The Challenges of the “Real” and Depth in Maus Essay example

The Challenges of the “Real” and Depth in Maus Essay example

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The Postmodernist movement begun after World War II in which, high and low culture are questionable in the view of society and Art. The postmodernist movement in literature creates a new set of ideals for fiction, such as the metafiction, the fable like representation in novels, the pastiche, irony, and satire. Fredric Jameson speaks about the movement and its theory in his essay “Postmodernism and Consumer Society”. He questions postmodernism in society as it creates the new societal norm of popular culture. On the other hand, Jean Baudrillard analyzes the simulacra of postmodernism in “The Precession of Simulacra”. Baudrillard speaks of the “truth” and “reality” also as a questionable representation for the reader. Yet, both critics agree that postmodernist literature is depthless. Spiegelman’s Maus series is a metafiction, which tells the story of Art Spiegelman’s journey of writing this novel through the present-day retelling of Vladek Spiegelman’s life during the Holocaust. However, as a postmodernist text, Jameson and Baudrillard calls it depthless and an “unreal” representation. Nevertheless, the representation of Maus presents the characteristics of a postmodernist text, but argues that it is not depthless because of the representation of an authoritative view, a historical continuum, and the text does not depict itself as a mode of pop culture.
Postmodern literature contains an authoritative point of view as it expresses the “real” and the “unreal”. The authoritative viewpoint hides within the representation of words and the form of the text. Jean Baudrillard speaks of the masking of view in his essay, “Postmodernism and Consumer Society”, when he says, “This, feigning or dissimilating leaves the reality principle inta...


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...hat is lost” (Friedman 240).



Works Cited
Baudrillard, Jean. "The Precession of Simulacra". The Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticis. 2001. Reprint. New York: Norton & Company, 2010. 1556-1566. Print.
Friedman, Ellen G. "Where Are the Missing Contents? (Post) Modernism, Gender, and the Canon." PMLA 108.2 (1993): 240-252. JSTOR . Web. 20 Mar. 2011.
Jameson, Fredric. "Postmodernism and Consumer Society". The Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticis. 2001. Reprint. New York: Norton & Company, 2010. 1846-1860. Print.
McGlothlin, Erin. "No Time like the Present: Narrative and Time in Art Spiegelman's "Maus"." Narrative 11.2 (2003): 177-198. JSTOR . Web. 20 Mar. 2011.
Spiegelman, Art. Maus: a survivor's tale. New York: Pantheon Books, 1986. Print.
Spiegelman, Art. Maus II: a survivor's tale : and here my troubles began. New York: Pantheon Books, 1991. Print.

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