The Myth of Origin in Context Through the Lens of Deconstruction, Dialogism and Hybridity

Sung Uk Lim


The present study aims to deconstruct the myth of origin, a quest after essential identity, in the context of Japan's colonization of Korea (1910-1945). First, I will contextualize the myth of origin as a particular historical construction of Japanese colonization, which stems from Romantic nationalism in the second half of the 19th century. Then, I will critique the structuralism, monologism, and colonialism standing behind the myth of origin through the lens of deconstruction, dialogism, and hybridity: (1) Jacques Derrida's deconstruction and différance will show the self-implosion of the totalizing, centering vision of structuralism; (2) Mikhail Bakhtin's dialogism will analyze colonial discourse as a double-voiced discourse constituting both dominant discourse and counter-dominant discourse; (3) Homi Bhabha will demonstrate that colonial identity is ambivalent and hybrid through partial mimicry.


myth of origin, essential identity, colonial identity, colonial discourse, Japanese colonization of Korea, European Romanticism, Romantic nationalism, deconstruction, differance, dialogism, ambivalence, mimicry, hybridity, Jacques Derrida, Mikhail Bakhtin

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