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Feeling Nostalgic? The archives > 61 Essential Postmodern Reads

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message 1: by Matt (new)

Matt | 819 comments Uh oh, another "essential" reading list...

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacke...

I like this one because there are some surprising entries here, not just all of the usual suspects. Also, the attempt via graphical legend to explain why each work is considered postmodern is pretty neat.

I've read only seven of these. How many have you read? Did any of the titles have a major impact either positive or negative on your life?





message 2: by Gus (new)

Gus Sanchez (gussanchez) I've read 13 of those novels on this list, with Gravity's Rainbow ranking very highly on my own personal list.

I liked how this list gives each novel its' own attributes to help a potential reader decide if this is the right novel for you.


message 3: by Chris (new)

Chris | 13 comments I've read eight. Three of them -- Infinite Jest, Slaughterhouse-Five, and The Things They Carried -- are among my favorite books. I enjoyed the other five as well.


message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 13815 comments I've read six. I love the annotation - very clever.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I've only read two of them, The Wind Up Bird Chronicles is one of my all time favorites, but it looks like there are some the are going to go on the list to read.


message 6: by Matt (new)

Matt | 819 comments Wind Up Bird didn't seem to shake me to my core the first time that I read it, but I keep remembering and thinking about parts of it quite often nearly a year later.

I love House Of Leaves, but it seems to get a bad rap on this website for being too hipster-ish.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

The important part is that you liked it Tadpole.


message 8: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Wow, I guess I'm tragically un-pomo. OK, maybe I'm pre-pomo (just modern?), since I've at least read two of the "progenitors" (Hawthorne and Shakespeare).


message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) I've read only about 10. Of the entire list only 3 are women: Atwood, Shelley Jackson, Kathy Acker.

Surely there are more:
Duras, Sarraute, Lispector, perhaps Kelly Link--just to name a few.


message 10: by Jessica (last edited Jul 22, 2009 10:11PM) (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) and from the comments:
Anne Carson
V. Woolf

odd that Joyce isn't there and Sterne's Tristam Shandy

but there are always holes in such lists, how can there not be? Still, I think a greater effort should have been made to include seminal works by women: Gertrude Stein, for instance.


message 11: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jul 22, 2009 05:47PM) (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Ok, before I look at the list, I have to admit that I'm not entirely sure what "postmodern" means and I've never been man enough to admit it.


message 12: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) RA, you win the day.


message 13: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17346 comments Mod
I've read nine of those. My favorite is probably Wind up Bird, of course, but On a Winter's Night a Traveler had a huge impact on me as well.

I'm enjoying all those little clickable symbols.


message 14: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Ah, thanks. I've read seven, by the way, but I feel ripped off because I read some of the authors included but not those particular books. Dammit.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments I've only read three of these, Maus I & II, Slaughterhouse Five, and Popco, but I've seen the movies of American Splendor, Hamlet (several of them, even the Finnish one), Tristram Shandy, and Naked Lunch.


message 16: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments The movies don't count. Pshaw.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Not even the Kenneth Branagh Hamlet? Because that went on FOREVER.


message 18: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments Excellent point. If you felt pain during the film, maybe that counts.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments And I had the subtitles on.


message 20: by RandomAnthony (new)

RandomAnthony | 14536 comments I watch everything with subtitles, even regular tv.


message 21: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Jackie! Are you back from vacation already? (You were in HI, right?)


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Aloha, Mindy! Yes, I was on Oahu, with my in-laws. I dragged them all around the island, and MADE them have fun. ;)


message 23: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments Yay! Glad you're back, we missed you!


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Thanks! I have some catching up to do, I see.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Jackie "the Librarian" wrote: "Aloha, Mindy! Yes, I was on Oahu, with my in-laws. I dragged them all around the island, and MADE them have fun. ;)"

You bully you.


message 26: by Matt (new)

Matt | 819 comments I didn't notice that the list was mainly male, Jessica, very interesting. Thanks for the list at the end of #11 of people who I need to be investigating.

Welcome home Jackie! Did you get to see the active volcanoes? I've never been to Hawaii so I don't know if that is even safe/allowed but I always thought it would be way cool.


Jackie "the Librarian" | 8993 comments Thanks, tadpole! Nope, I didn't see any active volcanoes, those are just on the Big Island of Hawaii. Oahu's volcanoes are all dead.

