Colonialism and the Cold War were the two pillars of Choi In-hoon’s literature. The novel “Topic” (1994) released in the post-Cold War period, was the reminiscence which was published at the time when the scholarship/knowledge of the Korean Peninsula stopped negotiating with the Soviet Union. This article reconstructs the situation that Choi reviewed his senior writers Cho Myung-hee and Yi Tae-joon’s experience in the Soviet Union and faced the ideology of socialism that supported the aspirations for decolonization and social solidarity. This article performed the two ways of reading.
First, this article performed the reading respected the context of the Korean literary history. Facing with the collapse of the Soviet regime and the tragic end of Cho Myung-hee, Choi In-hoon posed the following question; ‘Isn’t there ‘the reality aligned with the great writing’ such as “Nakdong River” or “Capital”’? Choi’s trip to the Soviet Union was the trip to explore the conditions and possibilities of ‘the reality aligned with the great writing’. At the height of the quest, he encountered the speech related to Cho Myung-hee. The speech aimed at the socialist ideals and trusted the development of history and the lives of the people while paying heed to the conditions of reality. Choi, who was on a trip to the Soviet Union in search of ‘the reality aligned with the great writing’, discovered ‘the great writing aligned with the reality’.
Second, this article attempted to read the texts against the context of Korean literary history. While re-reading Cho’s “Nakdong River” and Yi’s “Before and After Liberation”, Choi revisited the meaning of the dreams and actions of human, history and reality, and people’s lives. Choi deconstructed Lenin's sentences through the sentences of non-Western Korean literature. And this article complemented the gap in meaning of Choi’s trip to the Soviet Union through Yi’s trip to the Soviet Union. Choi met unfamiliar Korean language of a Russian youth in the Soviet Union. The cultural foundation of the Korean language he met was the life and culture of Koreans who lived in the Soviet Union in the 20th century. Choi also leaps into a time of revolution after World War I in “Topic”. It was the time of universality of mankind, and the time of the periphery of the colonial people. Choi In-hoon discovered the meaning of socialism as a human ideal based on decolinzation and equality.
By the time the end of the Cold War was told, Choi In-hoon travel back into the world history of the 20th century. He sought to rescue the ideology of socialism, which supported decolonization and social solidarity, from the historical failure of the Soviet Union to return to its original position: the ideal of humankind. This article named Choi In-hoon’s first socialist ideology that he discovered by traveling back in time and space, or the question of the Soviet Union, as ‘Sound of Discussion among the Stars created by the Animals with Sad Bodies.’