Realism After Postmodernism (junior tutorial)





Are we “post” the postmodern period? If so, what comes next? This course seeks to answer these questions by, first, examining what postmodernism was and, second, analyzing contemporary American writers who write in the wake of the postmodernist heyday. Many of these writers conceive of themselves as “realist” novelists, but they also recognize that they can no longer writer straightforward realist fiction. Instead, they must take into account the interventions of postmodernism—which include end of originality and the rise of metafiction—as they craft their accounts of contemporary American life. How do these writers incorporate, revise, or disregard the work of the postmodernist writers that preceded them? We’ll read representative samples of postmodern novels and theory and then turn to the fiction that appeared in the decades that followed. Authors include Jennifer Eagan, David Foster Wallace, and Jonathan Franzen. 

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