Transmedial Aspects between “A Journey to Mujin” and Mist － Focusing on the Concept of ‘Epistemological Commitment’ －
This essay aims to examine the transmedial aspects between the Kim Seung-ok’s short story “A Journey to Mujin” (Mujingihaeng, 1964) and Kim Soo-yong’s film Mist (An-gae, 1967) from the standpoint of epistemological commitment. Epistemological commitment occurs when certain modes, such as language, image, and music, must entail certain semantic points when trying to reproduce a particular situation, knowledge, or trait. Mist is a film that attempts to maximize the semantic and subject identity of the original work in the process of media transition, and therefore, it is suitable to compare the difference of information according to the specific modes like language, image, and music.
From the above standpoint, there is a phenomenon caused by the limitation of the medium as a technology in Mist, and a case where the semantic prosperity is increased in spite of that limitation. One of the characteristics of Mist is that the wife’s psychological restraint on Yoon Hee-jung and the inner conflict, which was somewhat moderated in “A Journey to Mujin,” are more emphasized than fiction. The dialogue scene of the pre-departure to Mujin is appropriately modified to convey the meaning more effectively by changing the visual image of ‘specific action’, which is a compulsory element under the basic situations of ‘making specific utterances and taking action simultaneously.’ In addition, there exist different aspects of epistemological commitment in each mode with regard to the media as sensory channels, and the case of semantic changes that have arisen therefrom.
In terms of the characterization and a chain of semantic similarity, the description of Jo’s character is weak because the differences in language and image, semantic integration among a mad woman, a self-slaughtered hostess and Ha In-sook, who all depend on linguistic similarity, are hardly found. As a result, the ending of the original fiction focusing on ‘shyness’ and the film counterpart show more or less a difference.
The question of how we express something is directly related to the question of how it can be interpreted, as we cannot insist on the idea that there is a completely media-independent content. Epistemological commitment is a particularly useful concept for extensively analyzing this problem because it is derived from an inevitably intertwined condition in terms of content and form.
The value of this concept as a general criterion can be more accurately judged when a quantitative analysis of transmedial aspects would be accumulated.