Rushdie: Postmodernism and history

This paper has two parts: the first part briefly discusses the idea of 'history' in 'postmodernism'; and the second part discusses Rushdie's idea of historicity (but not history) in his fiction-in particular, Midnight's Children. The concept of history originated from Aristotle's distinction of history, philosophy and poetry, (as history being particular and philosophy being general and poetry combining both the general and the particular), Sidney's definition that historians deal with a particular 'truth', whereas poetry deals with both particular and universal truths, to Hegel's concept of history being a dialectical process of progress of 'Spirit' (GEIST), to the postmodernist concept of history being 'finite' and 'hyperreal', there is a growth in the attitude to history. In the postmodernist concept of history, according to Fukuyama, modern history achieved its goal of universal freedom in the market-oriented liberal democracy of the USA. In Baudrillard's view, real today is, in fact, 'hyperreal' through the creation of virtual images. In place of 'grand narratives', we have finite history. Today the interest of the modern writers is to write history as narrative, where the narrative becomes a demonstration of the art of writing history.
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