Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. English Dept.


Ira Sadoff


Contemporary and postmodern art forms become a fascinating paradox, creating frustration and confusion in their audiences, while simultaneously manifesting their creators' own frustration with the materials. By insisting on the divide between the individual and cultural constructs, artists and authors reveal these same human desires and characters that the rest of society harbors. I decided to embark upon this project to demonstrate this idea that postmodernist authors and artists defy and subvert form because they, like their audiences, feel the frustration and tragedy of loss in their inability to reconcile art with experience. As these artists and authors expose the inadequacy and limitations of their materials, they uncover the complexity of their experiences that these materials deny. Resisting complete accordance with these materials prevents falsification, reminding audiences of those personal experiences that do not materialize on a surface, and more importantly, of the frustration with this inability to convey that experience in any manner. Ultimately, this frustration reinforces its creators' refusal to pretend to be satisfied with their materials, thus underlining the significance of that personal experience.


Full-text access is restricted to Colby College.


tragic, emotion, frustration