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March 26, 2007

EL312: Postmortem for a Pervert?

I read this whole book on the train rides we took to and from NYC. On the ride up, I found two errors in print. :-/ On the way back, I became a little irritated with the text.

I'd talked with a few folks who'd managed to read the book earlier in class and they'd said it was really a sexually based book. While I don't think it was sexually based, I do think that the elements of the sexual relationships in the book were putting the whole focus of the book off-kilter. Instead of focusing on the postmodern indoctrination or the crime itself, it seemed like the author was more concerned with trying to confuse me about who was (or wasn't) sleeping with someone else...

Beyond that, this book did an a-okay job of explaining postmodernism. I'd learned something about this in philosophy of art last spring with Dr. Atherton, so this wasn't too difficult to digest. The story, however, made the inculcation of the postmodern points impossible to miss. The conversation was, at times, awkward because I think Berger was more concerned with getting the postmodern theory in place than he was getting the conversation to flow realistically. (But what IS realistic conversation, asks a postmodernist? Is it what we see on television? Is it what we do at McDonalds?)

Some of the characters seemed overdone and too extreme to be believable, but I'm sure the author would argue that the "overdone-ness" is attributed to the dramatic personalities and the drama created by the interaction of these personalities. While the premise for the story was good, and the postmodern theory was well-served in small bites for Joe Anybody to chew and digest, I think there is room for improvement... but that's just me.

Berger, Postmortem for a Postmodernist -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Posted by KarissaKilgore at March 26, 2007 2:45 PM


Do you think the point of the sexual relationships was precisely to take the reader's attention off-center? Isn't this the essence of poststructural criticism? I think it was a literary example of the very thing the literature was describing. That stated, it may have been the most realisitc aspect of the book.

Posted by: Dave Moio at March 28, 2007 12:09 PM

Excellent point, David. I wondered about the balance of the sexual relationships as well. Conversations in McDonald's in real life might very well be about unsavory sex topics, Karissa :) I think the book was attempting to make postmodernism accessible for the average reader, but if you already have a basis of knowledge, it was a bit long-winded and dry at times.

Posted by: Erin at March 28, 2007 2:18 PM

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