There was a sentence in Jameson’s “Postmodernism and Consumer Society” that really resonated for me. In describing pastiche, he said,
“There is another sense in which the writers and artists of the present day will no longer be able to invent new styles and worlds–they’ve already been invented; only a limited number of combinations are possible; the most unique ones have been thought of already.”
This sentence really struck me because I think it is something that we as a society fear today. The internet has facilitated the sharing of ideas, but at the same time, it also means that oftentimes a person does not own his/her own ideas anymore; once they are out in the world, they’re seen as fair game. The readings about postmodernism also discuss this idea as one of the motivating factors for postmodernism, that we are no longer individuals – and in fact, individualism might never have existed.
My question is if this is a new idea to the postmodernist era, or rather one that every era has had to face. Is this just something that has become more prominent today because technology and information are growing at astromonically fast rates? Or is this truly the case – that we can no longer produce new, unique ideas in literature? What are your thoughts on this?