Postmodernism

Start Your Free Trial

What's the difference between modernism and postmodernism?

Expert Answers info

jmj616 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write454 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

I know that the following answer is a cop-out, but I think it needs to be said.

"Modern" simply refers to what's going on now.  Whatever trends there might be now in art, literature, philosophy, etc., are modern.  It therefore follows that post-modern is a non-sequitir, a meaningless phrase.  How can anything be later than now?  In the absence of time machines, post-modern is meaningless

Okay, I know that when people say modern they're referring to certain early-20th century trends, and when they say post-modern, they're referring to later trends. 

When you think about it, though, it doesn't make a drop of sense.

Is that a relativistic, circular, fuzzy, post-modern way of approaching the question? 

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write16,848 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

If the question is seeking to examine the literary movement of modernism and post- modernism, I think that some distinction is needed to be made.  The first would be that both movements reject the sense of totality.  Modernists believed that the presence of human freedom and autonomy were forces that...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 701 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

lynnebh eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write1,203 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial