What are some historical events the shaped the Postmodern literary period?
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I would say that the Cold War played a large role in how the Postmodern period evolved. For the Postmodern thinkers, the idea that World War II set out to end aggression and repression and then saw these same qualities represented by both sides in the Cold War helped to bring out the idea that there is a sense of nothingness in the world. In addition to this, I would say that the emergence of technology and the different and radical ways in which technology changed the way people interact with the world, with themselves, and with the concepts that define one's identity is another critical historical event that helped to mark the postmodern movement. Television, the advancement and decline of news print, the emergence of the internet, and the radical change in social networking are all elements that postmodern thinkers love to examine and play with from an intellectual point of view. This transformational nature also transformed art and what defines art for Postmodern thinkers. For Postmodernists, the 1960s was a time period that was critical because it was able to allow artists and thinkers to see what can be done from what is present, a basic tenet of intellectual expansion that is a part of Postmodernism.
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