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By Juan Cruz Subirá and Gaston Posse
Contemporary literature reflects current trends in life and culture, these things change
often, contemporary literature changes as well. It reflects the author's perspective and can
come across as cynical. It questions facts, historical perspectives and presents two
contradictory arguments side by side. Post-modern literature. It includes literature written
after World War Two through the present and includes several unique identifying
characteristics. Although difficult to comprehensively define, some of the most obvious
characteristics include multiple narrators, literature that comments upon itself, a mixture or
pastiche of subjects and genres, and experimentation with form and structure.
After World War II, the world had a different perspective on things. It changed rapidly and
literature changed with it, almost as rapidly, despite the fact that some authors held onto
their existing beliefs. These changes stemmed from a belief that continues to grow today,
the belief that there is no God. After the horrors of the war, many people came to the
conclusion that God was either dead or did not exist in the first place, which brought with
it the idea that maybe life was meaningless. Writers struggled to communicate in a way
that showed the world how to cope with this "truth."
Contemporary literature features a somewhat modern narrative, but it also contains a
harsher reality. Contemporary written works tend to be influenced by the prosperous
lifestyle that followed WWII, but this literary class is rooted in the devastation that war
brought to the world. A new reality blossomed in the post-war mind, and it included a
personal cynicism, disillusionment, and frustration that is common to this literary period.
Typical characteristics of the contemporary period include reality-based stories with strong
characters and a believable story. Settings usually keep to the current or modern era, so
futuristic and science fiction novels are rarely included in this category. Well-defined,
realistic, and highly developed characters are important in classifying a written work as
contemporary, and most writing in this category features stories that are more character
driven than plot driven.