The (post)modern debate in chuck palahniuk’s survivor, choke and pygmy.
Date of Issue2011
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
This paper examines three of Chuck Palahniuk's novels—Survivor, Choke and Pygmy within both a modern and postmodern frame. Being a contemporary American writer, Palahniuk's work have been most commonly classified to be postmodern. His commentary on the effects of postmodern society on individuals in his writing has deemed his fiction to be regarded as existentialist, transgressive, and most commonly, nihilist. However, this essay proposes that there are elements of modernism in his texts as well. The modernist and postmodernist literary periods shall be examined and extricated such that the general understanding of the terms remain yet there is a specificity to their more distinctive traits when used in reference to Survivor, Choke and Pygmy. Though the novels do share certain similarities in form and overlying themes, each presents varying instances of the modernist or postmodernist literary style. In doing so, not only will this essay hope to gain a wider comprehension on the workings of each novel through their form and content but also uncover the tensions that arise when dissecting them as postmodern and/or modern texts. In this process, perhaps a better understanding of the similarities and differences between the two literary periods will be attained as well.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University