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Political Criticism to Move around the Cultural History of South Korea with "Tears"

PARK Yuhee 1

1고려대학교

Irregular Papers

ABSTRACT

Nunmulkwa Jeongchi(Tears and Politics) is a strenuous work of Lee Hogeol that has long conducted research on the nature of "Sinpa" of South Korean movies. This book expands the concept of "Sinpa" even to the "flow of family tears penetrating the modern times of South Korea" as an extension of his research in which he has analyzed the customs and world views in popular culture texts with such predicates as "the nature of Sinpa" or "the style of Sinpa." By devoting himself to "investigation into 'how politics feels to Korean people'" based on these, he has conducted research in the same orbit as emotional affect study that has emerged as a new topic of criticism and methodology of social humanities in recent years. This book consists of two parts: Part I offers theoretical explanations about the basic concepts used in it under the title of "Flows of Tears and Modern South Korea" and gives an overview of a Tear’s narrative origin and system as part of the mainstream in South Korean popular culture in the 20th century. Under the title of "Politics of Tears," Part II shows the patterns of ‘tears of Sinpa’ combining with politics, the type from colonized Joseon to the era of neo-liberalism. This paper tries to find the book's significance in research history while reading it by respecting its organization. This book is refreshing in that it tries to investigate the relationship between emotions and politics based on the flow of tears via cultural texts. "Politics of emotions" can be a familiar topic for discussion in the context of emotional affect study that has recently emerged, but there has been no research that traces "tears" as tenaciously as this book. In addition, this book is bold in that it forms relations and arranges them, crossing between extensive texts. There have been considerable discussions about relations between literature and politics, between culture and politics, and between emotions and politics, but none of them have been covered as extensive texts as this book has. The way that this book handles a text breaks down the hierarchy of modern art. Furthermore, it is diverse and comprehensive with no boundaries among popular narratives including novels and memoirs, poems, popular songs, and history and philosophy books. This is why this book is situated among various contexts including research on popular art, which investigates the unique sensitivity of modern South Korea called "nature of Sinpa," research on relations between the emotional structure and social changes in the aspect of social humanities, and research on culture and politics to encompass texts and context. In short, this book claims its significance in the research history by delving into relations between emotions and politics via or through cultural texts and thus contextualizing culture, sensitivity and politics anew.

Citation status

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