Postmodern Epistemological Relativism: Reconstruction of Ethics and Morality in Contemporary Popular Vampire Narratives

By Munazza Yaqoob and Amal Sayyid.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Postmodern incredulity towards metanarratives, subversion of transcendental signifiers and emphasis on relativism and free play of meanings has given rise to new modes of knowing and consequently new constructs of ethics, knowledge and truth. Postmodernism involves the deconstruction of essential binaries of Western thought and culture which undermines fixed epistemic categories and perspectives and entails looking at things from multiple perspectives. Particularly postmodern epistemological inquiry focuses on the margins rather than the centre. The current study aims to highlight how this postmodern epistemological skepticism can be discerned from incredulity towards essential objective categories of truth and falsehood as manifested in the changing constructions of villainy and heroism in postmodern literary discourse. For this purpose this research will be delimited to an analysis of the contemporary postmodern vampire narrative Twilight to highlight the mutation in the figure of the vampire from a blood sucking villain to a romanticized and humanized hero. The current study will argue that this revaluation and inversion of categories of morality and immorality, good and evil, truth and falsehood in the postmodern literary imagination can be viewed as a crystallization of the radical critiques of the truth-claims of Western moral discourses by Nietzsche and Foucault. The placement of villains as the heroes of popular postmodern fictions will thus be seen as giving rise to new paradigms of morality and truth which privilege those elements which were traditionally marginalized in Western moral discourses. The trajectory of development of Western moral conceptions from modernism to postmodernism will be analysed through a comparison between Meyer’s protagonist and the character of Count Dracula created by Bram Stoker in 1897.

Keywords: Postmodernism, Epistemological Relativism, Reconstruction of Ethics, Nietzsche, Foucault, Contemporary Popular Vampire Narratives

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 12, pp.33-44. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 813.914KB).

Asst. Prof. Munazza Yaqoob

Assistant Professor, Department of English , Faculty of Languages and Literature, International Islamic University Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan

Dr. Munazza Yaqoob is currently the Chairperson of the Department of English (Female Campus) at International Islamic University. Her research interests include cognitive poetics, literary theory, comparative literature and postmodernism.

Research Associate. Amal Sayyid

Research Associate, Department of English , Faculty of Languages and Literature, International Islamic University Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan

Amal Sayyid is working as a Research Associate in the Department of English (F.C.) at IIUI. She is currently enrolled in a PhD program. Her MS thesis was a comparative study of Updike’s “Terrorist” and Hamid’s “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” from the perspective of ideological critique and literary form. Her research interests include Marxist literary theory, comparative literature, postcolonial studies and postmodernism.

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