Is Postmodernism “dead and buried”?

Many academics argue that Postmodernism collapsed at the same time as Twin Towers did (9/11 Ten Years After, p.2). Whether 9/11 deserves such a pivotal role in our artistic and literary tradition could be argued. Others insist that the end of Postmodernism is marked by Jean Baudrillard’s death, the last of the greatest intellectuals of the era (Beaumont, online).

But the Postmodernism was “dead and buried” earlier than that, reveals Dr Alan Kirby (2006, online). Digimodernism, or formerly Pseudo-modernism, has “displaced Postmodernism to establish itself as the twenty-first century’s new cultural paradigm” (Kirby, 2009, p.1). Digimodernism emerged in the mid 1990s and it is characterized by “excruciating banality and vacuity of the cultural product” (Kirby, 2006), as well as  infantilization and general decline of intellectual culture: “The pseudo-modern era, at least so far, is a cultural desert” (ibid.)

First decade of the 21st century is far more consumerist-sophisticated than any other in the past, which consequence is the flood of a product (including cultural product) on the scale never experienced before. I strongly disagree with Dr Kirby that everything produced nowadays is of intellectually poor quality (most of it probably is, but not everything!). The difficulty, which today’s recipient is facing, is to find this ‘culturally significant product’ in the vast accumulation of junk, which as any other challenge could be actually intellectually stimulating. It is the modern quest for the Holy Grail!

This new era is still burdened by the mistakes and faults caused by it’s predecessor. What it needs is yet another cultural revolution to cleanse itself and have a fresh start (Tabula Rasa). Howgh!

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9/11 Ten Years After: History, Narrative, Memory (BAA Workshop July 14-15, 2011): 9-11_Program.pdf

Beaumont, M. Baudrillard and the end of postmodernism: what next?, the Guardian, 9 March 2007: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2007/mar/09/baudrillardandtheendofpos

Kirby, A. (2006) The Death of Postmodernism and Beyond, Philosophy Now, Issue 58, Nov/Dec 2006: http://www.philosophynow.org/issue58/The_Death_of_Postmodernism_And_Beyond

Kirby, A. (2009) Digimodernism: How New Technologies Dismantle the Postmodern and Reconfigure Our Culture, US: Continuum. read Introduction: Introduction.pdf

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