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2019, Vol.25, No.1

  • 1.

    Melodrama, the Paradox of Modern Imagination Coordinating Moral Norms and Emotions―Based on the Developmental Approach

    Jungoak Lee | 2019, 25(1) | pp.9~54 | number of Cited : 7
    Abstract PDF
    Since the birth of melodrama in the early Enlightenment era, it has flowed through various cultures and media. In order to grasp the principle of differentiation of melodrama and the direction of its change, a developmental approach to the formation process of melodrama is necessary. In this regard, this paper examines the formation process of modern melodrama and its aesthetic features around the time of the French Revolution. The modern melodrama was formed in the period between the end of the 18th century and the start of the 19th century. It was born at the intersectional point of the contradictions of the modern imagination and the political paradox of the French Revolution, which demanded an autonomous citizenship but did not recognize a woman as a citizen. The aesthetic of women’s sacrifice and tears reproduced in the modern melodrama is a political aspiration to restore a corrupt society by glamorizing a woman as a moral icon. This was an icon to save a society under divide and crisis and a coordination of emotions to conceal sexist violence in the politics of the exclusion of women. The aesthetic of women’s sacrifice and tears reproduced in modern melodrama has consistently been considered under negative evaluation such as a play of moral hypocrisy and vulgar drama. However, the academic interest in melodrama in the 1970s has been amplified due to the "Sirk-melo" which is a transition to the new aesthetic of women’s sacrifice and tears, encompassing not only women, but also races and classes. In modern society, entering the era of uncertainty, where various social problems, national disasters, and global disasters have become commonplace, ‘the aesthetic of women’s sacrifice and tears’ are shifting from gender differences to various victim narratives. Reviewing new theoretical trends and changes of recent melodrama as well as analyzing specific works are left as follow-up tasks.Since the birth of the melodrama in the early Enlightenment era, it has flowed through various cultures and media. In order to grasp the principle of differentiation of melodrama and the direction of its change, a developmental approach to the formation process of melodrama is basically necessary. In this regard, this paper examines the formation process of modern melodrama and its aesthetic features around the time of the French Revolution.
  • 2.

    Aspects of Emotional Customs by the N-po Generation

    Seo, Yeon Ju | 2019, 25(1) | pp.55~85 | number of Cited : 7
    Abstract PDF
    In this article, we examine the real meaning behind the stories in which the N-po Generation (Millennial Generation) is depicted, through the observation of entertainment programs, TV series, and movies. This could be an opportunity to investigate the aspects of emotional customs of our era, which have been described by television media as portraying the complex and multifaceted reality in the most mundane and popular manner while influencing the public. Problems with youth unemployment, the polarization of life, and instability are not only global issues but situations that specifically occur in South Korea. It is thus vital to pay attention to the inner side of the N-po Generation who enjoy Sohwakhaeng (small but certain happiness) by eating alone as the placebo effect of this tough reality. This is an agenda that should be viewed as a problem in the fundamental design of South Korean society. The consciousness of the problem shown in the TV series <Drinking Solo> has been drawing attention. The TV series Because <This is My First Life> depicts a love narrative that concentrates on emotions in a relationship that started between housemates due to poverty and housing problems, leading to marriage. Thus, the TV series persuasively dramatized ‘confluent love’ in the N-po Generation. In the movie <Microhabitat>, Miso can be regarded as a symbol that represents the emergence of a new generation of cultural sensitivity. There is a suggestion in the sequence of <Microhabitat> that identifies the pursuit of taste with the discovery of identity. The TV series <Hello, My Twenties!> is a growth narrative that deals heavily with youth unemployment, temporary workers, fragmented families, and dating violence. The housemates in <Hello, My Twenties!> find emotional stability through interaction with each other, and courageously approach their individual problems. In the process, images of women, who are empathetic towards others and are willing to jointly solve their problems, are calmly depicted to reveal a story of growth revolving around a ground emotional community. The current problem that South Korean society should contemplate is how to be fully human beyond mere survival, and how to further seek the conditions of human existence. In that sense, what we should pursue is a notion of ‘publicness’, which can put several generations together. Because of the reality that confliction between generations must be triggered, in order to make a passage of sympathizing, mass media’s sensitivity training becomes more important. This may be the duty of mass media.
  • 3.

