S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) English Language and Literature (영어영문학과) 영학논집(English Studies) 영학논집(English Studies) No.29 (2009)
오든의 초기시가 보여주는 추리적 측면과 그 의미: 「비밀 요원」을 중심으로
The Significance and Eleent of Detective Novel in Auden's Early Poetry: Focusing on "The Secret Agent"
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 영어영문학과
- 영학논집 29(2009): 183-195
- W. H. Auden; Auden's early poetry; Auden's coding technique; "The Secret Agent"; "The Detective Story"
- The difficulty to understand W. H. Auden's early poetry comes from the obscuring quality of itself. The poet subtly suggests that there is a certain hidden rules of allegory to match his projected metaphors but his hints are not lightened enough. This "Audenesque" characteristic can be grasped as in the concept of code building technique. Even though the poem's allusive narrative seems to conceal or deny the definite subject or statement, it also contributes to create a set of active recognitions in which the possible structures or the map of meaning can be arranged by given clues. Thus Auden's early poetry can be read as adopting an aspect of detective story genre, since it tends to invite the readers to assume a hidden structure of meaning and to participate in disclosing its secrets. 'The Secret Agent'(1928) and other early poems demonstrates this kind of poetic technique mostly in which the flow of syntax is lead forward by the successive turnovers and reverses, creating the poem's tensive movement with the possibility of suggestive narrative. The poem's driving force arises from the jaunty reverses and their speed effect, whose process with full of allusive secrets stimulates reader's curiosity to make expectations for the narrative's next reverse Auden's coding technique prompts his readers to make a ypothetical
design of hidden allegories through a process of dynamic and dramatic inference. In the process of such investigation and decoding experiment, the abstruse and opaque trait can be converted as the active possibility of searchmg out a serial narrative of meanings. Yet the final structure, which is a persuasive product built up fkom this process, is still arbitrary. What eventually revealed through this meaning-hunting or code-breaking is more likely to be the demonstration of Barthesian desire and pleasure of reading the text, rather than the dehite answer to solve the poem's problem.