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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

After the Apocalypse of Literature: A Critique of Karatani Kojin’s Thesis of the End of Modern Literature

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2007, v.47 no.1, pp.102-125
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2007.47.1.102

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Abstract

Based on his clear understanding of the extinction of the form, role, and formative conditions of modern literature, Karatani Kojin asserts that modern literature has ended and further has fallen into the realm of entertainment. Karatanis discussion of the end of literature owes a lot to theHegelian concept of the end of art and Kojves notion of history. Karatanis end-of-literature thesis means that a historically determined possibility of knowledge and morality can no longer be realized in liter- ary works. As we all know, however, a great number of works of art produced after Hegels end-of-art declaration have significance in our culture. Another important cornerstone of Karatanis explanation is Kojves view of what comes after the end of history, as well as the animalization of humanity. According to Kojve, the end of history means that human society no longer negates the given world. However, this paper argues that despite the overriding trend of human animalization, man still has the impulse to negate the given nature, culture, and the self that constitute them. Nevertheless, Karatanis thesis should be regarded as a challenge for us to think more seriously about the reasons why literature itself must exist.

keywords
Karatani Kojin modern literature the end of modern liter-ature Hegel Kojve

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