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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.57, No.6, 1089 ~ 1110, 2011
The Poetics of Overcoming: Christopher Dewdney`s Transhumanism and Dionisio D. Martinez`s Transnational Cultural Contamination
Young Min Kim
In an attempt to demonstrate in context of Nietzsche`s "overman" (ubermensch) and Heidegger`s "Being-in-the-World" (Dasein) the collective human efforts to overcome humanism in crisis, I will provide the ground for the poetics of overcoming, the ground which are based upon the double movements of transhumanism and transnationalism. For this purpose, I will turn to the theories of two distinctive poets who reveal and disreveal their truths about the subjecthood or the subjectivity in terms of overcoming: Christopher Dewdney for posthuman transhumanity and Dionisio D. Martinez for transnational cultural contamination Transhumanism represented by Christopher Dewdney manifests an interfusion of outside and inside, thereby collapsing the boundary between the mind and the world, and provides a breakthrough from the limitedly defined mind to the transhuman perspective of overcoming by using terminalogy and techniques from science and technology. The emerging transhumanism reflects the growing interdependence between humans and bio technologies, and suggests a potential improvement of human beings. The main argument of transhumanism is that we humans can and should continue to develop in all possible directions, by overcoming our human limitations by shedding the body and having the disembodied consciousness which will liberate our mind. Kwame Anthony Appiah`s "cultural contamination" is another form of overcoming as well as a way to otherness, a counter-ideal of cultural purity which sustains authentic culture, reversing the traditional binary opposition between enriching authenticity and threatening hybridization. Dionisio Martinez`s poetry sublimates the negative side of Appiah`s concept of contamination, by redeeming the value of the Appiah`s list of the ideal of contamination such as hybridity, impurity, intermingling, the transformation that comes of new and unexpected combinations of human beings, a bit of this and a bit of that is how newness enters the world. When a poetic subject is doubly exiled and doubly homeless away from his/her native homeland and home of native language, one has no more identification with the authentic culture of both home and away, but rather anticipates a new identity as a transnational subject to cross the bridge beyond cultural authenticity and to enter into the field of cultural contamination.
Key Words
transhumanism, transnationalism, posthumanism, overcoming, cultural contamination, Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Homi Bhabha, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Christoper Dewdney,영미문학, 문화연구, 비교문학, 비평이론, English and American Literature, cultural studies, comparative literature, critical theory
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