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Essays and Writings
Joseph Conrad and the Development of 'Modernism' | In Defense of Pangloss : Candide and The Personal Utopia | The Concept of 'Determinism' in American Literature | The 'Truth' in a Postmodern World | Chinua Achebe and the Importance of 'Writing Back' | Power and Ambition in the Drama of Christopher Marlowe | Using and Abusing 'Orpheus'


The 'Truth' in a Postmodern World

One of the major dividing lines between modernism and postmodernism is the reluctance of postmodernists to search for the elusive 'universal truth'. Instead, in the postmodern world, truth is seen as historically and geographically dependent, bought and sold politically when and where necessary. Such an outlook of course, completely destroys any claims of religion or philosophy to have discovered 'The Grand Design'.

The (lack of) Truth in the Post-Modern Discourse

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? demanded the attendant on duty at the court. The defendant, well read in post-modern fiction and theory, silently glared back with a look of confusion on his face.
Its a simple question, isnt it? Yes, or no? asked the attendant.
Well, actually, its not that simple, replied the defendant. It really depends on what you mean when you say the word truth. If youre asking me to reply to the subsequent questions safe in the knowledge that the validity of all of my statements is both provable and universally acceptable, then I must inform you that the time for such nave assumptions has long since passed. If you really are asking me to give you the truth (as you call it), then even if God helps me all he can, I believe you are asking a little too much from an individual who can only rely on his unreliable sensory perceptions in his attempts to understand the world around him. On the other hand, if you could rephrase your question and ask me whether or not my subsequent statements are going to bear a resemblance to the current set of discourses that are temporarily being accepted as true due to the benefits gained by those in power from the acceptance of such discourses, then it just may be possible for us to continue.
Those present in the courtroom, typical, everyday, intelligent American people, glared silently at the defendant.
I quite understand your objections to my proposal, continued the defendant. I am well aware of the fact that by defining the truth as I have, as an accepted set of discourses dependant on power, history and geography, I myself am entering into an unavoidable paradox. You are no doubt questioning my right to determine the truth about the role of the truth, if my opinions on the matter are also being controlled by power, history and geography. And of course, you are right. But this paradox, accept it though we must, does not lead us anywhere.
By this time, the judge and the other members of the court were becoming restless. If it was going to become impossible to claim that things were either true or false, then there really was no point in proceeding.
How exactly should we then proceed? asked the judge.
Well, it seems to me, and to most people in my circle, that we need to take the pragmatic approach to this question. Searching for some kind of universal truth has proved fruitless over the past two centuries. This needs to be accepted and the search needs to end if we are to make any progress. Neither religion nor philosophy has been able to present us with the answers. The discourses that are classified as being true vary from place to place, and from time to time.
For example, is it true that mankind evolved from the animals, as suggested by the discourse on evolution? Your answer to this seemingly simple question, not only depends on when and where you are living, but also on the extent of the power in the society possessed by conservative religious groups. In our very own United States of America, the playground of free ideas and thoughts, Mr. Charles Darwins scientifically proven theories were classed as being false for a number of decades. Why was this? Because those in power preferred the benefits gained by using religion as a method of control.
The judge scratched his head perplexedly. He, like most well educated people on the planet, was having problems coming to terms with this idea.
Well, in that case, if truth is really just a pawn in a power game, then dont we need to almost completely reassess our beliefs, our opinions, our perspectives on life, our notions of history and even our methods of reading?
That, your honor, is exactly what weve been trying to accomplish over the past fifty years.

