Postmodernism

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What are some historical events the shaped the Postmodern literary period?

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The key historical event that shaped the post-modern literary period was World War II and the revelation of the Jewish holocaust, or, if we want to broaden the scope, the whole period from 1914 to 1945, from the beginning of World War I through the rise of fascist dictatorships, the Depression, and World War II. That period unveiled horror after horror on the European continent. This naturally led Europe's leading intellectuals to start exploring what went wrong. How did the civilization—meaning the pan-European civilization that seemed so advanced, so civilized, and so happily on the path to using reason, rationalism, and science to build a better, more humane, and more beautiful world—end up at the holocaust and the mass destruction of World War II?

Post-modernism, which burst onto the scene in the 1960s, especially with Jaques Derrida's talk "Sign, Structure, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences," could be seen as delayed or, more accurately, a slow-brewing response to...

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