Michael Guest

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.

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