Ann Lee asl at u.washington.edu
Wed Jul 30 16:54:55 EDT 2003

Dear all,

I would like to present a paper or organize a panel for AAS about Korean literature, and am looking for participants.  I think papers about literary criticism, colonialism, language, the division of Korea, and gender could all be relevant.

The moment and consciousness: the poetics of motion in Korean literature

            I am interested in what poet and scholar Heather McHugh has described as the poetics of synecdoche-taking things together, or relations of part and whole, and how each permeate one another; the momentary, and its continuity with a flow of time; the present as monumental, and as flow or loss (McHugh 1993: 6, 18); and relations between consciousness and language. Gilles Deleuze writes of the moment as a mobile section of duration.  Contemporary Korean writer Yi In-song's literary works can be seen as explorations of the tension between the momentary and its continuity with a flow of time.

            Ideas about consciousness and language too can be described with a poetics of motion.  Heather McHugh describes poetry as the refinement of language until it is able to suggest inexpressible experiences of consciousness and depths of presence-a kind of perpetual motion, enacting poised opposites that do not annihilate each other's meanings (McHugh 1993:18).  Poet Marie Ponsot has written of poetry as emerging from the hope of recognition across the bounds of separateness between mind and language, self and others (Ponsot 2002: 144), whereas Jacques Lacan considers the subconscious to be structured like a language, and many literary critics believe consciousness to be co-extensive with language.  There is an unresolved tension within, and between these different ideas about consciousness and language.  Yi In-song's formless, stream-of-consciousness narratives meditate upon the relations between consciousness and language, self and other, and the overdetermination of Korean language by global discourse.  Early modern writer Yi Kwang-su faced the dilemma of how to resist Japanese imperialist policies of cultural assimilation, and write about the Korean present as flow and loss.

            I am interested in both the dynamics of the moment, and the dynamics of consciousness and language, in modern Korean literature.


Dudley Andrew.  "Tracing Ricoeur."  Review of Paul Ricoeur: Les Sens d'Une Vie.  diacritics 30.2 (summer 2000): 43-69.


Cho Hae-joang.  T'al singminji sidae chisigin ui kul ilkki wa salm ilkki.  Vol. 1.  Seoul: Tto hana ui munhwa, 1996.


Choi Chung-moo.  Personal communications about Gilles Deleuze.  Southern California Korean Studies Colloquium, 1994.


Gilles Deleuze.  The movement-image.  Translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam.  Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1986.


Heather McHugh (1993).  Broken English.  Hanover and London: Wesleyan University Press, 1993.


Marie Ponsot.  Springing.  New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.


Mike Shin.  Personal communications about Yi In-song.  U.C. Berkeley, 1991-1992.


Yi In-song.  Natson sigan soguro.  Seoul: Munhak kwa chisongsa, 1997.

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

Ann Lee

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