Nine Literary Movements Explained Snarkily

Books can be complicated, because they’re full of words and stuff. Apparently book words are not complicated enough to justify research grants though, so academics made up new words to describe what the words in books do. As a graduate of Fine Arts, I’m here to demystify some of their terminology so you can sound smart and stuff too.


 1. MODERNISM

Yo, we’re sick of them elitist Classicists not letting us in their clubhouse, so we’re going to make our own isms, with blackjack … and hookers.

2. POSTMODERNISM

Screw those Modernists not letting us in their clubhouse. We’re going make our own isms, with blackjack, and hookers. Actually, forget the isms and the blackjack.

3. STRUCTURALISM

Guys, I just had a revelation: words totally mean things.

4. DECONSTRUCTION

I sure do love Lego. I wish everything worked like Lego, including people.

5. SURREALISM

I just had the weirdest dream. I wonder what it means.

6. DADA

Everything is meaningless, so fuck it, let’s slap each other with fish.

7. AESTHETICISM

Man, the sentences in Lolita are so beauti—shut up, I don’t want to know what the book is all about!

8. MAGICAL REALISM

I’m going to treat a metaphorical thing like it’s a real thing in the story world because that would be—shut up, it’s not fantasy!

9. HYSTERICAL REALISM

Shit, this novel is just like a big rant or something. There totally needs to be a new word for this, because this totally didn’t exist bef—shut up, Voltaire!


This post has been a reaction to 9 Complicated Literary Movements Explained Simply.
Disclaimer: I actually love some of these things, or at least many of the things labeled under these things.

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Sarah Dimento

The only thing interesting about me is my interest in interesting things – and sometimes I make cool shit.

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