روایت Postimperial: پل استر، دان دلیلو، و تیم اوبراین
Abstract: Contrary to a widely accepted understanding that postmodernism is a subversive cultural practice meant to undermine the dominant conventions and ideologies, the works of Paul Auster, Don DeLillo, and Tim O\'Brien tend to reaffirm what might be called the American expansionist imagination. The traditional American cultural imagination has developed an idea of freedom in terms of the spacious land of the New World, privileging the logic of spatial expansion over historical consciousness. This emphasis on space has often brewed a certain type of apocalypticism, especially when the logic of spatial expansion encountered an (imagined) exhaustion of free space. A similar tendency can be found in the works of the postmodern(ist) writers discussed in this dissertation. By reintroducing the logic of spatial expansion/constriction and the cultural apocalypticism, the postmodern aesthetic of these writers revitalizes the traditional American ideals, values, and anxieties, and ultimately provides an imaginary \"elsewhere\" for the disoriented individual/national self of contemporary America. DeLillo redefines the novel as a \"counterhistory\" to reinvigorate the democratic potentials of the genre; Auster foregrounds the logic of chance to emphasize the critical power of the novel; and O\'Brien presents the endless march of the American soldiers in Vietnam as a synecdoche for the persistence of American culture. The protagonists of these writers are also threatened by a kind of \"endism,\" which is often expressed in a paradoxical form of narrative about the end of narrative itself. This endism works as a regenerative narrative/cultural device. The notion of the \"postimperial\" is proposed to replace the postmodern as a way of critically understanding the cultural conditions of contemporary America. It will be useful to explain the paradoxical characteristic of the contemporary American cultural discourses, which consciously criticizes the American imperial heritages but nonetheless unwittingly repeat them. Contemporary American fiction uses postmodern strategies, but it also reaffirms the American liberal tradition in a more universalized and depoliticized way, ushering the imperiled American cultural self into a new global but still Americano-centric postmodernism. Founded as an attempt to escape from the corrupted (old European) history , America was and is still (more) postimperial as well as posthistorical.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics, Postimperial, Narrative, Auster, Paul, DeLillo, Don, O'Brien, Tim