S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute of Humanities (인문학연구원) Journal of humanities (인문논총) Journal of Humanities vol.37 (1997) (인문논총)
황무지의 언어 무의식
The Linguistic Unconscious of The Waste Land
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 인문학연구소
- 인문논총, Vol.37, pp. 23-40
- The Waste Land has been read from different approaches and in diverse ways. The body of criticism on this poem from a psychoanalytic viewpoint, however, is not as copious as that of other approaches. One reason why there is very scanty body of criticism on this poem from a psychoanalytic approach is that Eliot himself has evinced a strong aversion to psychoanalysis. In my opinion, the fact that Eliot himself did not like psychoanalysis will be the stronger reason for us to read it form such an approach. Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytic theory, however, can be a great help in reading The Waste Land in this respect, because Lacanian approach emphasizes the linguistic aspect of the unconscious. The Waste Land is very amenable to the Lacanian psychoanalysis because Lacan basically considers the unconscious to be structured like a language. The poem demonstrates that it is a text of the linguistic unconscious from the beginning by its two quotations-one of the sybil, and the other for Ezra Pound. These two quotations show that the unconscious of the poem is situated at the locus of the conflict between the imaginary and the symbolic. Many gaps in the poem itself prove that this assumption is not far from the truth.