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The Problem of Magic and Survival in Park Wan-Seo’s Fictions

Mi Ryeong Cha 1

1광주과학기술원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article attempts at rethinking the modernity of Park Wan-Seo’s fictions in investigating the theme of magic. What underlies the magic aspirations present in her fictions? The first salient feature is the ambivalence of magic. For example, those old women appearing in <The Bad Year of the City> and 「The Pasqueflower of the Horrible Day」 show interestingly the ambivalent aspect of the magic related to the survival of the people. Their world is constructed on the basis of the beliefs beyond the reality tests and their practices faithful to those beliefs engender either mistrust or awe for the next generations, in being criticized by the reason or in surpassing the horizon of moral judgement. The other issue worthy of being noted when we explore Park’s novels in terms of magic is the relationship between war and survival. Magic represented in <Naked Tree> and <Thirsty Season> functions as the narrative principle of explaining the pains caused by the war. In this case, special attention should be paid to the death of the brother. Viewed from this point of view, the magical dimension of Park’s repetitive writing is closed intertwined with the sense of guilt. This latter leads to the affirmation of ‘we should live’, and at the same time to the hatred against those who survived with success.

Citation status

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