In than its completion. According to Hassan, post-modernism


 

  In the essay “Toward a Concept of
Postmodernism “, Hassan attempts to outline the concept of post-modernism,
and exemplified
of the
differences between modernism and post-modernism with a series of oppositional
distinctions.

 

  First of all, Hassan tries to demonstrate the
fragmentary nature of post-modernism by providing a long list of names that are
be associated with it. It is a list that hardly helps to organize the post-modern
debate. He then listed the ten “conceptual problems that both conceal and
constitute postmodernism itself” (Hassan, 1987, p.3) which links to the “self-reflexivity”
of post-modernism. Hassan states the term post-modernism suffers instability
because it is open to change. There is no claim for when the actual start date
of post-modernism. Therefore it is not a “period” but rather a “diachronic”
and “synchronic” construct (Hassan, 1987, p.3).

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  Based on his argument, the two terms modernism
and post-modernism is totally different and disconnected. Modernism include the
idea of form, closed and connected. It values the whole, complete, and finished
design with its purpose. And its structure should be hierarchical, while holding
value in rationality and truth. Post-modernism on the other hand, is chance and
play. It deals with absence, anti-form, schizophrenia, and immanence. It is more
likely to exist in anarchy, letting the truth remain unspoken, while embraces in
the process more than its completion. According to Hassan, post-modernism
separates itself from what came before it, and reshapes itself into art and
thought. Indeterminacy and immanence are the two most important
hallmark for post-modernism. The first one, “indeterminacy”, reveals
a “vast will to unmaking” everything Western culture (Hassan, 1987, p.7) which
leads to discontinuity, rupture, decomposition. Likewise, for “immanence” he
defines it as “the capacity of mind to generalize itself in
symbols, intervene more and more into nature, act upon itself through its own abstractions”
(Hassan, 1987, p.7) thus connect to its environment in a different way. These
two concepts does not opposed to one another, but mutually generate one another
to create a situation where the other one is needed. Hassan directly contrasts
modernism with post-modernism by arguing that modernism is characterized by
metaphysics, whereas post-modernism by irony.

 

 In conclusion, it seems that Hassan is as unsure
about postmodernism as everyone else, even though he does have some concrete
ideas of it. It is the art movements that sought to contradict some aspects of modernism. 

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