    Sentimentalism of Melancholia and Death―Kwak Ji-kyun’s Melodrama Films, New Sentimentalism, and The Home of Two Women

    Lee Yun-Jong | 2019, 25(1) | pp.87~122 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This paper examines how the melancholia and death drive foregrounded in Kwak Ji-kyun’s films have changed the affect and production trend of South Korean melodrama films of the late 1980s and thereafter. It particularly analyzes Kwak’s The Home of Two Women (1987) as his exemplary melodrama film. Kwak is not only an auteur filmmaker of the 1980s and 1990s but was also a herald of South Korean New Sentimentalist films back then. The New Sentimentalist filmmakers have aspired to sophisticate the South Korean melodrama film not only by de-sentimentalizing it from the shimpa quality but also separating it from excessive emotion of shimpa that had long dominated the national cinema. This affective sophistication is directly linked to the sense of loss and melancholia/depression of the characters in the film caused by the death of one’s beloved. This New Sentimentalist affect is best represented in Kwak’s The Home of Two Women through its depiction of the internal conflicts of artists struggling to artistically sublimate the death drive and sense of loss. By textually analyzing The Home of Two Women, this paper not only reevaluates Kwak’s film style but also reposition the topology of the New Sentimentalists in Korean film history.
  • 4.

    The Nation and Structure of Emotion in 2010s Melodramas―Focusing on <Descendants of the Sun>(2016) and <Mr. Sunshine>(2018)

    Hyekyung Chung | 2019, 25(1) | pp.123~161 | number of Cited : 3
    Abstract PDF
    The popularity of melodrama indicates that melodrama is composed in a historical context. This is the reason why it is necessary to analyze the imagination of melodrama within a sociocultural context rather than asking the essentialistic question of “What is melodrama?". <Descendants of The Sun> (2016) and <Mr. Sunshine> (2018) caused sensations while holding unchallenged top positions in terms of viewing rate and popularity. These dramas indicate the popular imagination and desire of Korean society in the 2010s during a period of upheaval. This paper analyzed imagination in melodrama with a focus on nation and emotions of individuals in <Descendants of The Sun> and <Mr. Sunshine>. In preexisting dramas, conflicts are often limited to individuals and families; on the contrary, in <Descendants of The Sun> and <Mr. Sunshine>, a nation appears as a motif that forms conflicts between individuals. In these intense situations of conflict, people make rational judgments at first; however, they soon dispose of such judgments and reveal value-oriented attitudes through emotions, which drive actions. Both dramas form poésie mainly through poetic rhyming and the mise-en-scène of objects. The dramas also amplify emotions. The main emotions of these dramas are sympathy and sadness. Such emotions are not consumed in itself; instead, they show moral aims through performativity. Consequently, sympathy becomes solidarity, and sadness becomes mourning. Unlike preexisting melodramas whose endings were simply pursuits of love and happiness within the realm of individuals, <Descendants of The Sun> and <Mr. Sunshine> demonstrate a moral imagination that simultaneously reminds us of the individual and community through solidarity and mourning.
  • 5.

