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Railroad Gasa and the Representation of Railroads in The Korea Daily News -Attraction and Negativity of Railroads as the Emblem of Modern Colonial Period-

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2014, (55), pp.127-158
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : September 27, 2014
  • Accepted : November 10, 2014

KIM AYUN 1

1전남대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

Having approached the genre of “Railroad Literature” in Korea from theperspective of genealogy, this paper has found that the comments on currenttopics in the form of Gasa are one form of railroad literature. Based on that,this paper has examined Railroad Gasa dealt with at The Korea Daily News(Daehan Maeil Sinbo; founded in 1904), which reported the two faces ofrailroads and featured both the attraction and the negative aspects ofrailroads. First, this paper has figured out that Railroad Gasa, as the productof modern civilization, represented the voices of the people calling forawakening of modernist experiences, enlightenment, self-cultivation, andreform on one hand, and idealized the establishment of the Utopia whereenlightenment, self-cultivation, and reform are realized on the other. ThoseGasa said that, by making use of their fascinating features, railroadssymbolize a trail-blazer that could lead the Korean people to the Utopia inthe early 20th century. Next, the Gasa also suggested that railroads –having been built at the sacrifice of the joys and sorrows of the Koreanpeople – symbolize a negative representation including Japanese colonialism,plunderers, violation, fear, and the Dystopia built by the Japanese aggressors. Based on the debates, this paper has concluded that the editorial writers ofThe Korea Daily News attempted to produce the public effect of making thegeneral readers understand the reality of the period, seeking for the futurewith the public readers, and finally, disclosing the aggression of the Japanesecolonialists by making use of the two faces of railroads. This paper,therefore, has found that Railroad Gasa helped cultivate and expand thepolitical realms during the enlightenment period and that the writers of TheKorea Daily News played a role of establishing a course through which theycould communicate with the general readers.

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