The term postmodern literature is used to describe certain characteristics of post–World War II literature (relying heavily, for example, on fragmentation, paradox, questionable narrators, etc.) and a reaction against Enlightenment ideas implicit in Modernist literature.
Postmodern literature, like postmodernism as a whole, is hard to define and there is little agreement on the exact characteristics, scope, and importance of postmodern literature. But as is often the case with artistic movements, postmodern literature is commonly defined in relation to its precursor. For example, a postmodern literary work tends not to conclude with the neatly tied-up ending as is often found in modernist literature, but often parodies it. Postmodern authors tend to celebrate chance over craft, and further employ metafiction to undermine the writer's authority. Another characteristic of postmodern literature is the questioning of distinctions between high and low culture through the use of pastiche, the combination of subjects and genres not previously deemed fit for literature.
Famous quotes containing the words postmodern and/or literature:
“The Modernists command was Pounds Make it New. The postmodern imperative is Get it Used. The more used the better.”
—Andrei Codrescu (b. 1946)
“Literature is not exhaustible, for the sufficient and simple reason that a single book is not. A book is not an isolated entity: it is a narration, an axis of innumerable narrations. One literature differs from another, either before or after it, not so much because of the text as for the manner in which it is read.”
—Jorge Luis Borges (18991986)