The Importance of Truth

What exactly is the truth? How should we define it? The Oxford English Dictionary rather unhelpfully defines the truth as what is true. Moving along to a definition of the adjective true however, we find that for a thing to be classed as true, it must be in accordance with fact or reality. This is all well and good, but what happens when words like fact and reality begin to lose their previously reliable statuses. In terms of the extent to which they should be believed, facts are often placed on the rung of the believability-ladder just below lies. The trustable concept of reality however, has run into the problem of virtual reality and simulations.
So why all the fuss? Well, for thousands of years, philosophers, religious scholars and scientists have been trying to discover universal truths about the world in which we live. Various ideologies, including religions, have been developed during this period, all of which have claimed to be representing the truth. The truth, whatever it is, has been, and still is, in great demand. As Michel Foucault claims, there is a kind of nostalgia; behind the concept of ideology, the nostalgia for a quasi-transparent form of knowledge, free from all error and illusion The truth therefore, seems to be a goal that every person is trying to reach, with religion, philosophy and science being the methods of attaining that goal. But what happens when the goal posts are moved?
Doesnt a denial of universal truth destroy the meaning that one gives to life? If one was to realize that the demanded universal truth was simply unavailable, wouldnt this be devastating. Neitzsche, forever cynical in his analysis of mankind, would say no, it wouldnt be devastating at all because man doesnt actually want to reach the pure truth. Instead, he desires the agreeable life-preserving consequences of truth, but he is indifferent to pure knowledge. Truth therefore, can be seen as a commodity from which man can benefit, the main benefit being the peace of mind that can be obtained from knowing that some things exist, can be proven and are true.
Both Foucault and Neitzsches opinions have their place in an analysis of Post-Modernism. Foucault emphasized the role of ideology in the search for the truth. Post-modernism, agreeing entirely with Foucaults idea, not only stresses the impossibility of finding universal truths, but also comes out against any from of ideology that claims to reveal the whole truth about any particular aspect of life. Neitzsches emphasis on the consequences of truth can be read as a prelude to Foucaults later work on the unavoidable connection between truth and power, showing the temporary status of truth to be extremely important in the various power conflicts in society.
The fruitless search for and the unclear role of the truth is a common feature in the post-modern narrative. Stylistically, all-encompassing plots are dispensed with, clear moral stands seem to be discouraged and any attempt to depict objective reality is almost completely ignored. However, the difficulty in giving up the search for truth is also addressed through the occasional use of truth-searching characters. In Thomas Pynchons The Crying of Lot 49, the whole plot revolves around the protagonist, Oedipa Maas detective-like search for the truth about the Trystero underground mailing system. Although the complexity of Pynchons narrative emphasizes to the reader the difficulty of determining the meaning of various signs and events, Oedipa cannot so easily give up the search for the truth that lies beyond the post-horn signs.
Paul Austers City of Glass address the issue of truth in a more direct, albeit more subtle way. Quinn, a writer of detective stories (themselves a genre of literature which depend to a great extent on the existence of truth), picks up a volume of Marco Polos writings and reads the opening few lines.
We will set down things seen as seen, things heard as heard, so that our book may be an accurate record, free from any sort of fabrication. And all who read this book or hear it may do so with full confidence, because it contains nothing but the truth. Just as Quinn was beginning to ponder the meaning of these sentences, to turn the crisp assurances over in his mind, the telephone rang.

Pondering the meaning of such sentences is only possible in an atmosphere in which the status and validity of things classed as true are actually questionable. Had Quinn been reading in any age other than the post-modern, it is doubtful that he would have even paused to think after reading such seemingly obvious introductory lines.
Denying the existence of universal truth, therefore, hasnt been successful in eliminating truth itself from the post-modern discourse. Truth can be questioned, connected to power, pondered over, historically located, but it remains a subject of discussion. Post-Modern critic Trinh T.Minh-Ha, in her article Woman, Native, Other however, questions this need for truth. She claims that the difference between history and literature is impossible to determine, with neither discipline capable of revealing the truth. But this inability to reveal truth does not decrease the importance of the works. Why this battle for truth and on behalf of truth? I do not remember having asked my grandmother once whether the story she was telling me was true or not.
Despite Minh-Has claim, failing to care about whether something is true or false is an extremely difficult state of mind to find oneself in. It would involve living in a world of fantasy, a world in which many characters throughout the history of literature have found themselves in, but from which few, if any, have benefited. This of course, could explain the unpopularity and inaccessibility of many post-modern narratives.

Post-Modernism and the Problems of Knowledge and Truth

During Post-Modernisms short history, there has been a tendency towards skepticism in almost every field of knowledge. The spread of atheism in developed countries is one of the consequences of the new willingness to question previously accepted systems of thought and belief. Economic theories, such as Marxism, which attempt to provide an all-encompassing theory of economic, social and political change, have all but been abandoned. Whereas a discipline like philosophy relies on the questioning on received ideas, areas such as history, which traditionally rely on telling the truth, have been shaken at the roots. Indeed, this antifoundationalism is the one common thread that, unites the diverse artistic and intellectual movements that constitute postmodernism, it is the questioning of any belief system that claims universality or transcendence.
Proponents of Deconstruction, one of the more popular post-modern critical movements, have therefore conceded the impossibility of producing a correct or true reading of a text. Truth, they claim, is based on methods of analysis that are themselves questionable and almost certainly temporary in nature.
the characteristic problem of theories of truth or knowledge is why we should believe that we have more certain knowledge of the conditions of truth or of knowledge than we do of a particular truth. A pragmatic tradition has frequently argued that if we define truth as what simply is the case, then not only do we have no assurance that our present beliefs are true, since we must allow for the possibility that they will be invalidated by future discoveries, but we have no guarantee that our criteria for the successful enquiry are the right ones.

