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The Formal Innovation and Social Reflection of Korean Web Fiction Fantasy—Centered on ‘Book Traveler’ Genre

  • Journal of Popular Narrative
  • 2020, 26(1), pp.77-102
  • DOI : 10.18856/jpn.2020.26.1.003
  • Publisher : The Association of Popular Narrative
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Interdisciplinary Research
  • Received : January 10, 2020
  • Accepted : February 14, 2020
  • Published : February 28, 2020

YU INHYEOK 1

1서울시립대학교 도시인문학연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article analyzes ‘book traveler’ stories as a new sub-genre of Korean fantasy web fiction. Formal innovation is revealed as the major motivation of Korean fantasy web fiction’s narratives. Furthermore, the imagination of social resistance was presented as the formal devices of the genre. These theses were performed during the analysis of the two characteristics of the genre. In this genre, the main character is the writer or reader of fantasy stories. He moves into a novel he is describing or reading. The original novel, which was entered by the main character, is a space characterized by the custom of a typical fantasy genre. Therefore, the main character actually experiences cliché, typical genre devices and plots. The most important action for the main character here is to ‘bend’ the custom of the original. Therefore, this genre is in the form of the main motive being the refraction of typology. Meanwhile, the main character is not the central character of the original, but a secondary figure. The central character of the original book is usually from the ruling class, which monopolizes the good resources of society. At this time, the genre creates a subversive situation in which the social underdog goes beyond the social power through plots that overwhelm the central figure. It converts the reader’s social desire into a genre device. To summarize, the latest trend in Korean web novel fantasy has captured scenes of renewed Korean genre literature practices. It sensitively reflects the social context of the contemporaries and the reader’s desire. Thus, the Korean web novel fantasy has reflected both its internal conditions and its social context.

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