They’re very likely something nobody at the elementary or secondary level needs, but here nonetheless are a reading on postmodernism and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. The one-page reading does a nice job of explaining what, for me, has always been a slippery concept. So if you’re teaching some or any of the authors discussed in this reading–among others you’ll find Thomas Pynchon, Italo Calvino, Toni Morrison, and Jean Rhys mentioned here–these documents probably aren’t of, uh, surpassing use to you.

On the other hand, as the reading points out, postmodernism is “notoriously difficult to define, whether in reference to literature, art, or anything else….” So there is the question of semantics to entertain here; a point of debate might be “Is there a stable definition of ‘postmodernism’ with concrete applied examples of the word?” Another might be an assertion in the reading, mostly accurate in my understanding of postmodernism, that the doctrine (such as it is) prescribes a view of the world that that “secure truths [do] not exist and that the world was therefore hopelessly fragmented.” That’s a grim assessment in many respects; but how, if at all, has it lent credibility to and generally abetted tyrants around the globe who began almost immediately, after a former president of the United States began flogging the term, began proclaiming most journalism (or journalism that doesn’t flatter the supreme leader) “fake news”? There, I think, is another point for debate.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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