Where did our soul go?

Our group was extremely interested in Jameson and Harvey’s arguments regarding postmodernism effect on art.  Both theorists agree that the art, architecture, and literature that are produced today lacks the depth and soul found in work before postmodernism.

Jameson argues this belief in his comparison of Van Gogh’s Peasant Shoes with Andy Warhol’s Diamond Dust Shoes.  Van Gogh clearly paints in the emotions and back-story into his work of art to give it further depth and meaning whereas Warhol’s more contemporary piece lacks depth therefore a personality.  Harvey argues his point in the analysis of the architecture behind Bonaventure Hotel.  Within the interior of this hotel there were mirrors everywhere constantly reflecting your image and making it easy to get lost.  They did not consider the individuals that would be staying in the hotel when designing and building this Hotel.  The same goes with the AT&T building that was built out of granite to help promote an image of strength.  However when designing the building the company was more worried about the image of the building than they were with their employees that would be working there.

We also talked about how no one is writing classic pieces of literature today.  It seems as though our society, especially that of the younger generation, is more obsessed with reading Twilight or Fifty Shades of Gray than they are A Tale of Two Cities or The Great Gatsby.  The majority of novels being written today lack the substance that was found in those written many years ago.  A huge pet peeve that we all shared was that so many books being published today contain so many grammar mistakes!  What happened to editing books before they were released?  While one member of our group did point out the fact that it takes time for a classic to be considered a classic at the end of the day it just seems as though there are no present day novels that can even remotely compare to the classics.

We also talked about how so many languages are being lost in this postmodern era, especially those spoken in Africa.  So many Africa countries are relying more on English and less on their native languages.  For example while studying in Kenya both Taylor and I were surprised that more English was spoken than Swahili.  We were not expecting this at all.  One of our major goals for the semester was to become more dependent and comfortable with Swahili however this goal was not met since everyone constantly spoke English.  But when Sharon studied abroad in Brazil she found that the majority of the country solely spoke in Portuguese, not English.  She really enjoyed the fact that Brazil refused to give up on Portuguese in favor of English and found that it made her time abroad so much more fulfilling.

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