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Yoo Chijin’s Romanticism Based on Realism and The Performance of Mokgyeokja

  • The Journal of Korean drama and theatre
  • 2021, (71), pp.215-257
  • DOI : 10.17938/tjkdat.2021..71.215
  • Publisher : The Learned Society Of Korean Drama And Theatre
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : January 31, 2021
  • Accepted : March 17, 2021
  • Published : March 31, 2021

Kim, Jae Suk 1

1경북대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study is aimed at examining the characteristics of Yoo Chijin's realism plays in the late 1930s through romanticism based on realism. To this end, the focus is on the contemporary artists' criticism on the ambiguity of romanticism based on realism, Yoo Chijin's response and the performance of MokgyeokjaWhile performing Chunhyangjeon(1936), Yoo Chijin claimed that it was a romanticism play based on realism, but he failed to explain clearly how it was different from Chunhyangjeon performed by other theater companies. To sum up what appeared in his intention of adapting Chunhyangjeon, the first of the conditions that a romanticism play based on realism must have is the existence of a willing protagonist who pursues ideals, the second is the development of the play by loose causal relationship, and the third is the emphasis on romantic nature by presenting the ideal results. At the time of the performance of Chunhyangjeon, Yoo Chijin lacked an understanding of the combination of realism and romanticism to the extent that he said, "I don't know if it could exist or not." He tried to fill the ambiguity of the theory by borrowing Im Hwa's explanation of the relationship between realism and romanticism. But the criticism on Yoo Chijin continued because the substance of a romanticism play based on realism was not clearly shown in the performance of Chunhyangjeon. He wanted to show the romanticism effect that reinforces 'the heart of realism’ with Gaegolsan (1938), but was criticized by Im Hwa for lacking qualifications as a realism play. As Yoo Chijin changed the title of Maxwell Anderson's Winterset to Mokgyeokja (1938) and embarked on the performance, he explained that it was an American romanticism play based on realism. Analyzing Winterset according to his perspective, it can be seen that the romantic nature of the work is highlighted by the willing protagonist of pursuing ideals, Mio, the development of a play with a loose causal relationship, and the ideal finish of various characters, including Miriamne, preparing for death and shouting the truth. He did not perform Winterset with the aim of its perfect reproduction ; he simplified the play by the confrontational plot between Mio and Troc, discarded the verse lines and used prose lines in the performance. Mokgyeokja was performed with the intention of Yoo Chijin to try to reverse his unfavorable position. Yoo Chijin selected the realism play, Winterset which is linked to the Sacco and Vanzetti Case, to let the critics know the direction of a romanticism play based on realism, and made them admit that a romanticism play based on realism has a strong characteristic of its original popularity through the performance of Mokgyeokja which erased the Sacco and Vanzetti Case and was directed to fit his intention. Although Yoo chijin's intention to plan was successful, the performance of Mokgyeokja showed that his realism plays of the late 1930s lost its momentum to seek a new path due to self-contradiction. The reason why Yoo Chijin was in a state of self-contradiction was that he had continued to create in a way that varied the material selection of realism plays in accordance with the changes in the strategy of theater popularization. His emphasis on 'creating realism plays' and his 'performance first principle' for the theater popularization were inevitably heterogeneous positions in conflict. Winterset is the work where the author's realism spirit is alive, facing the roots of the problem that led to the Sacco and Vanzetti Case and the social disgrace. Yoo Chijin was well aware of the fact, but he, who was immersed in the performance first principle position, did not have the courage to return to the problematic subjects of the time and fight against censorship. In the end, Yoo Chijin ended the 1930s without finding a way other than giving up his creative work.

Citation status

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