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The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism (Routledge Companions) 2nd Edition

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0415243087
ISBN-10: 0415243084
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Review

'Concise and clear ... the Companion will be useful to many types of reader ... [it] provides an interesting and varied overview of the many ways in which postmodernism has established itself as a cultural phenomenon.' - Philosophy Now

About the Author

Stuart Sim is Professor of English Studies at the University of Sunderland. He has published widely on postmodern thought and continental philosophy. Recent publications include Post-Marxism: An Intellectual History (Routledge, 2000) and Contemporary Continental Philosophy: The New Scepticism (Ashgate, 2000).

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Product Details

  • Series: Routledge Companions
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2nd edition (December 16, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415243084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415243087
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,011,884 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
When I first ordered Stuart Sim's `Routledge Companion to Postmodernism', I was expecting a narrative discourse on postmodernism, most from a philosophical standpoint. What I received was quite different, but quite wonderful, and an indispensable resource as I study theology and philosophy as they relate to postmodern ideas.
The text, edited by Sim, who is a professor of English Studies at the University of Sunderland, has dozens of contributors drawn from the academy and professional ranks. They provide an insight in the broad and varied diversity of postmodernism, which is far from being a monolithic enterprise. There are two main sections to the book - first, a series of 14 essays on sources and developments in modernism, and the second, a critical dictionary of names and terms.
The first section of essays includes essays such as Postmodernism and Philosophy, Postmodernism and Politics, etc. The topics deal with feminism, science and technology, art and architecture, many aspects of popular and current culture (cinema, television, literature, music, lifestyles), as well as the general idea of postmodernity vis-à-vis modernity and traditions of criticism and dissension. Each of the essays is interesting and engaging, brief enough to be read in one sitting, yet thorough enough to be the sort the interested reader will return to again. Postmodernism can be defined in various ways, but Sim gives the definition out of Lyotard as the rejection of `grand narratives' and universal theories -- the sort that science, metaphysics, mathematics, and other such disciplines have tried since the Enlightenment (or even further back) to support and impose. There is a strong antifoundational sense to postmodernism, that often makes it controversial.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steward Willons TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is the single most essential volume for anyone who wants to familiarize his or herself with the huge field of postmodern theory. Most people realize that postmodern theory is incredibly controversial with opinions ranging from the positive to the negative to some theorists who claim postmodernism doesn't even exist. Some of my professors have gone as far as to claim that the term "postmodern" itself is meaningless, that it cannot be defined. Anyone who reads this book will understand exactly why that is a ridiculous statement: there are plenty of answers available and even if there is a multiplicity of interpretations and understandings, there *are* definite, defensible positions and you'll discover them here.

I must stress that this is excellent as an introduction: of course no one would use this as their only source on postmodern philosophy. The point is, this book introduces you to the influential theorists, their ideas, and their work. Following that, you can go and explore them on your own. The best thing about this book is that it gives you a manageable overview without reducing a rich field of discourse to a few key ideas and people. There are shorter guides to postmodernism, but they're typically the work of a single author from a single perspective. Stuart Sim does a great job compiling articles and dictionary entries here.

The articles are largely descriptive so you don't need to worry about hidden agendas and biased information. The writing style is conducive to understanding and communication. Concepts learned here will help you tackle the more difficult primary sources later when you're ready for more specific readings.

It's also a great reference.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is of great value to readers struggling to familiarize themselves with the postmodern. The first half of the book provides interesting explorations of how the postmodern is at work in culture. The latter half is of particular value to anyone unfamiliar with the multitude of artists and theorists whose work and thought is significant to the postmodern. The collection of entries in the dictionary serve anyone reading primary postmodern texts well by opening up otherwise opaque allusions.
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