S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute of Humanities (인문학연구원) Journal of humanities (인문논총) Journal of Humanities vol.27 (1992) (인문논총)
모순어법에 대한 포스트모던적 조명
A Postmodernistic Approach to Oxymoron
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 인문과학연구소
- 인문논총, Vol.27, pp. 21-33
- One of the most basic assumptions of the Western thought has been that anything or everything can be explained through logos, or reason. This attitude can be termed as logocentrism in the sense that this paradigm is soley based on logos. What logos has been doing in the West is quite interesting. First of all, it has been trying to categorize very neatly things in the world that defy both neatness and categorization. The world out there is sometimes a jumble of things that are simply beyond the grasp of the reasoning power. When things cannot be categorized neatly, then reason represses and oppresses the elements that do not obey the dictatorial sweep of reason. In a word, logocentrism is a very cruel way of suppressing the un-reasonable, Categories like oxymoron, irony, paradox, and the like are not compatible with logocentric ways of doing things. These terms have in common de-centered-ness as their distinguishing characteristics. The oxymoronic expression, "pleasing pains," for example, has a de-centering barrier in its midst. There is no logical or reasonable connection between the two constituting elements of this expression. This element of unreasonable discontiguity in oxymoronic expressions has long baffled many New Critics, even though they very much liked paradox as a literary device. Then comes along postmodernism. Postmodernism thrives on disconnections and unreasonable-ness, It does not theorize about things irrational but lets they be as they are. A new look at oxymoron, then, is in order, afforded by a new way of looking at things from a postmodernistic point of view. This new way of looking at oxymoronic expressions and situations can be both stimulating and exhilerating, eliminating the stranglehold placed on them by the long-standing logocentric tendency of New Criticism.