Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2003.20.5
영국시의 탈중심 문화지형 (3)
예이츠: 비극과 권위의 문화정치 [1]**
― 죽음의 절대력과 개인성의 모순대립
경북대
The Decentering Cultural Topography of English Poetry (3) Yeats: The Cultural Politics of Tragedy and Authority [1] - The Antinomies and Oppositions between the Absolute Power of Death and the Individuality
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Abstract
Most of Yeats’s works are composed of antitheses which are defined by their rhetoric, form, tone and thematic motifs. If the antitheses are Yeats’s central means of perceiving and interpreting the world, what kinds of experience are posited at the center of his life, and in what way and manner are his conceptions of “unity of being” and “unity of culture” connected with his experience of “tragic joy”? This essay attempts to approach the basic frame of Yeats's mind which perceives and interprets the world as composed of contraries, antinomies and antitheses. In such context, Yeats's idea and experience of tragedy are shown to be constructed ideologically in the situation that is divided by the two classes, namely the declining Anglo-Irish Protestant and the powerfully ascending Catholic middle classes.
Yeats’s conception and experience of tragedy are connected with what Michel Foucault calls “the absolute power of death”. Yeats thinks that if the modern poet could enact the poetic authority, he should be able to embody the ancient forms of power. Hence his ideology of tragedy and authority which leads him to enact the oral tradition of ancient magical arts. Yeats thinks that, through the poetic mode of ancient magical arts, modern lyric poet can enact the absolute power of death, breaking the comedic power of modern individualism. Yeats's ideology of tragedy and authority, however, is in constant contradiction with “the life-administering power” of modern world. In spite of his desire to enact the tragic power of ancient bard, the space of his later lyrics remains the complex site of ideological conflicts between the residual forms of traditional Anglo-Irish culture and the dominant cultural forms of modern individualism. (The second part of this essay will be continued in the next issue)

 



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