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The Site of Diversity

by
December 1990–January 1991, no. 127

The Site of Diversity

by
December 1990–January 1991, no. 127

The small magazine is the sign of postmodern diversity. How this diversity works itself out in literary production can be seen in the range of magazines available today.

 

One is tempted to view the proliferation of the small Australian literary magazine as a postmodern development. Few these days will turn a hair at the use of that term, previously confined to the domain of abstruse theories about culture and aesthetics. When the Australian Broadcasting Commission bandies about a word on the grounds that it has significance for programming strategies (according to the thrust of recent conferences, we may prepare ourselves for a new postmodern style ABC arts radio), then the word has acquired respectable currency. Postmodernism, according to the rule of thumb I shall engage here, simply emphasises the destabilisation of distinctions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ culture, and the fragmentation of modernism’s homogeneous cultural narrative into a multiplicity of independent discourses. Cultural richness becomes evaluated in terms of diversity.