    SF Movie Star Trek Series and the Motif of Time Travel

    NOH SHIHUN | 2019, 25(1) | pp.165~191 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The purpose of this article is to elucidate why the motif of time travel is repeated in the science fiction narrative by examining the functions of this motif in the SF movie series of Star Trek in its narrative and non-narrative aspects. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) aims to attract the audience’s interest in the story through the use of plausible time travel in the form of the slingshot effect which causes the spacecraft to fly at very fast speeds around an astronomical object. The movie also touches upon the predestination paradox that arises from a change of history in which it describes a formula of transparent aluminum that did not exist at the time. The film also serves as an evocation of the ideology of ecology by including humpback whales in the central narrative and responding to the real issue of the whale protection movement of the times. Star Track VIII: First Contact (1996) intends to interest the audience in the narrative with the warp drive, a virtual device that enables travel at speeds faster than that of light and a signature visual of Star Trek, at the time of its birth through time travel. The film emphasizes the continuation of peaceful efforts by warning the destruction of humanity that nuclear war can bring. It tackles with the view of pacifism and idealism by stressing the importance of cooperation between countries in the real world by making the audience anticipate the creation of the United Federation of Planets through encounters with the extraterrestrial. Star Trek: The Beginning (2009) improves interest through the idea of time travel to the past, this time using a black hole and the parallel universe created thereby. The parallel universe functions as a reboot, allowing a new story to be created on an alternate timeline while maintaining the original storyline. In addition, this film repeats the themes pacifism and idealism shown in the 1996 film through the confrontation between Spock (and the Starfleet) and Nero, the destruction of the Vulcan and the Romulus, and the cooperation of humans and Vulcans. Eventually, time travel in three Star Trek films has the function of maximizing the audience’s interest in the story and allowing it to develop freely as a narrative tool. It also functions as an ideal solution for commenting on current problems in the non-narrative aspect. The significance of this paper is to stress the possibility that the motif of time travel in SF narrative will evolve as it continues to repeat in different forms as mentioned above.
  • 6.

    The Forming Mechanism of Brain Text and Brain Concept in the Theory of Ethical Literary Criticism

    NIEZHENZHAO | Seokmin Yoon | 2019, 25(1) | pp.193~215 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    According to ethical literary criticism, every type of literature has its text. The original definition of oral literature refers to the literature disseminated orally. Before the dissemination, the text of oral literature is stored in the human brain, which is termed as “brain text”. Brain text is the textual form used before the formation of writing symbols and its application to a recording of information, and it still exists after the creation of writing symbols. Other types of texts are written text and electronic text. Brain text consists of brain concepts, which, according to different sources, can be divided into objective concepts and abstractive concepts. Brain concepts are tools for thinking while thought comes from thinking with understanding and an application of brain concepts. Brain text is the carrier of thought. The termination of the synthesis of brain concepts signifies the completion of thinking, which produces thoughts to form brain text. Brain text determines thinking and behavioral patterns that not only communicate and spread information, but also decide our ideas, thoughts, judgments, choices, actions and emotions. Brain text is also a deciding factor for our lifestyle and moral behaviors. The nature of a person’s brain text determines his thoughts and actions, and most importantly determines who he is.
  • 7.

    The Aesthetics of Conviction in Novel and Film Mephisto

    Sa-Bin Shin | 2019, 25(1) | pp.217~247 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This research paper intends to examine the intertextuality of Klaus Mann’s novel Mephisto (1936) and István Szabó’s film Mephisto (1981) and how the derivative contents (i.e., film) accepted and improved the schematic aesthetics of conviction in original contents (i.e., novel). In general, the aesthetics of conviction is applied to criticize the state socialism of the artists of the Third Reich or the ideology of the artists of East Germany from a biased ethical perspective. Mephisto is also based on the aesthetics of conviction. Thus, it would be meaningful to examine the characteristic similarity and difference between Klaus Mann’s real antagonist (i.e., Gustaf Gründgens) and fictional antagonist (i.e., Hendrik Höfgen) from a historical critical perspective. In this process, an aesthetic distance between the real and fictional antagonists would be secured through the internal criticism in terms of intertextuality. In this respect, the film aesthetics of István Szabó are deemed to overcome the schematic limit of the original novel. The conviction in both the novel and film of Mephisto pertains to the belief and stance of a person who compromised with the state socialism of Nazi Germany, i.e., succumbed to the irresistible history. Klaus Mann denounced Mephisto’s character Höfgen (i.e., Gründgens in reality) as an “Mephisto with evil spirits” from the perspective of exile literature. For such denunciation, Klaus Mann used various means such as satire, caricature, sarcasm, parody and irony. However, his novel is devoid of introspection and “utopianism”, and thus could be considered to allow personal rights to be disregarded by the freedom of art. On the contrary, István Szabó employed the two different types of evil (evil of Mephisto and evil of Faust) from a dualistic perspective (instead of a dichotomous perspective of good and evil) by expressing the character of Höfgen like both Mephisto and Hamlet (i.e., “Faust with both good and evil spirits). However, Szabó did not present the mixed character of “Mephisto and Hamlet (Faust)” only as an object of pity. Rather, Szabó called for social responsibility by showing a much more tragic end. As such, the novel Mephisto is more like the biography of an individual, and the film Mephisto is more like the biography of a generation. The aesthetics of conviction of Mephisto appears to overcome biased historical and textual perspectives through the irony of intertextuality between the novel and the film. Even if history is an irresistible “fate” to an individual, human dignity cannot be denied because it is the “value of life”. The issue of conviction is not only limited to the times of Nazi Germany. It can also be raised with the ideology of the modern and contemporary history of Korea. History is so deeply rooted that it should not be criticized merely from a dichotomous perspective. When it comes to the relationship between history and individual life, a neutral point of view is required. Hopefully, this research paper will provide readers with a significant opportunity for finding out their “inner Mephisto” and “inner Hamlet.”
  • 8.