The difficulty, perhaps impossibility of discovering the truth is of course, nothing new. Many religious texts have stressed the impossibility of discovering the truth about Gods creation in order to impart the importance of faith and belief. On the other hand, Neitzsche and Modernist writers placed emphasis on the weakness of mans senses in perceiving truth and knowledge about himself or the world in which he lives. The vastness and power of nature along with mans unclear intellect prevent him from reaching any kind of pure knowledge. In his essay On Truth and Lie Neitzsche asks, What, indeed, does man know of himself! Can he even once perceive himself completely, laid out as if in an illuminated glass case? Does not nature keep much the most from him, even about his body, to spellbind and confine him in a proud, deceptive consciousness?
Neitzsches argument is biological in nature; man is simply incapable of perceiving the truth due to the weakness of his perceptive senses. However, post-modernists have argued that not only is man weak and unable to understand, but he is also involved (or being used as a pawn) in a war for truth, and is consequently susceptible to attacks from all sides. In an age of mass-media, virtual reality, out-of-control suggestive advertising techniques, fact manipulation and subjective journalism, what chance does this biologically weak man have in deciding between true and false, real and unreal, or right and wrong?
Kurt Vonneguts novel, Breakfast of Champions, gives us a clear example of a writer aware of these problems faced by man in the post-modern age. In the comically anti-historical, anti-American preface to the novel, Vonnegut explains that he is trying to clear his head of all the junk in there.
I think I am trying to make my head as empty as it was when I was born onto this damaged planet fifty years ago. I suspect that this is something most white Americans, and nonwhite Americans who imitate white Americans, should do. The things other people have put into my head, at any rate, do not fit together nicely, are often useless and ugly, are out of proportion with one another, are out of proportion with life as it really is outside my head.

Life, therefore, has become incomprehensible, due to the so-called truths that politicians, advertisers, philosophers and religious leaders have placed inside peoples heads. Another phrase for this is of course, mind-control.
If one is being bombarded with information from all fronts, then it will naturally become difficult to distinguish between the real and the unreal. It is undoubtedly in the interest of certain groups in society to make the unreal seem real, and therefore persuade people to act accordingly as if this was the case. Did the Americans really go to the moon or was it all filmed in a Hollywood studio? Did the Holocaust really happen? Did Bill Clinton really inhale?
With truth under the control of various powerful groups in various societies, it has become almost impossible to determine what is fact and what is fiction. The main problem is of course, as the Genie in John Barths Chimera informs us, Some fictions..were so much more valuable than fact that in rare instances their beauty made them real. How rare these instances actually are is questionable, and undoubtedly, the value gained from the acceptance of certain fictions as fact, plays a far more important role than their beauty.
It therefore becomes clear that any attempt to access truth finds itself facing enemies on several fronts. Firstly, accepting the absence of an objective reality, mans ability to comprehend the universe is reliant on his unreliable senses. Secondly, truth must be placed in its historical context, and all truths, as well as methods of analysis, are left open to negation by future discoveries. Thirdly, adjectives such as true, real and factual are so useful to various powers trying to promote their own interests, that the meaning of the words has actually become blurred. Finally, its also arguable that the tool we use to express what we believe to be true, namely our language, is insufficient for the task we hope to accomplish.
Once again, its worth turning to Neitzsche first. During the first half of the twentieth century, structuralism and semiotics gained prominence as analytical methods searching for the truth hidden in texts. It was emphasized that the whole concept of communication and expression is based on a system of signs, the nature of which are arbitrary. Therefore signs are interpreted differently depending on the context in which they are placed. Deconstructionists, taking this idea even further, have more recently placed emphasis on the consequent annihilation of the concept of a stable meaning of any given sign.
One of the most important questions faced by the proponents of semiotics was the relationship between the signified and the actual object. Was there any kind of relationship between the two? Was such a relationship necessary anyway? A negative answer to this question of course, would seriously bring doubts upon the possibility of using language to express truth. Neitzsche, writing before Structuralism had been heard of, pointed out that,
The different languages, set side by side, show that what matters with words is never the truth, never an adequate expression; else there would not be so many languages. The thing in itself (for that is what pure truth, without consequences would be) is quite incomprehensible to the creators of language and not at all worth aiming for.

