Brian McHale

Brian McHale is professor of English at the Ohio State University. The author of two books on postmodernist fiction and one on postmodernist long poems, he is most recently co-editor, with Randall Stevenson, of the Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English (2006). An essay related to the present one, entitled "1966 Nervous Breakdown, or, When Did Postmodernism Begin?" is forthcoming in Modern Language Quarterly.

Essays by this author

"The End"


Dunedin, home of the University of Otago, facing the Pacific on the southeast corner of the South Island of New Zealand, used to be far from everywhere - if not exactly the end of the world, then (as they say) you could it see from there. Nowadays, of course, it is as close to everywhere as anywhere else, and much closer than some places, wired into the world-wide web and served by online forums of intellectual life such as the ebr.

What Was Postmodernism?


Brian McHale looks back on the movement in “What Was Postmodernism?” He contrasts postmodernism’s canonization with critical constructions of modernism, and moves through contemporary painting to reflect on intersections between the violence of recent history and postmodernism, as the postwar world lived “in the ruins of our own civilization, if only in our imaginations.”