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Pulp Fiction Can Be Read as Postmodern - Essay Example

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Pulp Fiction Can Be Read as Postmodern

The essay "Pulp Fiction Can Be Read as Postmodern" concerns the postmodernism in the Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction". Pulp Fiction was celebrated for the way it appeared to capture exactly a certain pre-millennial angst and dislocation in Western capitalist societies. The phrase pulp fiction refers to popular novels which are bought in large numbers by less well educated people and enjoyed for their entertainment value. The implication is that the film concerns topics of interest to this low culture, but as this essay will show, in fact the title is ironic and the film is a very intellectual presentation of issues at the heart of contemporary western culture and philosophy. Writing ten years before Tarantino made Pulp Fiction, the academic and critic Frederic Jameson identified some of the key features of postmodernism, and debated whether these were a true departure from modernism, or just a continuation of the same rebellious themes. His paper on postmodernism tends towards the latter view, but at the same time prophetically pinpointed the essential departures that postmodernism has made from what has gone before. Tarantino’s film does not continue the debate in an academic way, but instead presents a virtuoso visual performance of the ideas that Jameson could only dimly perceive. These ideas include pastiche, a crisis in historicity and a blurring of the distinction between high culture and low culture. One way that Tarantino uses pastiche is when he introduces very evocative settings. ...Show more
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Summary

The essay analyzes the movie "Pulp Fiction", directed by Tarantino, in the context of postmodernism. The term post-modernist, often used to refer to art and architecture, was applied to this film, and there was even a new word made specially to reflect this, namely “pulpmodernist”. …
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