The signified therefore, has no relationship to the actual object that one is trying to describe, and therefore language, becomes just another barrier to mans search for truth. Consequently, post-modern writers (influenced by their modernist parents) have felt free to abandon syntactical and lexical rules (and language itself in some cases) in search of new ways of expressing themselves due to the insufficient nature of the language that they are trapped in. Donald Barthelmes confession that, Fragments are the only form I trust. , is a good example of the abandoning of traditional narrative techniques and the attempts to develop new methods of expression that could approach the idea that the writer is trying to express. Unfortunately, new methods of expression have a tendency to become unreadable, and consequently defeat the whole purpose of the attempt. But we seem to be digressing a little. Lets return to the argument.

How is The Truth Controlled and Decided?

Even if one is to accept the claim that a knowable truth no longer exists, one still cant help feeling that the words true and false still have a major role to play in the future discourses of the post-modern world. This is not only because they have become necessary parts of our thought-process and culture, but also because they are extremely useful adjectives. When a discourse is labeled true, it gains immense importance and respect. It therefore becomes vital for those wishing to hold some kind of power in a society to be associated with these true discourses.
Working with the post-modernist presupposition that discourses themselves, are neither true nor false, it becomes clear that a new question must be formed when analyzing the truth of any particular statement or claim. As Michael Berube has pointed out, pomo has paid acute attention to how various human communities go about deciding what will count as facts , or as Foucault would put it, It is a question of what governs statements, and the way in which they govern each-other so as to constitute a set of propositions which are scientifically acceptable
Truth has indeed become a commodity, available for production and consumption in various areas of society. Unfortunately, this is one commodity that cannot be bought and sold on the free market; after all, all hell would break lose in such a scenario. Instead, truth has become a commodity that is produced when and where necessary and distributed to society in order to gain maximum effect. The producers of this commodity can include universities, the army, the media, economic and political powers, all of which have an interest in controlling what is classed as true and what is referred to as false.
Foucault pays particular attention to the relationship between truth and power. He claims that,
Truth isnt outside power, or lacking in power..Truth is a thing of this world: it is produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint. And it induces regular effects of power. Each society has its regime of truth, its general politics of truth: that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as true; the mechanisms and instances which enable one to distinguish true and false statements, the means by which each is sanctioned; the techniques and procedures accorded value in the acquisition of truth; the status of those who are charged with saying what counts as true.

As truth is determined by power in society, instead of trying to find out what is true, the new aim of analytical research in this field has focused on why certain discourses are classed as true. With the blurring of fact and fiction, myth and reality, the status of truth has become a pawn in a game of power. School syllabuses in particular, have a major role to play in the determining of what is true and what is not for that particular society. Teachers therefore, (under the control of whom?) have become important players in the power game, a fact of which Kurt Vonnegut is well aware.
The teachers told the children that this (1492) was when their continent was discovered by human beings. Actually, millions of human beings were already living full and imaginative lives on the continent in 1492. That was simply the year in which sea pirates began to cheat and rob and kill them. Here was another piece of evil nonsense which children were taught: that the sea pirates eventually created a government which became a beacon of freedom to human beings everywhere else.

The myth of the discovery of America by Columbus and the first settlements of the Puritans has only become so widespread due to the fact that American society has developed under the control of the descendents of these groups. Had Native Americans gained power in the United States, the arrival of such invaders would have gone down in history as a black mark which resulted in violence, robbery and death.
Other post-modernist writers who have addressed the question of how truth is controlled by those in power include Douglas Coupland and Sherman Alexie. In Couplands Generation X, one of the several breaks in the text illustrates a dictionary definition of the term Legislated Nostalgia. Couplands definition of the term reads, To force a body of people to have memories they do not actually possess. The effects of such legislation are not so different from the consequences of teaching myth as fact in Vonneguts work. Sherman Alexis, in his novel Captivity, clearly expresses his views concerning the connection between power and discourse. According to Alexie, The best weapons are the stories and every time the story is told, something changes. Comments such as this not only illustrate the importance of historical discourse in power struggles, but also hint at the historical nature of truthful discourses.
The frightening consequence of all this is of course, the possibility of mind control. The truth is no longer accessible through philosophical contemplation, religious belief or scientific research. Instead, the true or false status of various discourses is implanted in peoples minds by the powers that be. This is indeed, one of the main subjects touched upon by William Burroughs in Nova Express. Burroughs fragmented narrative is littered with references to death dwarfs, mind tape, calculating machines, all of which play a role in determining what people think and what people have officially said. The strategy is as follows,
Record for ten minutes on a tape recorder Now run the tape back without playing and cut in other words at random Where you have cut in and re-recorded words are wiped off the tape and new words in their place You have turned time back ten minutes and wiped electro-magnetic word patterns off the tape and substituted other patters You can do the same with mind tape after working with the tape recorded

