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Pilgrimage imagination in the poetic space of Kim Jongsam

Seo, Jinyoung 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper focuses on explaining the poet’s thought by looking at the space symbolism and aesthetic method of Kim Jongsam’s poetry. His poetry was mainly based on aesthetic principles but it was the poet’s inner world and self-consciousness that created various languages and techniques. So this paper tried to investigate the structure of the consciousness of self in the poetic space. In Kim Jongsam’s poetry, space was not just a place that exists in the background of the poetic subject but a noticeable symbol that revealed the consciousness of self. In this paper, attention was paid to two contradictory spatialities: ‘plain’, ‘wilderness’ and ‘on the earth’, which were presented as an endless space, and ‘cabins’, ‘hut’, ‘bungalow’ and ‘glass greenhouse’, which were spaces where one could reside, located higher up and outside. In the case of the former, space symbolizes a barren desolation, thirst and the shape of pain and anxiety. The space was shown using words such as ‘walks’, ‘pass’ ‘process’ which are represented by that characteristic. On the other hand, the space located in a high up and indoors place symbolizes richness and warmth, and eternity. Especially, words such as ‘fence’, ‘gate’, ‘stairs’, ‘corridors’ which are located in the middle of zone, as a borderline of the two contradictory space, present the passages from here to there. It is called a pilgrimage image in the sense that the process of life on the ground is at the same time imagined as a process of passage involving a return to the true home and the divinity. This process of passing itself was focused on in the passage, rather than the ontological transformation. The boundary conditions reveal a longing for a boundary in God beyond a liminal stage. Kim Jongsam was able to generate a prosperous poetic journey through the pilgrimage imagination. It turned guilt, anxiety, and self awareness of solitude into the qualitative passage toward the ultimate and divine.

Citation status

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