On Metamodernism

From this article:

Of course when we reconstruct things, we acknowledge that they once were in pieces, so metamodernism certainly acknowledges postmodernism in this way. And of course when we reconstruct things, we acknowledge that all reconstructions of something we idealize (for instance, our culture or our “better selves”) are going to be imperfect, indeed maybe just an illusion of wholeness. Still, metamodern literary art says that it’s time for us to figure out how to live happily again — as unhappy people don’t normally have the personal resources to become activists for their communities, so consumed are they by navel-gazing and self-pity and just getting by day to day. (And we’ve all been there; this indictment of sadness isn’t made without acknowledgment that my own tendencies are the same as anyone else’s.)

So in response to postmodernists’ obsession with decay and decline and rupture, metamodernists say, “Okay, let’s say you’re right. We still have to live, don’t we? To try to be happy? Try to create? Try to be part of a community? What sort of philosophy could let us aim toward a reconstruction of ourselves and our culture — however problematic or illusory it might turn out to be — that could also form part of a plan for healthy living and great creativity and even new forms of political action?”


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