The main stream of criticism on postmodernism in Korea has attacked it as a cultural logic of the post-industrial Western society, confusing "postmodernity" with "postmodernism," and trying to answer the question "Does the so-called postmodernism have some intrinsic values?" Another stream has focused its concern on the authorial origin of the cultural phenomenon, or its relationship to modernism and post-structuralism. But to understand it more properly, we should question "What is postmodernism?" rather than "Is postmodernism valuable to us?" or "Who started the movement?" The postmodern culture which has developed since around 1945 in the Western hemisphere illustrated many negative aspects of a life-denying culture, despite its material prosperity. Its most unbearable attributes are sterile homogeneity, uncertainty, absurdity, mercantile ethic, absence of moral values, irrationality, innocent victim, entropy in history, exhaustion, overwhelming mechanical forces, mer cantilization of knowledge and language, and so on. These may be defined as the negative side of "postmodernity," which has been nourished by logocentricism in the postmodern culture, and embodied as mass culture, media society, the society of spectacles, the bureaucratic society of controlled consumption, postindustrial society, and the highly industrial society. Postmodernism is a dominant attitude toward the postmodern maimed, logocentric culture. Postmodernists, whose potent progenitor is Nietzsche, were at odds with the predominant values of the postmodern age, and rocked the very metaphysical footings of the postmodern culture by the roots. They "deconstructed" such concepts of the "subject," "logos," "history," "rationality," "truth," "representation," "mimesis," "structuralistic language," "transcendental idea," and so on, as the very source of values in the metaphysical and symbolic "system" of logocentricism. They probed another sources of values in the primitiveness and the peripheral side of the human mind and character, and in the elementary laws of the universe. Postmodernism in literature shared the deconstructive spirit of the postmodernists in other areas. Postmodernist writers tried to tear away all the masks of "rational" ideals and explored the ways in which human beings made and believed in such masks. They accepted, like postmodernist philosophers, psychologists, and historians, the "peripheral," "non-rational" side of human nature as important and noble as the rational characteristics. They pursued the liberation of the ecstasy and wisdom of the "unreason," which has been confined by the various kinds of "systems" of logocentricism. They valued the positive function of instincts and desires in human life, and thought that limiting human activity to strictly rational behavior is impoverishing human life and experience. Or, at least, they waged a fierce struggle to embrace the genetic absurdity of existence itself, recognizing that life is at the mercy of "chance" rather than "causality." As a flow of postmodernist criticism against mechanical rationality as the major contributory element to the decadence of Western culture, postmodern American poetry called in question the basic tenets of "logopoeia," an Apollonian poetics which emphasizes art as "machine" representing reality rather than art as life. It denied decadent symbolic poetry, transcendental design drawn from the omniscient point of view, aesthetic distance, representation, closed form, mastering purpose, transcendental logos. Rather, it preferred metonymic verse, playfulness subject to chance, pure subjectivity, immediacy, open form, silencing dispersal, absence of truth. It was the poetry of resistance groping for "melopoeia," a Dionysian poetics which emphasizes openness, tangentialization, untotalization, nakedness, minimalism, immediacy, the raw, anti-system, and primitiveness. It was not an ego-building process by means of negation of nature, but an enlarging of the temple of life by means of purgation of the ego-ridden self.