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Postmodernism refers both to a set of philosophical and aesthetic theories and also to the culture and works that seem most to exemplify these theories. While there are several different flavours of postmodernism, many are based on the notion that humans are not free agents but subject to systematic forces beyond their control, that meaning is indefinitely deferred, that there are no absolute standards, and that all statements are in some way relative. Postmodernist critics look at art and culture from the perspective of pointing out ruptures and contradictions, and showing how texts undermine any attempt to view them or the world as stable.

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