Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2010.34.217
Transnationalism in William Butler Yeats and Louise Bennet*
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Dongguk University
원고접수일: 2010년 10월 29일, 수정일: 2010년 11월 23일, 게재확정일: 2010년 12월 10일
Abstract
The postmodernizing of Yeats had been a risky and tricky enterprise. As Naomi Schor in “Introduction” in Flaubert and Postmodernism (1984) points out, postmodernism in all its multiple manifestations is a moment “in” and “of” modernism. Daniel O’Hara, Paul A Bove, Geoffrey Hartman, Paul de Man, and J. Hillis Miller attempt such projects. Nevertheless, with very few exceptions, Yeats has been used by theorists mainly in examples within a longer theoretical argument, and very few works of book-length criticism have been studied. After that, I have been working since 1991 on postmodernizing Yeats from the perspective of Nietzschean postmodernism of genealogy which ranges from Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, Foucault, and Lyotard, and from this critical standpoint I have been relating modernism with postmodernism in an intriguing doubleness so that rhetoric would be the anchor from which doubling strategies of postmodernism have been revealing and disrevealing. Yeats’s poetry and poetics reveal such aspects of both modernism and postmodernism, just like his symbol or emblem of gyres, although the nature of postmodernism turns out to be extensive post-isms.
However, my contention in the paper is that the Yeatsian transnational poetics in terms of the “transdiscursive position” of the Other will provide the lenses for rereading the modern and contemporary poetic texts as well as the topographical fluid intermappings of the poetic globe. By taking William Butler Yeats’s poetics and poetry as an initiating analysis, the untranslability across the East/West divide will be left open by the space of the Other which “is something strange to me, although it is at the heart of me.” The center of the subject is outside, therefore, ex-centric in the discourse of the Other. I would argue that the locus for this untranslability to be crossed over in terms of the “in-between” or “intersticies” is represented by cross-cultural/transcultural or transnational poetries in English. When translating from one language to another linguistically or culturally, there are often multiple meanings for a particular word, sentences, a poem, or a series of poems, the meanings which have been blocked in the contact zone or border zone of transnationalism to be transgressed, transmigrated, transported, and translated. Louise Bennet’s poetry is one example of this transnational poetry.


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