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The Tragedy of Banality - A study on the appropriated melodrama in Yeom Sang-sub’s popular novel

배준 1

1연세대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The main task of this study is to analyze the ethical implications of Yeom Sang-Seop’s (1897-1963) narrative strategies to reveal a characteristic modern subjectivity in colonial Korea. In particular, it seeks to draw on a framework of “appropriated melodrama” to illustrate the effects of this double-bind, between desire and ethics under capitalist modernity. It also centers on the literal term ‘Love(愛)’ as the many folds motif, which was intended to dissect the literal reality of modern population, mass in colonized Korea, revealing (or regulating) the fictiveness of desire to produce one’s self-identity. At this point, this article will focuss on the context of ‘the sin’ or ‘redemption’, which typically came up with a characteristic guilty conscious sensed by one who fails to seek the authentic meaning of love. It seems to be a key-motive in Yeom’s whole literal works on mass secularization. ‘Am-Ya(暗夜)’, ‘Man-Se-Jeon(萬歲前)’, ‘E-Sim(二心)’ need to be reperused, looking at the narratological transformation of melodramatic style. In this sense, Yeom’s novel implicates how the modern subject is represented with one’s excessive moral desire to be a singular part of historical or political mass, and finally address the ethical premise to obtain positive solidarity preserving irreducibility of otherness as to reflecting the modern subjectivity.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.