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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, enjoyable, naming most of the parts and bringing them to life, 7 May 2007
This review is from: Beginning Postmodernism (Beginnings) (Hardcover)
This is as enjoyable and thorough an introduction as can be made in under 300 pages.

I expect readers come with widely different knowledges of postmodernism but, I think, that whatever their previous experience there will be something in more than one of the chapters for them.

1 The introductory chapter "names the parts" and relates the postmodernism(s) to modernism(s).

Subsequent chapters take the reader on a whistle-stop tour of postmodernim applied to some main "disciplines"

2 - philosophy and cultural theory

3 - the literary arts

4 - architecture and concepts of space

5 - visual art, sculpture and the design arts

6 - popular culture and music

7 - film, video and televisual culture

8 - social sciences

These chapters consolidate an understanding of the "parts" named in the introduction in context. For example, in Chapter 2, Woods' discussion of DeLillo's "'White Noise' demonstrates a society completely suffused with simulacra ... In a pure Baudrillardian moment, the real is preceded by the simulacrum'". There are similar examples in all chapters which give a richness to the book which goes much beyond a naming of parts.

My only (minor) reservation is that just occasionally Woods is over-encyclopaedic e.g. in the listing of dozens of postmodern British poets. However, when he moves on to providing an analysis of a specific (American) poem he returns to his fascinating best.

Lots of references to follow up. If a foundation was allowed in postmodernism then 'Beginning Postmodernism' could be it.

I would like to see a 2007 version which not only updated the 1999 stuff but added a chapter on 'Postmodernism on the Web'.
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Location: Manchester, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 9,054,108