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The Acceptance of Rossum's Universal Robots in 1920's Korea and the Body of “Robot” ―Based on Kim Woojin and Park Younghee

  • The Journal of Korean drama and theatre
  • 2022, (75), pp.83-109
  • DOI : 10.17938/tjkdat.2022..75.83
  • Publisher : The Learned Society Of Korean Drama And Theatre
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Received : March 7, 2022
  • Accepted : April 17, 2022
  • Published : April 30, 2022

BOHYUN KUM 1

1성균관대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how the “robot” in Čapek’s Rossum's Universal Robots(R.U.R.) was imagined in the early 20th century Korea. The robot in R.U.R. created by Čapek was different from the machine found in the late 1920s and 1930s. This study would focus on the two perspectives to analyze the robot: a perspective of accepting the robot as a "new humanity" and a perspective of estimating robots through anatomy and physiology. For Kim Woojin, who saw the performance of R.U.R. in Japan, wrote that the robot was not a machine, but a "mechanical creature". Moreover, he depicted the robot as a new tribe which follows the human being. However, in Kim Woojin's perspective, the robot did not have a possibility of reproduction. Therefore, the fate of the robot was faded away because of its limit. Meanwhile, Park Younghee's translation showed an imagination’s collapse to think a robot as a machine. In Park Younghee's translation, the robot had a possibility of converting its body to physiological way. Based on his translation, the robot is related to the problems of childbirth not the manufacture through a machine. The problem of the body and reproduction in R.U.R. which criticized by Kim Woojin and translated by Park Younghee allows robots to reconsider the name in 1920s Korea, when robots first appeared.

Citation status

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