    A Study on the Characteristics of the Narrative and Application Methods of the Modern Elements of <Husband for a hundred days>, a Drama of tvN

    Youm, Won Hee | 2019, 25(1) | pp.249~281 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    This research aims at examining the present of fusion historical dramas through a TV soap opera, <Husband for a hundred days> and discussing the narrative of this genre and external elements to be equipped. <Husband for a hundred days> tried to break from conventionality of fusion historical dramas by intensifying it. By comprehensively suggesting the history of conflicts repeated in existing dramas, it helped its viewers to concentrate on it easily. In addition, by setting a separate space from the secret strife in a palace while depicting it, it expressed romance between a man and a woman faithfully. Moreover, two individual riddles were given so that the narrative became rich. Furthermore, the social problems of remaining singles and the tyranny of the establishment were dealt with. Novelty was presented with the viewpoint of seeing the past through today’s perspective instead of seeing the present through the past; by trying to interpret modern culture in a way of Joseon, such as the figures reflecting the phases of the times and lines using newly-coined words and abbreviations. Therefore, the success of the drama contents lies not in breaking from customs but in thinking about what to change based on conventional characteristics. <Husband for a hundred days> can be evaluated to be a work that can be an idealistic model of this genre.
  • 9.

    A Study on the Narratives of Lee Ae-rim’s Comic Books―Focusing on the Characteristics of Repetition, Coincidence, and Fantasy

    Lee Cheong | 2019, 25(1) | pp.281~313 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This paper was written to investigate the narrative traits of Lee Ae-rim’s Comic Books. Lee Ae-rim arrived on the scene with the boom of comic book magazines in the 1990s. Although she started her career as a Comic Book writer, she expanded her own area gradually and has been working actively as an animation director as well. The superficial characteristics of Lee Ae-rim’s works can be summed up as sexuality, grotesqueness, and fantasy. In other words, Lee Ae-rim’s comic books are mainly characterized by the visualization of sexual, grotesque, and fantastic shapes. Lee Ae-rim has faced challenges with her own overwhelming and compelling images like no one else. For that reason, it is true that people haven’t paid careful attention to the hidden stories behind her pictures. This paper considers that looking back on the narratives that Lee Ae-rim has been interested in, from early days to recent days, that is to say, the contexts of stories, is a shortcut to reveal a point of contact between her past, present, and future. Especially, this paper focused on the properties of the circulated and repeated stories, the stories ruled by fate and coincidence, and the stories in which elements of fantasy encounter an attempt of violation. As a result, it was found that the narratives of Lee Ae-rim’s comic books demand us to face suppressed desires in a new way, by wrapping up the most fundamental aspects of human being in universality and constancy with specificity and grotesqueness. The reason why Lee Ae-rim has continued the avant-garde and omnidirectional works thus far explains what our society suppresses, inversely. Moreover, the narratives of Lee Ae-rim are significant, by being devoted to the right function of art not only to disclose suppressed desires but to satisfy them. Making an in-depth investigation of the narratives of Lee Ae-rim’s comic books in various contexts, this research is intended to establish a diversity of Korean comic books, by adding meaning to the creative values of individual writers.
  • 10.

