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Book Questionnaire

Title of the book: A poetics of Postmodernism. History, Theory, Fiction.


Author: Linda Hutcheon
Kind of book: Academic essay
Number of pages: 268

A. THE BOOK

The main ideas or events


1) There are novels published in the Postmodern period which narrate History
with different patterns of those of a classic historical novel: Lidia Hutcheon calls
them historiographical metafiction novels. 2) This novels try to rewrite our
common past understanding that the past is an ideological construction
supported by historical documents that have become political tools. 3) A
historiographical metafiction novel is a novel that rewrites our common past
depicting aspects repressed in the official historical discourse or presenting
historical figures in contradiction with it.

What

was

the

most

unexpected

fact

that

you

read

about?

Im really surprised with Lidia Hutcheons theory in general because it probably


is the most precise and useful frame I have known to understand Postmodern
American Fiction: it can explain these novels in their own terms (linking Fiction
with History and Political problems), speak about them opposite to modernist
novels (which are only interested in aesthetics questions) and give them a new
potential showing us how a novel can be a political weapon. In a historical
period with terrible theorical gaps to understand and define itself, Hutcheons
proposal is a high achievement.
-

What did and didnt you like about the book and why?
I liked about the book that Hutcheon used a very clear prose style which is not common
in an academic essay about this particular subject. In my opinion, her option is an aid
for beginners.
What I didnt like about the book is that Hutcheon totally obliterated the aesthetic
question in Art and settled without any explanation the premise that a novel only finds
its sense in a culture by being a political tool. For me, this is just another form of
ideological prejudice.

B. THE LANGUAGE
-

Five new (and important) nouns you learned: yield, blend, trial, upsetting,
renewal.
Five new (and important) verbs you learned: grant, shatter, dismiss, enable,
label.
A sentence that you find particularly useful: He or she claims
Two uses of the prepositions that you found different from what you expected:
All of these examples, according to.

C. What would you tell another student who wants to read this book?
In my opinion you should read this book if you are specifically interested in Postmodern
American Fiction or if you have read the most prominent novels that fall under this
category. In that second case I dont know a better option to read in a weekend and to
discover a new literary dimension, a powerful side of these books.