Fredric Jameson has written that 'postmodernism' is the name given to an era which has witnessed the 'disappearance of a sense of history'. The ubiquity of pastiche in postmodern culture is, he argues, 'an alarming and pathological symptom of a society incapable of dealing with time and history': a society suffering from 'historical amnesia'. A postmodern text such as Angela Carter's fin de siecle fantasy Nights at the Circus, which self-consciously evokes the textuality of history through historical and literary pastiche, is undoubtedly vulnerable to the Jamesonian charge of reducing history to a travesty of parodic gestures and costumes and evading a more complex and ethical encounter with the otherness of the past. The narrative of Nights at the Circus falls back behind its point of departure in order to gather its forces for a revolutionary projection into the future.
|Title of host publication||Between the Psyche and the Polis|
|Subtitle of host publication||Refiguring History in Literature and Theory|
|Editors||Anne Whitehead, Michael Rossington|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis Inc.|
|Number of pages||14|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Nov 2017|