    The Study on the Representation of the Times in the Sports Films of the 1980s

    Im, Jeong Sig | 2019, 25(1) | pp.315~347 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    <Lee Jang-ho’s Baseball Team>(1986) and <Ring Of Hell>(1987) represent the society of 1980s in which the professional baseball game was initiated to cover the irrational military culture. The love and marriage of sports players were the headlines of the media, and the yearly salary of the players was the hottest issue of conversation. The military culture is represented in the scenes where the coaches train the failures and inapt players in extreme drills. The films pinpoint the absurdity of military culture and win-at-all-costs mentality. The collapse of the dictatorial leadership at the end of the films is a metaphor for the collapse of the fifth Republic of Korea. The episodes where the players talk about contract money, and the trade of players and sports business were a new phenomenon of the 1980’s. The fact that Oh Hyesung of <Lee Jang-ho’s Baseball Team> chooses love instead of victory deals a big blow to the secular ambition for money, victory and dictatorial leadership. His option provides catharsis for an audience oppressed under military leadership and success driven ideology. On the other hand, Oh Hyesung of <Ring Of Hell> dies right at the moment of winning the world champion. He achieves neither love nor success. While Oh Hyesung of <Lee Jang-ho’s Baseball Team> is a symbol of pure love and gives spiritual comfort to the audience, Oh Hyesung of <Ring Of Hell> gives a sense of hopelessness to the audience. Both of the two sports films reflect the representation of the 1980’s but received opposing reviews from audiences.
  • 11.

    The Genealogy of Forbidden Sound―Political Aesthetics of Ambiguity in the Criticism of Japanese Style in Korean Society of the 1960s

    Jeong Changhoon | 2019, 25(1) | pp.349~392 | number of Cited : 2
    Abstract PDF
    In the 1960s of Korea, the normalization of diplomatic relations between Korea and Japan led to a sense of a vigorous anxiety and fear that "Japan will once again come to the Korean peninsula”. As a reaction to this, the discourse on the criticism of ‘Japanese Style’ strongly emerged. If the prior discourse of criticism was to express the national antipathy toward the colonial remnants that had not yet been disposed of, the critical discourse of the 1960s was the wariness of the newly created ‘Japanese Style’ in popular culture, and to grasp it as a symptomatic phenomenon that ‘evil-minded Japan’ was revealed. Thus, this new logic of criticism of the ‘Japanese Style’ had a qualitative difference from the existing ones. It was accompanied by a willingness to inspect and censor the ‘masses’ that grew up as consumers of transnational ‘mass culture’ that flowed and chained in the geopolitical order under the Cold War system. Therefore, the topology of ‘popular things=Japanese things=consuming things’ reveals the paradox of moral demands that existed within Korean society in the 1960s. This was to solidify the divisive circulation structure that caused them to avoid direct contact with the other called ‘Japan’, but at the same time, get as close to it as ever. It is a repetitive obsession that pushes the other to another side through the moral segregation that strictly draws a line of demarcation between oneself and the other, but on the other hand is attracted to the object and pulls it back to its side. This paper intends to listen to the different voices that have arisen in the repetitive obsession to understand the significance of the dissonance that has been repeated in the contemporary era. This will be an examination of the paradoxical object of Japan that has been repeatedly asked to build the internal control principle of Korean society, or to hide the oppressive and violent side of the power, and that can neither be accepted nor destroyed completely as part of oneself.
  • 12.

