...

Mostly, I just thought it was funny. But I also sympathise, on account of the line "manifestoes have become impossible".

I certainly find it difficult to put out any particular claim, any particular rant about the world and not have it be wrong from at least some perspectives.

I mostly think that postmodernism is funny, and it often brings a smile to my face. I often wonder whether my own opinions mean anything at all, or whether they are just so much noise :)

But I'm pretty rational at heart - or at mind, rather!

As for what he's saying, I guess it's that postmodernism has failed, and that the idea of a "manifesto", which I take here to mean a statement of position, usually counter to the established position (if there is one), has become impossible it today's diverse world...


7/15/2005 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger Samuel Douglas said...

I still have a soft spot for a good mainfesto.

Seriously though, the failure of post-modernism seems to be the death of the widely held idea. Many people don't believe in Modernity any more. If you combine this (dis)belief with a (dis)belief in Post-modernity, then what do you believe in? Can there be a way of coherently holding these two things in your head at once?

7/15/2005 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger MH said...

The source is an article from The New York Times of the 21st of October, 2000, by Edward Rothstein titled 'Modernism and Postmodernism, the Bickering Twins'. It is available at

7/19/2005 02:50:00 PM  

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