A cultural movement originating in the latter decades of the 20th century, postmodernism is a broad term with connections to art, film, literature, architecture, philosophy, and other fields. Difficult to characterize, postmodern thought is incredulous of claims to authority, objectivity, privilege, and certainty. As the prefix indicates, postmodernism is an affront to the modernist view of rationality, science, and secularization; postmodernism is a rejection of the priority of authoritative views of history, reality, and ethics. Postmodernism might be something closer to what the French theorist Jacques Derrida called jeu, or play, indicating that structures—words, art, meaning—are forever in flux.

Philosophically, postmodernism has been widely summarized as a suspicion of metaphysics. Friedrich Nietzsche’s pronouncement of the death of God in the 19th century began a cultural debate ...

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