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Utopia in The Era of No Progress - The Narratologies and Ideologies of the Korean Time Loop Genre

  • Journal of Popular Narrative
  • 2023, 29(1), pp.217-247
  • DOI : 10.18856/jpn.2023.29.1.007
  • Publisher : The Association of Popular Narrative
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Interdisciplinary Research
  • Received : January 6, 2023
  • Accepted : February 6, 2023
  • Published : February 28, 2023

YU INHYEOK 1

1서울시립대학교 도시인문학연구소

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to depict the cultural meaning of the time loop genre in Korea. The time loop genre has been reproduced in Korea since the 2010s. I tried to argue that this form reproduces the condition of postmodern time-space and that there is an aspect that denies the notion modern temporality. This process was carried out through three interrelated objectives. First, this study revealed that the time loop genre has an anti-historic character. In other words, it was examined that the time loop genre has an aspect of disturbing chronological temporality. It emphasizes that the ‘nonlinearity’ and ‘multi-branch structure’ of the narrative of time loop genre have the effect of denying the notion of time as the progression. Second, this study shows that the time loop genre is the narrative adopting the character of video game. Repeating reading may be recommended, but it is not an essential in written texts such as novels. However, video games presupposes a repetition of the same performance. In this contexts, the time loop genre can be understood as a result of an adaptation of the video game's feature such as ‘restart’ or ‘save/road’. Third, this study presents what ideological connotation the time loop genre has. The disturbance of temporality is linked to the idea that it is almost impossible to have a positive outlook of the future. And video games are appropriated to utopian spaces where magical ‘restart’ is possible. At this time, the time loop genre can be understood as an narrative that shows a special perception of reality. The time loop genre is an narrative that symbolically demands prospects and opportunities to overcome unreasonable environments in an environment where it is difficult to have a prospect of progress.

Citation status

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

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.