S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute of Humanities (인문학연구원) Journal of humanities (인문논총) Journal of Humanities vol.23 (1990) (인문논총)
<포스트 모던>시대의 영미문학의 이해
Postmodernist Readings of British and American Literature
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 인문과학연구소
- 인문논총, Vol.23, pp. 1-22
- We live in an age when labels beginning with "post-" are prevalent: Post-Structuralism, Post-Industrial age, Post-Marxism, Post-Feminism, Post-modernism, and so on. The prefix "post-" in this case simply designates a time span "after" something. Postmodernism, in this respect, simply designates a trend which comes "after" Modernism, and does not say whether Postmodernism is a continuation or break of Modernism. How can we, then, define postmodernism? Postmodernism, unlike many other -isms, defies definition, because it is not a definite ideology or manifesto initiated by anybody but a life style (or way of life) after modernism. The closest thing to a definition of postmodernism, however, would be to say that the modern age is over and done with. In this sense, postmodernism can be vaguely defined as something opposed to what modernism stands for. In this context, such privileged terms as authority (of the author), presence, origin, and logos in modernism have been levelled down in postmodernism. In place of these terms, we have a free play of marginality, otherness, and absence. One dominant characteristics of postmodernist readings of literature is the imposibility of only one correct reading of literature. One good example of this phenomenon is found in the feminist reading of literature. By toppling the dominant value of phallogocentricism, the femininst reading draws on many approaches available to reading literature: deconstruction, Foucaultian orientation, Marxism, Oriental thought, and so on. Postmodernist readings of literature have opened up new and vast horizons for a variety of exhilerating and innovative understandings of literature.