If modernism had tried to anchor in consciousness a centre which could no longer hold—the conscience of the heroic, socially alienated artist—postmodernism had shown us an even darker side of modernity and the aporias of the aesthetic. It had shown that there is nothing for consciousness to be anchored to: no universal ground of truth, justice, or reason, so that consciousness itself is thus "decentred," no longer origin, author, location of intentional agency but a function through which impersonal forces pass and intersect—Dover Beach displaced by an international airport lounge.
Patricia Waugh, British educator. "Stalemates? Feminists, Postmodernists and Unfinished Issues in Modern Aesthetics," The Politics of Pleasure: Aesthetics and Cultural Theory, ed. Stephen Regan, Open University Press (1992).