    A Study on the Ethics of Reproduction in Alain Resnais’s Film―Focusing on <Night and Fog>, <Hiroshima, Mon Amour>, and <Muriel, ou Le temps d’un retour>

    Choi Eun Jung | 2019, 25(1) | pp.393~425 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This paper focuses on Alain Resnais’s representative works <Night and Fog> (1955), <Hiroshima, Mon Amour> (1959), and <Muriel, ou Le temps d’un retour> (1963), and analyzes how he implements a representation of memory though cinematic apparatus. These three films deal with horrific memories that seem impossible to reproduce aesthetically such as the Holocaust, the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb, World War II, and the war in Algeria. The reappearance of events that stripped humans of even their minimum dignity can naturally be associated with ethical issues. These events can never be reproduced because they cannot be explained in the human language. It is also impossible to reproduce in a way that doesn’t invade other peoples’ sufferings, nor displays the pain of others as spectacles. Alain Resnais was a director who realized that if factual representation was not possible from the beginning, truthfulness would have to be approached through cinematic form. Therefore, he tries to overcome these problems through cinematic forms. First, he shifts to action films to avoid the obscenity of documentary. <Night and Fog> shows the records of camps captured by German forces in the past, while <Hiroshima, Mon Amour> shows the pain of others in a fictional form of representation. Next, he describes how the trauma affects the identity of the main character through a flashback in <Hiroshima, Mon Amour>, but also shows a main character who is experiencing trauma without a flashback in <Muriel, ou Le temps d’un retour> Flashbacks have the effect of showing the effects of trauma on the main character, but at the same time they involve the obscenity of enjoying the suffering of others. Nonetheless, the absence of flashbacks highlights the impossibility of representation. This is because it is not silent in the impossibility of representation but is constantly approaching. The attitude that repeatedly circles around impossibility is an ethical form that maximizes the impossibility of representation. In conclusion, this is the ethics of representation that Alain Resnais showed in his films.
  • 13.

    Captive Affects, Elastic Sufferings, Vicarious Objects in Melodrama―Refiguring Melodrama by Agustin Zarzosa

    minhwa ahn | 2019, 25(1) | pp.429~462 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    This paper argues how the concept of melodrama can be articulated with the Affect Theory and Posthumanism in relation to animal or environment representation which have emerged as the new topics of the recent era. The argument will be made through the discussion of Agustin Zarzosa’s book, Refiguring Melodrama in Film and Television: Captitve Affects, Elastic Sufferings, Vicarious Objects. Using a genealogical approach, the book revisits the notion of mode, affect, suffering (hysteria), and excess which have been dealt with in the existing studies of melodrama. In chapter one, he broadens the concept of melodrama as a mode into the means of redistribution of suffering across the whole society in the mechanism of the duo of evil and virtue. It is the opposition of Brooks’s argument in which melodrama functions as the means of proving the distinction between evil and virtue. Chapter two focuses on the fact that melodrama is an elastic system of specification rather than a system of signification, with the perspective of Deleuzian metaphysics. Through the analysis of Home from the Hill (Vincente Minnelli, 1959), this chapter pays attention to an ‘affect’ generated by the encounters between the bodies and the Mise-en-Scène as a flow not of a meaning but of an affect. Chapter three argues that melodrama should reveal an unloved (woman’s) suffering, opposing the discussion on the role of melodrama as the recovery of moral order. Safe (Todd Haynes, 1995), dealing with female suffering caused by the industrial and social environment, elaborates on the arguments on melodrama in relation to female hysteria with ecocritical standpoints. The rest of the two chapters discusses the role of melodrama for the limitation and extension of the notion of the human through ‘animal’ and ‘posthuman’ melodrama. It argues that the concept of melodrama as ‘excess’ and ‘sacrifice’ blurs the boundary between human and inhuman. In summary, although the author Zarzosa partly agrees with Peter Brook’s notion of mode, affect and sufferings,he elaborates the concept of melodrama, by articulating philosophical arguments such as Deleuzianism, feminism, and posthumanism (Akira Lippit and Carry Wolf) with the melodrama. Thefore, Zarzosa challenges the concepts of melodrama led by Brooks, which had been canonical in the field.