"Postmodernism is not a found object, but a manufactued artifact."
Beginning from this constructivist premise, Brian McHale develops a series of readings of problematically postmodernist novels--Joyce's "Ulysses"; Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" and "Vineland"; Eco's "The Name of the Rose" and "Foucault's Pendulum"; the novels of James McElroy and Christine Brooke-Rose, avant-garde works such as Kathy Aker's "Empire of the Senseless," and works of cyberpunk science-fiction by William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Lewis Shiner, Rudy Rucker, and others.
Although mainly focused on "high" or "elite" cultural products, "Constructing Postmodernism" relates these products to such phenomena of postmodern popular culture as television and the cinema, paranoia and nuclear apocalypse, angelology and the cybernetic interface, and death, now as always, the true Final Frontier.
McHale's previous book, "Postmodernist Fiction" (Routledge, 1987) seemed to propose a single, all-inclusive inventory of postmodernist poetics. This book, by contrast, proposes multiple, overlapping and intersecting inventories--not a construction of postmodernism, but a plurality of constructions.
"Constructing Postmodernism" will be essential reading for all students of contemporary literature and culture.
"Although this book is an excellent introduction to ideas about postmodernism, through the literary studies, it also provides the experience of the postmodern.."
-"Exceptional Human Experience