|dc.contributor.author||Dickson, Samuel John||-|
|dc.description.abstract||This thesis argues that postmodernism is best understood as an aftereffect, extension or reaction to the 'sixties'. However, what this term designates is not a period of calendar time coterminous with its namesake decade but a set of historical conditions whose period logic doesn't 'end' until the early 1970s. The textual features of postmodernism are interpreted as a response to the sixties as a historical moment of the possibility, and subsequent foreclosure, of a particular mode of radical emancipatory politics.
Each chapter identifies the postmodern form as a register of this foreclosure, with cinematic and literary texts ranging from the sixties to present day. Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 film Blow-Up is located as a ‘primal’ text for how this political moment is recurrently figured as an intermedial allegory in future postmodernist texts, including his own subsequent film Zabriskie Point (1971) and early features by American director, Brian de Palma (including Woton’s Wake  and Greetings (1968). Joseph McElroy’s novels Hind’s Kidnap (1969) and Lookout Cartridge (1974) are analysed for their unique literary representation of the mass-mediated world of the sixties through an anti-allegorical poetics. Instead, McElroy experiments with a new ‘realist’ means of portraying the immense cognitive activity involved in apprehending and thinking the complexity of the new global economy. Two chapters trace the changes in Thomas Pynchon’s recent fiction into a more explicitly political ‘late style’. The first of these focuses on his ‘California Trilogy’ (The Crying of Lot 49 , Vineland  and Inherent Vice ), where the repeated portrayal of the sixties as a site of failure asserts the period’s unfinished relation to the present. The second chapter explores the use of violence and genre in his 2006 epic Against The Day, arguing that its extensive use of myth, when situated alongside Walter Benjamin’s idea of ‘divine violence’, signifies utopian desire by way of textual exhaustion. The final chapter features an allegorical reading of David Fincher’s Zodiac (2007) as a registration of the transition from the turmoil of the sixties into a melancholic period of the seventies. This period logic is repeated in its own context of the late 2000s which are marked by numerous declarations of the ‘death’ of cinema, a transition locatable in the feature’s own hybrid form of filmic and digital cinematography.
In each chapter, the political significance of postmodernism as the registration of lost utopian possibilities, and the perceived persistence of this closure, is allegorised at sites of inter-medial conjuncture. Within each of these meetings of separate media, including written text, photography, cinema and digital images, is an auto-referential, inter-medial allegory whose recurrent content is the anxiety attendant to the lost possible futures since the end of the sixties; the persistence of postmodernism.||en_AU|
|dc.publisher||University of Sydney||en_AU|
|dc.publisher||Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences||en_AU|
|dc.publisher||School of Letters, Art, and Media||en_AU|
|dc.publisher||Department of English||en_AU|
|dc.rights||The author retains copyright of this thesis. It may only be used for the purposes of research and study. It must not be used for any other purposes and may not be transmitted or shared with others without prior permission.||en_AU|
|dc.title||The persistence of postmodernism and the sixties||en_AU|
|dc.type.pubtype||Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D.||en_AU|
|dc.description.disclaimer||Access is restricted to staff and students of the University of Sydney . UniKey credentials are required. Non university access may be obtained by visiting the University of Sydney Library.||en_AU|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (University of Sydney Access only)|