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A Poetics of Postmodernism is neither a defense nor a denunciation of the postmodern. It continues the project of Linda Hutcheon's Narcissistic Narrative and A Theory of Parody in studying formal self-consciousness in art, but adds to this both an historical and an ideological dimension. Modelled on postmodern architecture, postmodernism is the name given here to current cultural practices characterized by major paradoxes of form and of ideology. The "poetics" of postmodernism offered here is drawn from these contradictions, as seen in the intersecting concerns of both contemporary theory and cultural practice.