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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.63, No.4, 751 ~ 774, 2017
Philip Larkin and Postmodern Visuality
Jung Pil Park
While rarely escaping realistic or modernist visual conceptions, many studies of Philip Larkin’s poetry have failed to uncover the sometimes sly cue that his visuality is a pseudo-presentation of realism. I elucidate these postmodern peculiarities of Larkin’s images, sometimes with the aid of the theories of poststructuralists like Derrida and Lacan. Larkin’s images occupy an entirely different topology reflecting the post-war apocalyptic mood and postmodernism. While adopting the logic of revolutionarily reshuffled realism, they become the reformed products of vacuity or difference and register deterioration, inflammability, and uncanniness unlike the solid images of modernism. Larkin’s images are both more and less imagistic than those of Imagism.
Key Words
Postmodern visuality, inertia, negative images, transgression, obscurity
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