본문 바로가기
  • Home

A Study on the Romance Mode and Psychoanalytic Narrative Structures in Choi In-hoon's Novels -Centering around The Square and Reflections on a Mask-

  • Journal of Humanities
  • 2014, (55), pp.253-292
  • Publisher : Institute for Humanities
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : September 30, 2014
  • Accepted : November 3, 2014

Kim Jung Kwan 1

1중앙대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This paper is aimed at examining the archetypal ideas and the narrativepatterns in Choi In-hoon's novels, thereby figuring out their aesthetic functionand values. For this purpose, this study has identified the psychoanalyticnarrative metamorphosed from the romance mode as the basic pattern ofChoi’s novels and compared and analyzed the function and the meanings ofthe psychoanalytic narratives commonly structured in The Square (Gwangjang)and Reflections on a Mask (Gamyeongo) with much focus on the plot of thenovels based on the three stages of romantic adventures: agon, pathos, andanagnorisis. The first stage of the romantic adventures – agon – corresponds to“the recurrence of the oppressed unconscious” – the main motive ofpsychoanalytic therapy – which in Choi’s novels are represented in theanguishes and worries of the main characters in the form of déjà vu. Withthis phenomenon as the start, the protagonists of The Square and Reflectionson a Mask are caught up in intellectual controversies and get into adventures. The second stage of the romantic adventures – pathos – includes thestruggles and the death of the main characters, which usually are manifestedin the process of actual adventures. This stage corresponds to the difficulttherapeutic process of psychoanalysis aimed at figuring out the source of theoppressed unconscious based on the analysis and the investigation of thedistorted ideological representation resulting from symptoms. In Choi’s twonovels, these are manifested in the form of the agonies of the maincharacters who are wandering at the risk of their life in order to fulfill theirunfulfilled desires. The major narrative scenes in The Square and Reflectionson a Mask internalize the psychoanalytic process through which the authorchases the oppressed images and searches for the truth of the unconscious. The third stage of the romantic adventures – anagnorisis – is a phasewhere the reality of things become manifest through the function ofperception. This stage corresponds to the psychological therapeutic phasebased on the discovery of the truth of the unconscious and the liberationfrom complexes. In the two novels by Choi, these are manifested in theform of the imaginary visions of the main characters who attainenlightenment at the crossroads of life and death. Individuals’ search for the self in Choi’s novels – based on psychologicalinvestigation – attain epochal meanings and universalism in the history ofman, being boosted by the narratives of the collective search for hopeincluded in the romantic narratives. In the meantime, main characters’ searchfor the self reflects the collective mental structure with which they examinethe archetype of history and culture. Especially, the message of salvationthrough the recovery and liberation of Eros – commonly appearing at theend of the narratives – criticizes the reality of the oppressed rule imposedby civilization on human sensitivity and conveys the utopian prospect for the recovery of individual self and cultural totality.

Citation status

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