The postmodern novel was a surprisingly and often poorly understood phenomenon of the 1980s and 1990s, in which many artists explored issues of how art represents the world. These works are characterized by a certain self-reflexivity, a determination to foreground the process of artistic
creation, and the previously often backgrounded role played by the artist. Linda Hutcheon's groundbreaking exploration of postmodernism in Canadian fiction, first published in 1988, provides a clear and fascinating explanation of this tendency towards self-consciousness and self-parody in many of
the novels of this period. Her original choice of a cover design by artist Nigel Scott is a clue to the self-reflexive nature of postmodern art, and is reproduced again in this new edition of Hutcheon's excellent study.
The Canadian Postmodern examines the theory and practice of
postmodernism as seen through both contemporary cultural theory and the writings of Audrey Thomas, Michael Ondaatje, Robert Kroetsch, Margaret Atwood, Timothy Findley, Jack Hodgins, Aritha Van Herk, Leonard Cohen, Susan Swan, Clark Blaise, George Bowering, and others.
A new preface by
Aritha van Herk looks back on Hutcheon's key contributions to the field of postmodern fiction in Canada - and how this phenomenon looks some twenty years later.
Introduction to the Wynford Edition
2. Caveat Lector: The Early Postmodernism of Leonard Cohen
3. The Postmodernism Scribe: The Dynamic Stasis of Contemporary Canadian Writing
4. Historiographic Metafiction
Postmodern Challenge to Boundaries
6. 'Shape Shifters': Canadian Women Writers and the Tradition
7. Process, Produce, and Politics: The Postmodernism of Margaret Atwood
8. Seeing Double: Concluding with Kroetsch
Appendix: The Novel (1972-1984) from The Literary History of Canada,
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Linda Hutcheon, O.C., is a professor of English and of the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto who has published in the fields of literary theory and criticism, opera, and Canadian studies. In 2000 she was elected the 117th president of the Modern Language
Association, the third Canadian to hold this position, and the first Canadian woman.
- Mark A. Cheetham and Linda HutcheonPostmodern Literature
- Ian Gregson