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ISSN : 1226-4946(Print)
ISSN : 2288-5412(Online)
The Yeats Journal of Korea Vol.23 pp.5-28

Decolonial Discourse and Multi-Celtic Identity in Death of a Naturalist

Kang Min-Gun


This paper is trying to read the text with the current theory decolonialism. Tothis, The writer adopted the text Seamus Heaney's early poetry Death of aNaturalist. Seamus Heaney is known to be the most important poet since W. B.Yeats as a winner of Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995.
I assume that a growing interest among readers reflects this prevailingenthusiasm for his work. His method and idea owe more to decolonial attitude morethan that of naturalist or romantist. This seems to be an attractive factor to draw areader's attention. In fact, his poetry has the proper qualities to absorb the devoteesof 'decolonialism' still dominant in dealing with the poetry.
Decolonialism as a literary theory is becoming an influential textual strategyrather than remaining as one of the academic master discourse. So far, theestablished textual reading theories have been closely related to logocentrism, andthey failed to be acknowledge as objective way of reading. For this reason, thedecolonialism has an important implication in the sense that it subverts the colonialideology within the context of colonized society, and at the same time, reconstructscounter-discourse to find out self-identity and decolonized space.
Meanwhile, Heaney have been witnessed historical moments of the death of hismother land, Ireland as well as of the Irish people, as the history of Irelandmanifests. In doing so, the Irish people broke the cycle of imperial situation. Theconsciousness of them became consciousness of the nation. By way of this historicalexperience of authentic decolonization, Heaney's aesthetics became, more and more,politicized against the crisis which the repressive force of imperialism caused tooccur. Under this traumatic disasters of Ireland, Heaney's poetic quest makes him and practical struggle against the colonial power in a poetic way.
The main subject of his poetry is to find out his Irish identity with the pasttradition and its continuity. The subject is linked with the question to find out theCeltic identity between the past and the present which is dominated by colonialism.To regard this, this paper analyses Heaney's text focusing on the decolonialismexpressed by his poetry. I try to examine the process of his poetic writings and itsattitude against English colonialism. To do this, My major interest is in his Celticmyth and language employed in his poetry. And I attempt to search for the trueIrishness which Heaney makes every effort to materialize the reality of Ireland inhis poetry.
To conclude, the decolonial discourse and its textual strategy has an tactics andalso has an important implications that lay bare the dominant ideology hidden bythe seemingly impersonal intention of colonialism.

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