Matt's Reviews > Postmodernism For Beginners

Postmodernism For Beginners by James N. Powell
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Jun 09, 2009

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Read in June, 2009

You're not supposed to admit to reading this book. You're supposed to page through this in secret, with a flashlight under your covers, before going to a coffeehouse to casually flip through Derrida.

I am by no means going to pretend to understand Postmodernism. Nor will I pretend to understand the tenets of most of the individuals associated with Postmodern thought. But this book seems like a good summary. I respect the fact that it unashamedly attempts to plainly state ideas that generally scurry behind grammatical obfuscation. Though not in this book, John Searle has a great quote he took from Foucault when describing Derrida:
He writes so obscurely you can't tell what he's saying, that's the obscurantism part, and then when you criticize him, he can always say, "You didn't understand me; you're an idiot." That's the terrorism part.

It's nice to read a book, even in comic form, that genuinely tries to express the sometimes fascinating ideas lurking in the Postmodern movement. Read this book and you can probably even fake understanding Derrida for a couple minutes at the coffeehouse.

Don't worry if you run across someone who really knows what they're talking about. You can always smirk, turn back to your book and say "You clearly didn't understand me."

You may want to leave out the 'idiot' part.

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