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카발라로 본 얀 마텔의 『라이프 오브 파이』 연구
A Study on Yann Martel’s Life of Pi in the Perspective of Kabbalah

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Authors
강지언
Issue Date
2017-11-30
Publisher
한국종교학연구회
Citation
종교학연구, Vol. 35 pp. 73-97
Keywords
카발라파이이야기라이프 오브 파이문학 해석문학과 종교KabbalahLife of PiInterpretation of literatureLiterature and religion
Abstract
Yann Martel’s bestseller novel Life of Pi tells a story about an Indian boy who drifted with a Bengal tiger for 227 days. Academic studies dealt with this novel for two parts –an event and the interpretation of an event –mainly in the light of literary theory, psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, postmodernism.
This study uses Kabbalah as an interpretive tool, which is hidden in the text and tries to find out that religious tradition could be an effective frame for literature.
Pi’s three names(Piscine-Pissing-Pi) has a distinct connection with Kabbalistic theosophy and the doctrine of creation. It represents the ultimate god as Ein Sof (Pi) and god’s attributes(Piscine/Pissing). Piscine can be read as a divine soul in every human being. In this perspective, Richard Parker, who originally has a name “thirsty” can be animal part in the human soul. So Pi and Richard Parker make a pair of a soul and their castaway story is a spiritual journey that the divine soul transcends over the animal soul.
The spatial structure of the story (India, Pondicherry –the Pacific – Canada) also could be read as a metaphor for the spiritual process in Kabbalistic thought. In this reading, the traumatic events that a ship named ‘tsimtsum’ wrecked and people died can be transformed as a universal condition of humanity. And the change of relationship between Pi and Richard Parker, cannibalistic island and the arrival at the Mexico beach turns into a transformation and a return to the essence of a soul.
The relationship between reality and story, storytelling and interpretation, speaker and listener also show similarity in the Kabbalistic view about language, text, story and god. Literature and religion have been effected human in a form of story and both can contain holiness in them. So understanding religious tradition can be an effective tool for an interpretation of literature as the case of Life of Pi.
ISSN
1975-8049
Language
Korean
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/162738
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College of Humanities (인문대학)Religious Studies (종교학과)종교학연구(Journal of Religious Studies) 종교학연구(Journal of Religious Studies) 35집(2017)
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