Marxism, Language, and Literature: Rethinking the Early Marxist Literary Criticism

Title
Marxism, Language, and Literature: Rethinking the Early Marxist Literary Criticism
Author(s)
이준영
Keywords
Marxism; Russian Formalism; Philosophy of Language; Volosinov; Vulgar Marxism; 마르크시즘; 러시아 형식주의; 언어철학; 볼로쉬노프; 속류 마르크시즘
Issue Date
201402
Publisher
한국외국어대학교(용인캠퍼스) 영미연구소
Citation
영미연구, v.30, pp.263 - 288
Abstract
Abstract Marxism, Language, and Literature: Rethinking the Early Marxist Literary Criticism Jun Young Lee (YEUNGNAM UNIVERSITY) Since both literature and language pay decisive concerns to human beings, an attempt to define language inevitably accompanies the definition of literature to a considerable extent. Therefore, it has been taken for granted that the problem of language should serve as a formulating impact to most contemporary theories of literary criticism. In case of Marxist criticism, however, there seems to be a longstanding consensus that language has been peripheral to its main praxis of literary criticism. This oversimplified consensus has not been gained from precise and meticulous studies on Marxism but from prejudices against the widely condemned dogmatism in some branches of Marxism, especially the doctrine of socialist realism in the Soviet tenet. However, if we follow the transition faithfully in the thought of language in Marxism from the mid 19th-century initial stage of Marx and Engels to the early 20th-century developing stage of V. N. Volosinov and critics of Russian Formalism, it is possible to track down the genuine and substantial discourses of language even in the early tradition of Marxism. If a literary theory of Marxism is built around the philosophy of language, it is also able to surpass the textual limitations of Formalism as well as dogmatism by way of bridging literary texts over socio‐historical and economic conditions of the world. Therefore, after discussing the early thoughts of language in Marxism, including those of Marx and Engels, and Russian Formalism, this paper presents Volosinov's philosophy of language as a significant case of the literary theory of Marxism. The significance of Volosinov’s philosophy of language, which is fundamentally faithful to the original thoughts of Marx and Engels, can be found in its productive effort to achieve the dialogic synthesis that goes beyond the conflicting impasse between the asocial poetics of pure formalism and the dogmatic literary criticism of the vulgar Marxism. The specificity of literature lies in its language‐ not as a language of self-sustained static system, but as a language of a practical activity, that is, as a specific form of practical consciousness inseparable from all social material activities. Therefore, the language of literature is also a particular form of socio-historical language. In this regard, Volosinov’s philosophy of language, which inherited the critical consciousness of Marx and Engels’s thoughts of language than any other theories, deserves to be reconsidered by many critics of contemporary literary criticism.
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/YU.REPOSITORY/33098
ISSN
1229-6961
Appears in Collections:
사범대학 > 영어교육과 > Articles
Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.
Export
RIS (EndNote)
XLS (Excel)
XML


qrcode

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

BROWSE