Skip to main content


Modernity and Postmodernity: from Baudelaire to Derrida


"One must be absolutely modern." With this imperative, Rimbaud reveals the paradoxical essence of modernity, a concept that is neither sociological, nor political, nor historical, and which, according to Baudrillard, is opposed to tradition. In the 19th century, with Baudelaire's The Flowers of Evil, modernity appears in literature and imposes itself in the avant-garde movements, while "the game of indeterminacy and immanence," introduced by Marcel Duchamp, announces postmodernity (Hassan). 

Being both cultural facts and conceptual categories, how do modernity and postmodernity translate into literature? Do they use specific forms? Do they serve as a relevant model to understand different instances of cultural production and, more specifically, literature? These questions will guide the course and the reading of excerpts of selected works, mainly constituted by texts originally written in French.


Course: Modernity and Postmodernity: from Baudelaire to Derrida
Code: 569574
Lenght: 20/09/2022 - 20/12/2022
Credits: 6
More info:

What Do We Study

The course will focus on the study of excerpts of literary works by Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, Apollinaire, Tzara, Breton, Ngal, Borges, Ernaux, Ben Jelloun or Echenoz. Connections will be traced between these texts and other essays written by the authors themselves or by other scholars, such as Derrida, Foucault or Lyotard.

Which is the Line of Thought

Modernity and postmodernity will be approached from a decolonial point of view in order to question the validity of these concepts in our understanding of the mutations of the contemporary world.

Theoretical and Practical Approaches

Compagon, Antoine. Las cinco paradojas de la modernidad. Trans. by Julieta Fombona Zuloaga. Monte Ávila editores, 1991. 

Compagnon, Antoine. Los antimodernos. El Acantilado, 2007.

Debray, Régis. Elogio de las fronteras. Gedisa, 2016.

Jameson, Fredric. Teoría de la posmodernidad. Trans. by Celia Montolía & Ramón de Castillo. Trotta, 2001.

Jauss, Hans-Robert. “Tradición literaria y conciencia actual de la Modernidad”. La literatura como provocación. Trans. by Joan Godo. Península, 1976.

Lyotard, Jean-François. La condició postmoderna. Trans. by Francesc Pons & Joan Pipó. Angle, 2004.

Paz, Octavio. Traducción: Literatura y literalidad. Tusquets Editores, 1990.

Previous teaching staff