But, you CAN go see them if you go to the Big Island, from a safe distance. I did that once, when I was a kid. It was very cool!


message 28: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) I've read six.


message 29: by Jaime (new)

Jaime | 158 comments I have read 4...but there are a few on there that are on my TBR list...


message 30: by Wingedbeaver (new)

Wingedbeaver | 80 comments I've read 6... which I felt bad about at first, that maybe I'm not as well read as I thought because it seems like I should have read more of them, but then I saw that most of you haven't read many more, so I think I'm ok.


message 31: by Meen (new)

Meen (meendee) | 1733 comments We had a joke in the sociology dept. that all the pomos were kept in the English dept. where they couldn't hurt anybody.

:D


message 32: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) Wingedbeaver wrote: "I've read 6... which I felt bad about at first, that maybe I'm not as well read as I thought because it seems like I should have read more of them, but then I saw that most of you haven't read many..."

yeah I'd say you're in tune with the rest of us. Nice to see you here Jon!
am mailing you something, btw


message 33: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) Koe, maybe you win?
I think I only got up to 10, tho I should do a recount if we're going for prizes...
;-)


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

I wondered about Shakespeare too Koe. I wonder what the reasoning behind that is?


message 35: by Matt (new)

Matt | 819 comments It fits the perameters, but I assumed that it was mainly thrown in for controversial chic. Same for Vonnegut.


message 36: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) I've read two. Does that make me a PM-PUTZ?
Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter"
William Shakespeare's "Hamlet"


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

No Tanja, that how many I've read too!


message 38: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) *cheers then dives back into Water for Elephants*


message 39: by Matt (new)

Matt | 819 comments Which ones have you read, Jim?


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

"The Scarlet Letter" & "The Wind Up Bird Chronicles"

For what ever reason I have never had to read Shakespeare in any class I took.



message 41: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) Jim, *sadface*

If you were willing to read Shakespeare which genre would you lean more toward? Tragedy or comedy?


message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

Probably Tragedy - but I don't see me reading Shakespeare any time soon. But then I never anticipated being on GR either.



message 43: by Angie (new)

Angie (angabel) Randomanthony wrote: "Ok, before I look at the list, I have to admit that I'm not entirely sure what "postmodern" means and I've never been man enough to admit it."

This made me laugh.

A professor once described it as throwing a hand-grenade into a cathedral and then whatever's left, that's "postmodern."


message 44: by Matthieu (new)

Matthieu | 1009 comments Thank you! Someone else who dislikes EiL!

Foer is too gimmicky for my tastes. He simply rehashes ideas that the dadaists used 80+ years ago. He even stole a bit of Thomas Eliot's The Departure for his second novel...


message 45: by Angie (new)

Angie (angabel) I liked the movie, mostly because Alex was such a strong character (and I dig Gogol Bordello as a whole). But the book... meh.

I'm thinking of putting my copy of EiL up on bookmooch but so far I've only received two books and need to send out 15. Apparently everything I hate people want, and everything I want, no one has.


message 46: by Nuri (new)

Nuri (nools) | 538 comments Angabel wrote: "Randomanthony wrote: "Ok, before I look at the list, I have to admit that I'm not entirely sure what "postmodern" means and I've never been man enough to admit it."

This made me laugh.

A professo..."



I'm sticking to that definition!




message 47: by Wingedbeaver (new)

Wingedbeaver | 80 comments Angabel wrote: "I liked the movie, mostly because Alex was such a strong character (and I dig Gogol Bordello as a whole). But the book... meh."

I totally agree. I thought the movie was one of the most underrated features in present years, but the book didn't do much for me. I'm not a fan of his style. One of the rare occasions when a movie was better then a book!


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Welcome to TC Youndyc, if you need the bonus point I'll concede it.


message 49: by Sally, la reina (new)

Sally (mrsnolte) | 17346 comments Mod
In my knowledge, something can be postmodern when it is read as though the reader constructs the meaning - the author is merely a conduit through which the words pass. The reader's authority brings meanings to the word.

Calvino is post-postmodern because he turns that on its ear. He/she takes every traditional novel construct and does the opposite. The reader is unnerved because what usually works, doesn't.


message 50: by Lobstergirl, el principe (new)

Lobstergirl | 24357 comments Mod
I've read five. And it irks me to see authors of the pre-modernist era labelled postmodern. Very much it irks me. I don't have a problem with people pointing out what they might have in common with postmodern books, but they are not postmodern.


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