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Any of several artistic movements since about the 1960s that have challenged the philosophy and practices of modern arts or literature. In literature this has amounted to a reaction against an ordered view of the world and therefore against fixed ideas about the form and meaning of texts. In its reaction against Modernist ideals (seeModernism) such as autotelic art and the original masterpiece, postmodern writing and art emphasize devices such as pastiche and parody and the stylized technique of the antinovel and magic realism. Postmodernism has also led to a proliferation of critical theories, most notably deconstruction and its offshoots, and the breaking down of the distinction between high and low culture.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on postmodernism, visit Britannica.com.