Chapter 1: Modern and Postmodern: Definitions and Interpretations Next Chapter

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Modern and Postmodern: Definitions and Interpretations
Modern and postmodern: Definitions and interpretations

Any reference to the term ‘postmodernism’ immediately exposes one to the risk of being accused of jumping on a bandwagon, of perpetuating a rather shallow and meaningless intellectual fad. One of the problems is that the term is at once fashionable yet irritatingly elusive to define. As the ‘Modern-day Dictionary of Received Ideas’ confirms, ‘This word has no meaning. Use it as often as possible’ (Independent, 24 December 1987). Over a decade earlier, in August 1975, another newspaper announced that ‘postmodernism is dead’, and that ‘post-post-modernism is now the thing’ (Palmer, 1977: 364). If postmodernism is an ephemeral fashion then some critics are clear as to who are responsible for its prominence:

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