What are the basic connections between postmodernism and existentialism?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Both postmodernism and existentialism are essentially philosophical systems that became popular among literary theorists. Existentialism was the somewhat earlier movement, arising in the wake of World War II, and postmodernism slightly later, and influenced by existentialism.  In both cases, the two philosophical system address issues of the "death of God" and the ways in which it is possible to philosophise and create art in wake of horrors such as the Holocaust without God to create meaning from horror. In the case of existentialism, there was a solution of a "great leap" off faith, even without an object of faith. Postmodernism, in its classic formulation, did not really offer solutions but instead argued for an infinite deferral of all meaning, although by the twenty-first century many leading postmodernists began to move away from this, and move towards consideration of religion (Derrida admitted that there was a centre, etc.)

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial