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Anthropology of power and passion, active nihilism: theme analysis on Sung, Suk-je's novel

Chan Lee 1

1Korea University RIKS

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines 'an active nihilism' in Suk-je Sung's novels in detail. The focus of this study is formed from the critical mind in a critical perspective that in Korean novels before and after 2000s, characters who embody 'problematic individuals' of Lukács have disappeared and those close to 'active nihilists' has become the mainstream. The most representative example of this phenomenon is Suk-je Sung's novels. 'Active nihilists' in his novels are described as 'ascetics' who mastered various spheres such as 'billiard', 'baduk gambling', 'alcohol', 'dance', and 'book collecting', and so on. In the sense that they reject the transcendental conditions of the modern world and live in the space and time of play in which they can display their passion and potentiality to the maximum, they beings jumping over the 'reality principle'. Also, what they want to repeat is not the endless exchange of labor and capital according to the capitalist system of exchange but rather the repeated existence of their power and passion. This 'anthropology of power and passion' is 'active nihilism' which could be expressed as the 'subject of creating new value' and 'Dionysian affirmation' by Nietzsche. Suk-je Sung's novels sharply prove the stylistic essence of 'a novel' which has to create its own form every time, constantly renewing the narrative style of the past ideal model. In this respect, they are very problematic and his innovation of a form draws the attention. Further, this will certainly be the important object of research in the diachronic dimension of contemporary Korean novel.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.