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A Postmodern Victorian? Lewis Carroll and the Critique of Totalising Reason

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Abstract

There is a strand of postmodernist literary criticism that constructs itself as something new: it is something that comes after all those other literary and cultural ‘isms’, such as modernism, Victorianism and Romanticism, whose founding ideas and political dogmas it throws into question with its innovative and advanced critical apparatus. And if the criticism is new, then so is the art. Postmodern art, we are told, makes a profound break from what has gone before: it is variously described as pluralist, fragmentary, intertextual, disruptive, decentering and, perhaps especially, parodic.

Keywords

Humanist Tradition Cultural Ideology Ironic Mode Founding Idea Profound Break 
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Notes

  1. 12.
    Gilles Deleuze, The Logic of Sense, ed. Constantin V. Boundas, trans. Mark Lester with Charles Stivale (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), p. 30.Google Scholar
  2. 13.
    Jean-Jacques Lecercle, The Philosophy of Nonsense: The Intuitions of Victorian Nonsense Literature (London: Routledge, 1994), pp. 176–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 16.
    Rodolphe Gasché, The Tain of the Mirror: Derrida and the Philosophy of Reflection (Cambridge, Mass. and London: Harvard University Press, 1986), p. 14.Google Scholar
  4. 17.
    Donald Rackin, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass: Nonsense, Sense, and Meaning (New York: Twayne, 1991), p. 42.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

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