Burroughs images, as terrifying as they are, seem to be an unavoidable consequence of the control of the truth by those in power. The idea of mind control has always been connected with the Soviet Union, but of course, this is only in the controlled opinions of those living in the capitalist west.
Even if one cannot possibly comprehend the idea that the status of every discourse that one reads or even every thought that passes through ones mind is controlled by external powers, it is entirely acceptable (and at least less frightening) to claim that truth must be placed in its historical context. The category containing true discourses and ideas is not closed; it is open to new arrivals and departures, and depends on both location and historical age. What is true in America is not guaranteed to be true in Iran (and is probably not in most cases!). What was true 50 years ago about the role of women in American society, is no longer acceptable in the present day. Times change, truths change, power changes.
As Jonathan Culler puts it, Truth consists of propositions that can be justified according to currently accepted modes of justification. Neitzsche, slightly more cynically, had been thinking along the same lines. He claimed that, to be truthful means using the customary metaphors in moral terms: the obligation to lie according to a fixed convention Both writers focus on the temporary nature of truth and are seemingly aware of the possibility of truths changing over time. This temporary of the truth, in contrast to the previously searched for universal truths, at first seems like an uncomfortable prospect. However, as Michael Berube has pointed out, maybe its not such a bad thing after all. This anti-foundationalist aspect of post-modernism has sometimes been taken to be a potentially liberating intellectual tool, since it suggests that our beliefs and practices are culturally contingent, subject to ongoing revision, bound to no historical determinism. This possibility of a future revision is of course, great news for all of the repressed minority groups in society, those who have been permanently labeled the other.

Deconstructions Objections

To recap a little.
Various post-modern critics and novelists have come to the conclusion that what is classed as true is dependent on historical and cultural factors. There are no universal truths to be found. Furthermore, the status of truth, as unstable as it is, is also manipulated by power groups, in order to serve their own interests in the best way possible. Truth therefore, becomes a commodity in great demand.
Proponents of Deconstruction have however, objected to this idea due to the exclusive nature of the suggestion. One of the various ironical jive comments to be found in African American ghettos in the United States is Youre white, so you must be right, a criticism of the fact that the white majority in society has the power and therefore controls the truth. The African American population has become the other, and consequently plays no role in determining the truth in society.
It is precisely on this ground that Deconstructionists have objected. As Jonathan Culler says, The appeal to consensus and convention truth as what is validated by our accepted methods of validation works to treat the norm as a foundation, and..norms are produced by acts of exclusion. One of the aims of Deconstructionists is to represent the truths that can be found in the discourses of previously excluded minority groups, such as African-Americans, Women and Madmen. The argument therefore develops as,
the notion of truth as what is validated by accepted methods of validation is used to criticize what passes for truth. Since deconstruction attempts to view systems from the outside as well as the inside, it tries to keep alive the possibility that the eccentricity of women, poets, prophets, and madmen might yield truths about the system to which they are marginal truths contradicting the consensus and not demonstrable within a framework yet developed.

Culler would therefore entirely agree with Berube in the view that post-modernism, and deconstruction in particular, can play in role in liberating people from traditional, controlled ways of thinking.
But is all of this really feasible? Is it really possible to do what Vonnegut and others would like to do and wipe ones mind blank and start all over again? Herbert Marcuses left-wing critique of the modern world, One Dimensional Man was indeed written to illustrate the writers opinion that people have been programmed to such a great extent, that it is no longer possible for them to conceive of any alternative way of living. Culler is also highly doubtful as to the possibilities of the complete success of deconstruction, claiming that the critical movement is skeptical about the possibility of solving epistemological problems or of actually breaking out of the logocentrism of Western thought
Finally, is it really desirable that the truths which have been determined by power and history should become undone? What would it lead to? Is it really possible to envisage a system of critical thinking completely alien to the notion of logocentrism? Once again, returning to Paul Austers Quinn, the writer of detective novels, the shifting of the central ground does not bring any nice, comprehensible conclusions. Following the deconstructionist argument, Quinn observes that,
Since everything seen or said, even the slightest, most trivial thing, can bear a connection to the outcome of a story, nothing must be overlooked. Everything becomes essence; the center of the book shifts with each event that propels it forward. The center, then, is everywhere, and no circumference can be drawn until the book has come to its end.

