There are a number of anthologies of postmodernist writings, of which the most committed is Thomas Docherty (ed.), Postmodernism: A Reader (Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1993). Ihab Hassan’s seminal articles on postmodernism are collected in his The Postmodern Turn (Ohio State University Press, 1987). Derrida’s thoughts on literature are conveniently brought together in Derek Attridge (ed.), Jacques Derrida: Acts of Literature (Routlege, 1992). Steven Connor’s Postmodernist Culture (Blackwell, 1989) is strongly committed to an eclectic range of postmodernist theories. Charles Jencks’s alternative view is neatly summarized in his What Is Postmodernism?, revised edn. (Academy, 1996).
For an account of the politics of postmodernism, following Jameson, see Perry Anderson, The Origins of Postmodernity (Verso 1998). On nationalist narratives in the postmodern period, looked at from a broadly postmodernist theoretical standpoint, see Elleke Boehmer, Colonial and Postcolonial Literature (Oxford University Press, 1995), and Homi Bhabha’s anthology, Nation and Narration (Routledge, 1990). An excellent early example of the use of Marx, Freud, and deconstruction in literary analysis is Terry Eagleton, Criticism and Ideology (NLB, 1976). Useful because they make period contrasts are Patricia Waugh, Practising Postmodernism/Reading Modernism (Arnold, 1992) and Peter Brooker, Modernism/Postmodernism (Longman, 1992).
The following are critical but also informative about postmodernist tendencies. For an account of the influence of Marx on intellectuals in this period, see J. G. Merquior, Western Marxism (Paladin, 1986). The new literary theory encountered surprisingly little published opposition, but see the interestingly entitled Fraud: Literary Theory and the End of English by Peter Washington (Fontana, 1989) and Christopher Butler, Interpretation, Deconstruction, and Ideology (Clarendon Press, 1984), and, for a general critique, John M. Ellis, Against Deconstruction (Princeton University Press, 1989) and Raymond Tallis, Not Saussure (Macmillan, 1988). A brilliant account of the relationship of science to political and moral considerations is given by Philip Kitcher in his Science, Truth and Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2001). The tendency to the local story attitude of postmodern philosophy has inspired a reply from Thomas Nagel, which defends his view of the value and possibility of objectivity in philosophy and of the abstracting ‘view from nowhere’ in ethics, expressed in his The Last Word (Oxford University Press, 1997).
An influential model for non-linguistic phenomena analysed as text was Roland Barthes, Système de la mode (1967; tr. as The Fashion System, Hill and Wang, 1983). This approach became common to all ‘semiotic’ approaches to culture. For a survey, see Robert Hodge and Gunter Kress, Social Semiotics (Blackwell, 1988). For a study of the different subject positions open to us within postmodernist theory and the contemporary novel, see Kim Worthington, Self as Narrative (Clarendon Press, 1996). For Habermas’s critique of postmodernism, see inter alia his The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity (MIT Press, 1987). Edward Lucie-Smith, Art Today (Phaidon, 1995) is an excellent survey of the many current schools of art. An essential resource is to be found in Kristine Stiles and Peter Selz (eds), Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art (University of California Press, 1996).