Analysis Of Linda Hutcheon's A Poetics Of Postmodernism

1896 Words8 Pages
In her book, A Poetics of Postmodernism, Linda Hutcheon sees postmodernism, when used in fiction, to describe fiction that is metafictional and historical at the same time by presenting the texts and contexts of the past (Hutcheon, 40). This is what she calls historiographic metafiction. Most of the historiographic novels emphasize self-reflexivity and our paradoxical relations of past events. Historiographic metafiction somehow acknowledges the paradox of the past, that is to say, the past that is accessible to us today only in the form of text. As Fredric Jameson reminds us, “history is not a text, but it is only accessible in textual form (Homer, w8, slide 4)”. The text itself is not a full representation of the past, but rather a partial representation that is a construct of the past. For example, we could see from Hutcheon’s book that she describes postmodern intertextuality as representing both the desire to close the gap between the past and the present of the narrator and to rewrite his past into a new context. This is not an attempt to avoid history, but rather to construct the past using literature and historiography. If we have to think about the relation of literature and history, Linda Hutcheon identifies that they are both linguistic constructs, highly conventionalized and equally intertextual. Historiographic metafiction in turn is distinct from its formal representations and historical context, thus problematizing the possibility of historical knowledge
Open Document