Perhaps Quinns comments concerning the detective novel can be read as an analysis of mans journey though life. Every new historical age and cultural shift causes a shift in ones interpretation of the truth, and the center of ones vision is altered. But will the circumference really be able to be drawn in an all-revealing end? Well have to wait and see.
Deconstructionists further argue that writers and thinkers who claim that the truth is determined by history, culture and power are actually victims of a paradox. If the truth is really unreachable, then how can any writer possibly attempt to define it as a concept, even if he or she denies the universality of the concept? By his or her own definition, there is no more truth in what this writer is saying, than there is in the discourses of others who he or she has chosen to criticize. Unfortunately, arguments such as this lead to a complete rejection of everything that is written and consequently a disincentive to write, neither of which would be very beneficial to the debate. Indeed, Culler puts it very neatly when he claims that, Deconstruction has no better theory of truth.

The Consequences

Despite the valid objections of post-modern thinkers concerning the control of the production of truth by those in power, most have failed to come up with an alternative idea. But under no circumstances does this mean that such ideas have failed to have an impact. Instead, a new battle has begun over the past fifty years. The battle is no longer concerned with what is true and what is false, as such concepts and questions are now outdated. This new battle is for air-time. One no longer needs to prove ones theories or ideas, as this is a useless exercise; instead, one needs to secure the acceptability and consumption of ones truth by as many people as possible. The production and distribution of discourses therefore, gain the utmost importance.
If historical evidence is to be considered suspect and partial, then it becomes vitally important to know whose history one is reading. If journalism has become subjective, then it is necessary to take into account the position and beliefs of the journalist. Unfortunately, history tends to be written by the winners (the losers being either dead or suppressed by the winners). The production of historical discourse is under the control of those members of society with the most power. Post-Modernism, and deconstruction in particular, have emphasized the importance of listening to the losers as well.
Consequently, many examples can be found in the post-modern discourse of challenges to grand narratives, written by traditionally excluded minorities. Tony Morisons Beloved is a novel about slavery, seen through the eyes of a slave. John Barths Chimera retells the story of the Thousand and One Nights through the eyes of Dunyazade, a figure who had previously played second role to Scheherazade in the tales. Countless other published and widely read works have been written by feminists, homosexuals, ethnic minorities, communists and madmen, all of whom have traditionally been associated with the negative side of the various structural binary oppositions.
The aim of course, is to change the ghetto jive couplet to Youre white, but you just may not be right! History written by minorities can have a major effect in bringing into question previously acknowledged truths. As Foucault has observed, The problem is not changing peoples consciousnesses or whats in their heads but the political, economic, institutional regime of the production of truth. Truth is no longer a universal concept, nor is it the aim of philosophers, religious writers or scientists. In the post-modern world, truth is a commodity, produced like all other commodities for the benefit of the producers. Unfortunately for the previously dominant powers, the market is expanding, and new minority producers have entered the game. The consumer is therefore presented with a much wider choice, a choice that will undoubtedly have both political causes and political consequences.

Bibliography of Consulted Works

Postmodern English Narrative, ed. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wisam Mansour.
Works cited from the above compilation include:
Pynchon, Thomas. The Crying of Lot 49
Burroughs, William. Nova Express
Barthelme, Donald. See the Moon
Vonnegut, Kurt. Breakfast of Champions
Morison, Tony. Beloved
Alexie, Sherman. Captivity
Barth, John. Chimera
Auster, Paul. City of Glass
Coupland, Douglas. Generation X
Berube, Michael. Public Access
Minh-Ha, Trint.T. Woman, Native, Other

The Portable Neitzsche, ed. Walter Kaufmann. (London and New York: Penguin, 1976)
Culler, Jonathan. On Deconstruction (New York: Cornell University Press, 1982)
The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984)

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